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Mariazell coat of arms
Mariazell (Austria)
Basic data
Country: Austria
State : Styria
Political District : Bruck-Mürzzuschlag
License plate : BM
Surface: 413.49 km²
Coordinates : 47 ° 46 '  N , 15 ° 19'  E Coordinates: 47 ° 46 '23 "  N , 15 ° 18' 59"  E
Height : 868  m above sea level A.
Residents : 3,669 (January 1, 2020)
Postcodes : 3294, 8630, 8632, 8634, 8635
Area code : 03882
Community code : 6 21 42
Address of the
municipal administration:
Pater-Hermann-Geist-Platz 1
8630 Mariazell
Mayor : Walter Schweighofer ( ÖVP )
Municipal Council : (2020)
(21 members)
13 7th 
A total of 21 seats
  • ÖVP : 13
  • SPÖ : 7
  • Free home list Mariazellerland : 1
Location of Mariazell in the Bruck-Mürzzuschlag district
Aflenz Breitenau am Hochlantsch Bruck an der Mur Kapfenberg Kindberg Krieglach Langenwang Mariazell Mürzzuschlag Neuberg an der Mürz Pernegg an der Mur Sankt Barbara im Mürztal Sankt Lorenzen im Mürztal Sankt Marein im Mürztal Spital am Semmering Stanz im Mürztal Thörl Tragöß-Sankt Katharein Turnau SteiermarkLocation of the municipality of Mariazell in the Bruck-Mürzzuschlag district (clickable map)
About this picture
Template: Infobox municipality in Austria / maintenance / site plan image map
Mariazell seen from the Gemeindealpe
Mariazell from Gemeindealpe seen from
Source: Municipal data from Statistics Austria
Center of Mariazell (aerial view)

Mariazell is a municipality in northern Upper Styria near the Lower Austrian border with 3669 inhabitants (as of January 1, 2020). Mariazell is located in the judicial district of Bruck an der Mur , in the political district of Bruck-Mürzzuschlag and is the largest municipality in Styria and the third largest in Austria after Sölden in Tyrol and the federal capital Vienna .

Mariazell is by far the most important place of pilgrimage in Austria thanks to the statue of grace Magna Mater Austriae in the Basilica of the Birth of the Virgin and is also important for many Catholics in neighboring countries to the east. Winter sports are also practiced in Mariazell.


Mariazell is the northernmost municipality in Styria and is located in the northern Limestone Alps . According to the Alpine Club division of the Eastern Alps , the municipality has shares in the Ybbstal Alps , the Türnitz Alps , the Mürzsteg Alps and the Hochschwab Group .

The Salza is the central water vein of the Mariazellerland. In addition, there are other noteworthy bodies of water in the municipality: the Erlaufsee and the Hubertussee, including the Walster . The village of Mariazell itself is located on a sloping plateau on the slope of the Bürgeralpe .

Community structure

View of the Mariazell Basilica , 2011

Since 2015, Mariazell has been united with the previously independent municipalities of Gußwerk , Halltal and St. Sebastian as part of the municipal structural reform in Styria .

The municipality includes the following 16 localities (residents as of January 1, 2020):

The five cadastral communities are (area 2016):

  • Aschbach (17,127.79 ha)
  • Halltal (7,455.28 ha)
  • Mariazell (643.71 ha)
  • St. Sebastian (4,742.16 ha)
  • Weichselboden (11,440.56 ha)

Neighboring communities

Due to its large community area, Mariazell has nine neighboring communities, which are divided into two federal states and four districts. In clockwise order these are:


The Mariazellerland has a cold winter and only moderately warm to cool summer climate. It has a maritime character and, due to the location of Mariazell on the northern dam of the Alps, has a lot of rainfall. With 41.7% relative sunshine duration, “the Mariazeller area is one of the most disadvantaged areas in Austria. The forest and cultural boundaries are among the lowest in Austria. "

The winters are considered to be relatively snow reliable, with an average of 121 days a year of snow.

Average monthly temperatures and rainfall for Mariazell
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Max. Temperature ( ° C ) 2.4 3.5 6.7 10.5 16.4 18.4 21.0 21.1 17.4 12.9 6.3 2.8 O 11.7
Min. Temperature (° C) -5.8 -5.2 -2.3 0.6 5.3 8.3 10.1 10.1 6.9 2.9 -1.9 -4.7 O 2.1
Temperature (° C) -2.3 -1.6 1.4 4.8 10.3 13.1 15.0 14.7 11.1 6.9 1.4 -1.5 O 6.2
Precipitation ( mm ) 72.0 56.0 79.3 74.7 105 123.5 144.7 107.9 98 66.8 72.1 81.3 Σ 1,081.3
Rainy days ( d ) 10.4 9.8 11.9 11.9 12.9 13.7 13.9 11.9 11.0 9.2 11.2 12.5 Σ 140.3
Humidity ( % ) 81.9 82.5 83 83.8 83.1 84.8 85.9 88.3 89 85 84.5 83.2 O 84.6
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Source: Central Institute for Meteorology and Geodynamics [3]


Mariazell, Entry of the Graz procession,
lithograph around 1830

Early days

In pre-Christian times and in the first century after Christ, no larger or closed settlements are detectable in the valley of today's Mariazellerland . However, mountain and river names of Celtic origin in the region indicate smaller settlements. Also likely to Celtic the salt springs in Halltal not have been unknown.

From around 200 BC The Mariazellerland belonged to the Kingdom of Noricum , to which several Celtic tribes had come together.

In the 1st century BC The Romans were already familiar with the salt path from Halltal to Traisental . Had signed a friendship treaty with the Kingdom of Noricum. 15 BC BC Emperor Augustus incorporated Noricum as an autonomous area into the Roman Empire. Emperor Claudius (41–54) took the remaining privileges and turned them into a Roman province. According to some reports, there was a Roman path coming from Neuhaus over the Zellerrain and the Brunnstein marble quarries into the Mariazeller area.

Under the onslaught of the Huns , Roman rule in the area largely collapsed at the beginning of the 5th century. Germanic tribes, which had already been settled from Rome within the imperial borders on what was to become Austrian soil, began to establish new settlements in addition to the Alpine Romans that still existed. In 476, rule south of the main Alpine ridge, in inland Noricum, passed to the Herulian army master Odoacer , north of it, in Ufernorikum, to the Germanic Rugians . In 489 rule in what is now Styria passed to Theodoric and the Ostrogoths , while in what is now Lower Austria it fell to the Germanic Lombards , who succeeded the Rugians. In the 6th century left Ostrom in the course of the fighting against the Ostrogoths the Lombards and the territory of the former Roman province Binnennorikum.

In 568, after the Longobards, together with the alleged Mongolian Avars , had destroyed the Gepid Empire to the east of the Vienna Woods , they withdrew to Italy, where they established the Longobard Empire . With the advancing Avars, who now took control of the area, Slavs came to the country as their vassals from around 590 and settled next to the still existing Alpine Roman and Germanic population. Here, too, the distribution can be proven on the basis of place and mountain names of Slavic origin (e.g. Ötscher - derived from the Slavic word “otec” for “father”).

In 743 the Mariazellerland came under Bavarian sovereignty together with the whole of Karantanien . At this point in time, the German history of the country began in the narrower sense and an increased German, mainly Bavarian settlement activity, which led to the formation of today's country.

The Bayern had freed their request the Alpine Slavs from the Avar rule. In 788, Charlemagne incorporated the Bavarian tribal duchy into the Franconian Empire . Towards the end of the Carolingian period , the German tribal duchies regained strength, including Bavaria, which was able to defend the Carantanian march as far as Mariazell against the Hungarians advancing in the 10th century . In 976, the Saxon Emperor Otto II separated the area south of the main Alpine ridge from the Duchy of Bavaria in order to weaken its influence within the German Empire. At the same time, a new Karantanische Mark was formed in the new Duchy of Carinthia , which became the cornerstone of the later Duchy of Styria.

middle Ages

Historical view of the Mariazell Basilica, ca.1880

In 1025, Emperor Conrad II gave his sister-in-law Beatrix - who was married to Adalbero von Eppenstein - parts of the county in the Mürz valley as a gift. The donation was 100 Huben (Low German "Hufe"), which also included the area of ​​the later market in Mariazell. Long-standing disputes over this donation were fought before the Imperial Court and even before the Pope. In 1151, the Archbishop of Salzburg, Eberhard , decided in favor of the St. Lambrecht Monastery , which the last Eppensteiners (extinct in 1122) founded around 1100. Shortly afterwards, the parish of Mariazell and the rule of Aflenz were divided . From a document from Pope Hadrian IV we take the date December 21, 1157 - this day is still traditionally celebrated as the founding day of Mariazell, even if it cannot be historically proven.

In 1157 the monk Magnus came to the Zellertal with his statue of the Virgin Mary carved from linden wood and built the first chapel around the statue standing on a tree trunk, around which the later town grew. According to legend, this had previously divided a rock that blocked the way. The name Mariazell arose from 'Maria in the cell'.

In 1344 the place was raised to the market . 1340–1380 the church was rebuilt in the Gothic style .

The Turks came to Mariazell for the first time in 1420, when the village and the church burned. In 1474 another fire devastated the place. In 1532 the Turks came to Mariazell again and set several houses on fire. The church was spared this time.

Modern times

Historical view of Mariazell, ca.1900

In 1644 Abbot Benedikt Pierin initiated the Baroque transformation of the church and commissioned the builder Sciassia with the work . After his death, the construction work was continued by various builders and completed in 1780.

In 1679, Emperor Leopold I visited the Mariazell Mother of Grace and brought the plague to Mariazell in his entourage through an infected valet . 156 people fell victim to the disease.

In 1683, fearing renewed Turkish invasions, the statue of grace and the treasury picture were brought to St. Lambrecht, from where they came back in the same year.

In 1742 the Empress Maria Theresia granted the abbot Eugen Inzaghi the privileges to mine ore in Gollrad and Aschbach, as well as to build and operate a Mariazell iron casting plant . In 1786, Emperor Joseph II also abolished the St. Lambrecht Abbey as part of his abolition of the monastery, which also affected Mariazell. The pilgrimages were made more difficult and later prohibited entirely.

In 1798 another major fire devastated the site, primarily on Wiener Strasse. In 1805 there was fighting with the French troops under Napoleon in the battle of Mariazell . In 1809 the church treasure was brought to Temesvár in Hungary from the French troops . A few weeks later, the French entered Mariazell. Combat, requisition and crop failures led to the bleeding of the population in these years.

Mariazell photographed from Sigmundsberg

1816 turned into a real famine year . Archduke Johann had the potato imported and poor fields set up in the area to combat hunger. Archduke Johann bought the Brandhof in 1818 .

In 1827 the biggest fire broke out on All Souls' Day, which cremated almost the entire place and in which the church suffered severe fire damage. 1828-1832 the place could be rebuilt with great effort and sacrifice.

In 1892 an electricity works was built in the iron mill's disused boring mill and in the following years Mariazell was supplied with electricity for the first time. In 1896 the first general aqueduct was built. In 1898 the Mariazell iron foundry was shut down.

In 1907 the Mariazellerbahn, which was completed the year before, was opened to public transport. In 1911 the Mariazellerbahn was electrified.

In 1924 the first festival opened in the newly built festival hall. The festival reached its peak in 1925. In the following years, however, there was financial decline and the end of the games.

In 1928, a gondola lift up to the Bürgeralpe was built as one of the first cable cars in Austria . In the same year, the general water line was expanded to include the “student source”.

Second republic

The basilica as seen from Grazerstrasse
The Grazerstrasse
The brewery on Wiener Strasse

In 1945 the Red Army of the Soviet Union moved into Mariazell and took up quarters with 5,000 men, but as part of Styria the place came under the British occupation zone later that year.

In 1948 Mariazell was promoted to town . A general church renovation took place 1955–1957. During these years the bypass and a new post office were built.

In 1966, the Fathers of Kremsmünster Monastery replaced the Fathers of Schottenstift , who had been Mariazell’s church leader since 1949. In the following years, extensive renovation work was carried out on the church and the rectory as well as the surrounding chapels and the new Rosary Path was built.

In 1976 Mariazell received an indoor swimming pool and a few years later an extension of the secondary school .

In 1983 Pope John Paul II visited Mariazell. The papal altar was set up on the main square. In the course of this major event, extensive facade renovations were carried out throughout the city, the main square was redesigned and parking spaces were created.

In 1990 a thanksgiving and freedom pilgrimage of the former Eastern Bloc countries took place with 25,000 participants.

In 1992 the Benedictines from Kremsmünster handed over the pilgrimage pastoral care to the care of the founding monastery and mother monastery of St. Lambrecht .

In 1988 the Mariazellerbahn between Mariazell and Gußwerk was discontinued and in 2003 the Mariazellerbahn between Mariazell and Gußwerk was dismantled.

2004: Central European Catholic Day - pilgrimage of the peoples to Mariazell with over 100,000 visitors.

2007: Bartholomäus I , 270th successor of the Apostle Andrew and Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople , head of the approximately 300 million Orthodox Christians, visits Mariazell. From August 12th to 15th, 2007, the Austrian bishops invited to a youth pilgrimage to Mariazell. Around 3000 young people from Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Austria took part.

On September 8, 2007 Pope Benedict XVI visited Mariazell to celebrate a divine service (Vespers) on the occasion of the 850th anniversary of the basilica . After the Christmas market on the main square opened for the first time on Saturday, November 19, 2016, the decorated Christmas tree fell over the following night in strong gusts of wind. There was no consequential damage, the luminous jewelry remained in function.

Population development

politic and economy

Municipal council elections
Turnout: 81.17%
(+1.88  % p )
(-4.42  % p )
( n. K. )
n. k.
(-9.27  % p )
(+ 0.98  % p )


Community representation

The municipal council consists of 21 members and will be composed as follows after the 2020 municipal council elections :

  • 13 mandataries of the ÖVP
  • 7 SPÖ mandataries
  • 1 mandate of the Free Home List Mariazellerland

City government

Manfred Seebacher von Mariazell from 2015 to 2019 (2016)
  • Mayor has been Walter Schweighofer (ÖVP) since 2020
  • 1st Vice Mayor Helmut Schweiger (ÖVP)
  • 2nd Vice Mayor Johann Kleinhofer (SPÖ)
  • Finance Officer Jürgen Ebner (ÖVP)
  • City Councilor Fabian Fluch (SPÖ)
  • 1858–1863 Franz Geraus
  • 1863–1869 Johann Götz
  • 1869–1873 Josef Lang
  • 1873–1896 Johann Laufenstein
  • 1896–1903 Franz Ritter
  • 1903–1910 Gottfried Buschnigg
  • 1910–1911 Johann Rögl
  • 1911–1924 Karl Laufenstein
  • 1924–1932 Roman Feichtegger
  • 1932–1938 Alexander Globotschnigg
  • 1938–1938 Alois Knaus
  • 1939–1945 Josef Scheucher
  • 1946–1955 Hans Laufenstein
  • 1955–1979 Alfred Schöggl
  • 1979–1990 Karl Pingl (ÖVP)
  • 1990-2010 Helmut Pertl (ÖVP)
  • 2010–2014 Josef Kuss (ÖVP)
  • 2015–2019 Manfred Seebacher (SPÖ)
  • 2019–2019 Michael Wallmann (SPÖ)
  • 2019-2020 Johann Kleinhofer (SPÖ)
  • since 2020 Walter Schweighofer (ÖVP)

badges and flags

AUT Mariazell COA.jpg

Due to the amalgamation of the municipalities, the coat of arms lost its official validity on January 1st, 2015. The re-award took place with effect from November 1, 2015.
The blazon (description of the coat of arms) reads:

“In a black shield the stylized representation of the Gothic arch of the basilica of Mariazell in gold; in front of it, also in gold, the crowned Mariazell Madonna with the likewise crowned baby Jesus on her right arm. The Madonna is dressed in a blue cloak and a white, silver-embroidered robe that also envelops the Infant Jesus; the robe is adorned with a white cross on the chest of the two figures . "

The city flag (since 1958) has three stripes in blue-white-yellow with the coat of arms.

Regional policy

The municipality is part of the Leader region Mariazellerland – Mürz Valley and a member of the Agenda 21 and tourism region Mariazeller Land , whose Styrian municipalities also form the Regionext small region of the name.

Town twinning

In the collaboration Shrines of Europe , Mariazell has been connected to five other Marian shrines since 1996 ; In 2017 Einsiedeln became the seventh member. The partner locations are:

Economy and Infrastructure

Pilgrimage tourism is the most important industry in the region. Cast steel and wood harvesting used to be the main sources of income for the region.


Mariazeller train station
Memorial to the builders of the Mariazell Railway


Mariazell is a traffic junction. There are four state roads running through the municipality:


Mariazell is also the southern end point of the Mariazellerbahn , a narrow-gauge and historically electrified railway line from the St. Pölten Alpine Station through the Pielach Valley to Mariazell; However, the train station is one kilometer (15 minutes' walk) from the center ( Sankt Sebastian district ). The railway line led to Gußwerk, but operations there ceased in 1987. A museum tram also runs from Mariazell station to the nearby Erlaufsee . An extension of this museum line from the train station to the outskirts of Mariazell has been under construction since 2007.

Bike path

Along with Traismauer, Mariazell is one of the endpoints of the Traisental cycle path

Culture and sights

Mariazell Basilica

Copy of the Magna Mater Austriae without the typical pompous robe

A gothic basilica from the 14th century. The splendid Baroque interior and the three towers on the western front are striking. The church houses the Magna Mater Austriae in the so-called Gnadenkapelle . This miraculous image is a small wooden statue of the Virgin Mary from the 13th century, which is dressed in a magnificent robe and plays an important role in the popular piety of many Catholics from all over Central Europe.

Pilgrimage routes

Deep wintry cemetery

Numerous national and international pilgrimage routes lead to Mariazell. Some of these are:

The north-south long-distance hiking trail (Austrian long -distance hiking trail 05) and the European long-distance hiking trail E6 also run through Mariazell.

Panorama from the Bürgeralpe over the Mariazeller basin


Honorary citizen

sons and daughters of the town

Personalities associated with the city


Web links

Commons : Mariazell  - album with pictures, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Mariazell  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Entry on Mariazell in the Austria Forum  (in the AEIOU Austria Lexicon )

Individual evidence

  1. Announcement of the Styrian state government of October 10, 2013 on the unification of the municipality of Mariazell and the municipalities of Gußwerk, Halltal and Sankt Sebastian, all political districts of Bruck-Mürzzuschlag. Styrian Provincial Law Gazette of November 15, 2013. No. 121, 32nd issue. ZDB ID 705127-x . P. 631.
  2. Statistics Austria: Population on January 1st, 2020 by locality (area status on January 1st, 2020) , ( CSV )
  3. Federal Office for Metrology and Surveying, Regional Information, reference date December 31, 2016, accessed February 19, 2017
  4. [1]
  5. [2]
  6. Sturm felled Mariazeller Christmas tree, November 20, 2016, accessed November 23, 2016.
  7. a b Change of mayor in Mariazell. In: August 5, 2020, accessed August 5, 2020 .
  8. ^ Mariazell: Former mayors . Retrieved June 2, 2019.
  9. ^ Castling in Mariazell: Local chief says goodbye in Mariazell . Article dated April 14, 2019, accessed April 14, 2019.
  10. "Kleini" is the new mayor of Mariazell . of December 17, 2019. Retrieved December 18, 2019.
  11. 83. Announcement of the Styrian state government of October 1, 2015 on the granting of the right to use a municipal coat of arms to the municipality of Mariazell (political district Bruck-Mürzzuschlag) , accessed on October 12, 2015
  12. Entry on Mariazell on the website
  13. International pilgrimage route Via Slavorum (PDF; 2.4 MB) in the Pertoldsdorfer Rundschau 10/2009
  14. Pilgerwege Mariazell, accessed online on January 8, 2013
  15. Grazer Tagblatt, evening edition (December 15, 1928), p. 2.
  16. Südost-Tagespost (March 21, 1961), p. 1.
  17. Südost-Tagespost (September 19, 1972), p. 8.
  18. a b c d e f g h i j k l URL: (accessed on November 4, 2018)