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Mariazell

Trip Planner Europe  /  Austria  /  Styria  /  Mariazell
Mariazell is a small city in Austria, in Styria, well known for winter sports, 143km N. of Graz. It is picturesquely situated in the valley of the Salza, amid the north Styrian Alps.It is a site of pilgrimage for Catholics from Austria and neighboring countries to its east. The object of veneration is an image of the Virgin Mary reputed to work miracles, carved in lime-tree wood. This was brought to the place in 1157, and is now enshrined in a chapel adorned with objects of silver and other costly materials. The large church of which the chapel forms part was erected in 1644 as an expansion of a smaller church built by Louis I, King of Hungary, after a victory over the Turks in 1363. In the vicinity of Mariazell is the pretty Alpine lake of Erlaufsee.HistoryThere is no trace of large or enclosed settlements in the area of modern Mariazell dating from pre-Christian times or the first century A.D. The large number of Illyrian and Celtic mountain and river names in the region, such as for example the Erlauf, however suggest small settlements by these tribes. The salt springs in Halltal were not unknown to these groups.
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