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The Legend of Mariazell

 

The Name of the Town

On the evening of December 21, 1157, a Benedictine monk named Magnus arrived in the vicinity from St. Lambrecht, commissioned by the abbot there to be the spiritual shepherd of the local community. Magnus also brought with him a beloved wooden statue of Mary. However, his journey was obstructed by a colossal rock that blocked his path, rendering further progress impossible. The monk turned to the Virgin Mary, seeking her assistance, and his prayer was answered. The rock miraculously split open, allowing Magnus to continue his journey. Upon arrival, he placed the statue on a wooden log and built a small wooden chapel around it ("Maria in der Zelle"), which soon became the focal point of the region's religious life.

 

 

 

The Legend of Henrik

Henrik, the Count Palatine of Moravia, and his wife both suffered from severe gout to the extent that they could no longer rise from their beds. One night, in their dreams, Saint Wenceslaus appeared to them and instructed them to put their trust in the Virgin Mary. He advised them that once they regained their health, they should embark on a pilgrimage to Mariazell and, as an expression of gratitude, build a temple in her honor. Following these divine instructions, they oversaw the construction of the temple and then returned to their homeland. The Henrik mentioned in the legend (1197-1222) is likely to be the brother of King Ottokar I.

 

The Legend of Louis

King Louis I of Hungary faced a formidable force of 8,000 soldiers consisting of Turks and other barbaric tribes, while his own army numbered a mere 2,000. The situation seemed almost hopeless. It was then that Louis turned to the Blessed Mother of Zell, who assured him of her support in a dream. Upon waking, he discovered the image of Mary, which he usually kept on a small altar, resting upon his chest. Considering this a heavenly sign, he marched into battle, where he achieved a resounding victory over the Turks. In gratitude, he and his army visited Mariazell, where, as a token of appreciation, he presented the temple with the image adorned with gold and precious gemstones, as well as numerous other valuable treasures bearing his coat of arms.

This legend is rooted in historical events. Louis I, King of Hungary, reigned between 1342 and 1382, although the exact date of the battle remains uncertain. Based on traditions, historians speculate that it likely took place in the year 1364.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The History of the Hotel Building

The former Town Hall, known as the "Fleischhauerei Perthold," stood on this site in 1756, representing a symbol of shared citizenship. Until the unfortunate fire incident of 1827, the Council Chamber, the Archives, and even a police station operated within its walls. Subsequently, the dilapidated building was purchased by Josef Müller, a butcher, who undertook a comprehensive renovation. Since the beginning of the last century, it has been operating as a hotel, embracing its new identity while preserving the echoes of its storied past.

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