Kirche St. Vinzenz in Heiligenblut Tourismusverband Heiligenblut

Churches & Pilgrimage Sites in the Grossglockner/Heiligenblut Area

Churches & Pilgrimage Sites in the Grossglockner/Heiligenblut Area

Faith and spirituality have long been an important part of life and culture in and around Heiligenblut

The belief in a higher power, and the desire to create something greater than ourselves have long been inextricably linked. Since time memoriam, man has been compelled to mirror the magnificence of God’s Creation by building glorious places of worship. The region around Heiligenblut is no exception: a relatively harsh environment in which men and women regularly had to pit themselves against the forces of nature was fertile ground for people’s need to pray to God, and ask for mercy and protection on their dangerous endeavours. So it comes as no surprise that this area offers not only the most stunning mountains, but also some of the most beautiful churches and pilgrimage sites, which continue to draw great numbers of regular visitors.

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The St. Vincent Pilgrimage Church in Heiligenblut am Grossglockner

It is featured on practically every postcard of Heiligenblut am Grossglockner: the St. Vincent church ranks among the most renowned and architecturally fascinating churches in Austria. Its world-wide fame is partly due to its remarkable location, set against the impressive backdrop of the Grossglockner. Yet it is also distinguished by the intriguing Legend of Briccius, which suggests that the glass vial displayed inside the church contains the ‘Heiligen Bluet’ – the holy blood – of Christ. The legend, which is visually narrated in a series of paintings inside the church, continues to draw thousands of visitors and faithful pilgrims every year.

The Heiligenblut parish church is dedicated to St. Vincent of Saragossa. Earliest records of the church date back to 1253, while the first pilgrimage to the ‘Heiligen Bluet’ (the holy blood) was documented in 1273. In 1390, the decision to turn the relatively small church into a more befitting House of God marked the beginning of an almost 100-year-long construction period. On 1 November 1491, the new pilgrimage church of Heiligenblut was consecrated – and has been able to accommodate the continuously growing number of pilgrims and visitors ever since.

Special characteristics of Heiligenblut’s St. Vincent pilgrimage church:

  • It is situated on a stage-like platform in the heart of Heiligenblut
  • Picture perfect: the church occupies a world-famous position against the backdrop of the Grossglockner
  • Its gothic high altar, dating from the year 1520
  • The crypt with the tombstone of St. Briccius
  • The Iron Book containing the names of those who have perished on the Grossglockner
  • Every June, the Pinzgau Pilgrimage draws hundreds of worshippers to Heiligenblut; the event is marked by a mass at St. Vincent Church

Other pilgrimage churches in the area

However, the world-famous St. Vincent church in Heiligenblut is far from the only historically and architecturally fascinating House of God in the Grossglockner/Heiligenblut region. Here are some of the most beautiful and best-known churches in the area:

  • St. George Parish Church - built more than 1000  years ago, this is one of the oldest churches in Austria        
  • Maria Dornach Church - beautiful gothic building from the 15th century
  • St. Andreas Church - late-gothic building in the centre of Döllach
  • Putschall Succursal Church - located in Grosskirchheim, part of the parish of Sagritz

Have you discovered some especially beautiful pilgrimage churches in the area around Heiligenblut?

Every year, thousands of visitors flock not only to the famous St. Vincent pilgrimage church in Heiligenblut, but also to many of the region’s other history-steeped places of worship. Our illustrated Church Guide, which can be purchased in the Heiligenblut Tourist Office, features detailed information about all pilgrimage churches in the region.

Make history come to life:

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