Wall churches

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market community
Wall churches
coat of arms Austria map
Coat of arms of Mauerkirchen
Mauerkirchen (Austria)
Wall churches
Basic data
Country: Austria
State : Upper Austria
Political District : Braunau am Inn
License plate : BR
Surface: 3.08 km²
Coordinates : 48 ° 11 '  N , 13 ° 8'  E Coordinates: 48 ° 11 '27 "  N , 13 ° 8' 7"  E
Height : 407  m above sea level A.
Residents : 2,510 (January 1, 2020)
Population density : 815 inhabitants per km²
Postal code : 5270
Area code : 07724
Community code : 4 04 22
Address of the
municipal administration:
Obermarkt 19
5270 Wall Churches
Website: www.mauerkirchen.ooe.gv.at
Mayor : Horst Gerner ( SPÖ )
Municipal Council : (2015)
(25 members)
10 8th 6th 
A total of 25 seats
Location of Mauerkirchen in the Braunau am Inn district
Altheim Aspach Auerbach Braunau am Inn Burgkirchen Eggelsberg Feldkirchen bei Mattighofen Franking Geretsberg Gilgenberg am Weilhart Haigermoos Handenberg Helpfau-Uttendorf Hochburg-Ach Höhnhart Jeging Kirchberg bei Mattighofen Lengau Lochen am See Maria Schmolln Mattighofen Mauerkirchen Mining Moosbach Moosdorf Munderfing Neukirchen an der Enknach Ostermiething Palting Perwang am Grabensee Pfaffstätt Pischelsdorf am Engelbach Polling im Innkreis Roßbach St. Georgen am Fillmannsbach St. Johann am Walde St. Pantaleon (Oberösterreich) St. Peter am Hart St. Radegund St. Veit im Innkreis Schalchen Schwand im Innkreis Tarsdorf Treubach Überackern Weng im Innkreis OberösterreichLocation of the municipality of Mauerkirchen in the Braunau am Inn district (clickable map)
About this picture
Template: Infobox municipality in Austria / maintenance / site plan image map
Source: Municipal data from Statistics Austria

Mauerkirchen is a market town with 2510 inhabitants (as of January 1, 2020) in Upper Austria in the Braunau am Inn district . The responsible judicial district is the judicial district Braunau am Inn .


Mauerkirchen is located in the Mattig Valley, between the district capital Braunau am Inn and the young town of Mattighofen at an altitude of 407 meters in the Innviertel. The extension is 2.5 kilometers from north to south and 2.3 kilometers from west to east. The total area is 3.1 square kilometers. 3.3% of the area is forested, 63.3% of the area is used for agriculture.

Community structure

The municipality includes the following four localities (population in brackets as of January 1, 2020):

  • Biburg (73)
  • Wall Churches (2336)
  • Spitzberg (94)
  • Underbrunning (7)

The community consists of the cadastral communities Mauerkirchen and Spitzenberg.

With effect from January 1, 2005, the Mauerkirchen district court was closed and the community was assigned to the Braunau am Inn district court. The former district court of Mauerkirchen, Obermarkt 13, is located in the center of Mauerkirchen and is a three-storey building with partial basement; Österreichische Post AG is rented on the ground floor.


The Mattig Valley was inhabited as early as the Stone Age, about 7000 years ago . Finds were also made in the neighboring community from the following Bronze Age. At the time of the Romans, they occupied in 15 BC BC the Alpine region, a side road ran through the Mattig Valley. This probably also touched walled churches, which is indicated by a coin found when the cemetery was moved in 1842. Although the early days of the Mauerkirchen market are in the dark, the place name “Romaniberg” is associated with the Romans and the place “Proun”, mentioned in 757, refers to Mauerkirchen. The name change is explained by the fact that a church originally built of wood was replaced by a brick church at an early stage. However, the year of consecration given for it, 912, cannot be documented, although a Marian pilgrimage may have given the place importance at that time. On the occasion of a Hungarian victory, Heinrich I donated two equestrian statues made of ore to Mauerkirchen in 948, these are said to have melted in the church fire in 1297.

Around 1300 cast stone replicas of these statues were erected in the parish church, but they were again destroyed in the great market fire in 1865. The parish church was rebuilt from 1867 to 1872 in neo-Gothic style. In 1983 the interior was completely renovated. The gusset and tendril painting created in 1907 by the church painter Scherfler from Mauerkirchen were uncovered again.

The oldest document in which Mauerkirchen is mentioned dates from July 20, 1276. The market rights were granted on September 29, 1373 by Duke Stefan the Elder and his sons. The oldest depiction of the Mauerkirchner coat of arms, a certificate seal, dates from October 6th, 1476. Mauerkirchen had been the seat of a regional court since around 1450 (later a district court, noticed since 2005). The forest and game master for the Kobernaußerwald and for the Weilhart had his seat here. Until 1803 a fiefdom administrator of the Passau bishop also held office here.

Since the beginning of the 15th century there was a Latin and German parish school in Mauerkirchen. From 1493 a long-term pilgrimage to the Virgin Mary took place. On January 20, 1549, Duke Wilhelm IV gave the Wall Churchers a keep . Mauerkirchen survived the Thirty Years' War without major acts of war, but the place was constantly haunted by troops, billeting, looting and acts of violence. Then there were famines and epidemics, such as the plague . Due to the wooden construction, there were several market fires: in 1701 there was a major fire. A meteorite fall on November 20, 1768 terrified the local population. The main piece of this meteorite is now in the Mineralogical State Collection in Munich .

Mauerkirchen had to endure war hardships in the Landshut War of Succession in 1504 and in the Bavarian War of Succession in 1703.

Markt Mauerkirchen after a copper engraving by Michael Wening from (1721)

In the spring of 1772, the last bear in the Innviertel was shot in the Mauerkirchner church wood.

The place was Bavarian until 1779 and came to Austria after the Treaty of Teschen with the Innviertel (then "Innbaiern") .

Briefly Bavarian again during the Napoleonic Wars , since 1814 it has finally belonged to Upper Austria. In 1865 there was another big fire in the village.

In 1873 it was connected to the Braunau – Steindorf railway line . After Austria was annexed to the German Reich on March 13, 1938, the place belonged to the Gau Oberdonau. In 1938 a secondary school was set up in Mauerkirchen (built in 1939). After the end of the Second World War, there was a large American release camp in the Mauerkirchen area, where around 300,000 German prisoners were smuggled through (e.g. Karl Aloys Schenzinger ).

coat of arms

Official description of the municipal coat of arms : Half-divided and split; upper right in black a golden, red armed lion, roughened diagonally right lower right in blue and silver; on the left, in blue on a green floor, a silver, single-tower church with black window openings, red roofs and a golden tower knob, starting from the left edge of the shield. The municipality colors are blue-red-yellow. The golden, red-armed lion (Palatine lion) and the roughened blue-silver are supposed to symbolize the long association with Bavaria . Valid municipal coat of arms since 1940.

Culture and sights

  • Spitzberg Castle
  • Catholic parish church Mauerkirchen Assumption of Mary: After the great fire in 1865, the parish church, the Spitzenberg Castle and half of the Obermarkt were destroyed. With the exception of the church tower, which remained up to the bell storey, the church was rebuilt from 1867 to 1872 in the neo-Gothic style. Today it is considered to be one of the few neo-Gothic monuments in Upper Austria .
  • Evangelical Church of the Redeemer: As the expellees were almost exclusively Evangelical, they built the Church of the Redeemer in the middle of their new settlement area. After a year of construction, it was inaugurated in 1960. It was built according to plans by the architect Hans Schihan , who was himself a Protestant and later became mayor of Mauerkirchen.
  • Hl. Geistkirche: On the Hl. Geistgasse leading towards Mattighofen is the Hl. Geistkirche, built at the end of the 16th century, which gave the street its name. Behind the simple facade hides a jewelery box from wall churches. The valuable furnishings come from several stylistic epochs. Two important members of the Wall Church, the plasterer Johann Michael Vierthaler and the painter Johann Georg Reischl created the beautiful stucco and the ceiling paintings at the beginning of the 18th century. In the house attached to the church, poor and sick workers were cared for until the last century. It was therefore called the poor house. Today it houses community apartments. The Holy Spirit Church was extensively restored between 1969 and 1971.
  • Night watchman's house: High above the market, on the Buchberg, is the watchman's house, which is also one of the market's landmarks. The tower-like structure, which dates from the 16th century, was once part of the Mattig Valley defense system. The night watchman lived in this house, and from here he could see the whole market in order to give the alarm immediately in the event of a fire. The last time a night watchman was hired was in 1920. Today, some youth groups from the Pro Juventute Children's Village Association spend their holidays here every year.
  • Vierthalerhaus: The so-called Vierthalerhaus is located near the guard house. In this house, children grow up with a foster family. The Vierthalerhaus was built in 1958 and it was named after the important teacher and orphanage father Franz Michael Vierthaler. He was born in Mauerkirchen in 1758 and was a grandson of plasterer Johann Michael Vierthaler.
  • Market town hall: The town hall is said to have been built in 1395 and still has a vaulted hall on the ground floor, which - like the entire building - was restored in 1986/88.
  • Market square: The market square of Mauerkirchen is a typical street square in the Inn-Salzach area. The upper and lower market offers a wonderful architecture. (e.g. Schremshaus and Fam. Tieftrunk - Reischlhaus etc.)
  • Schremshaus: The most beautiful house on the market square is the house of master watchmaker Alfons Schrems. The beautiful stucco that adorns the facade comes from the hand of the aforementioned Johann Michael Vierthaler, from 1734.
  • Fam. Tieftrunk - Reischlhaus: At the Obermarkt at the house of the master hairdresser Tieftrunk there is a memorial plaque for the important local poet Joseph Reischl, who was born in Mauerkirchen and lived in this house. Reischl was best known for his poem 's'Mattigtal' and died in this house in 1892.
  • GH Öller - Wildmeister: The Gasthof Öller is located opposite the district court. The game and forest management for the Kobernaußerwald and the Lachforst was located in this house until the 19th century. At the entrance in the portal there is a skylight grille from the time when the so-called game judge was still in office here.
  • Spitzberg Castle: If you go up the Schlossgasse next to the Gasthof Öller, you come to the Spitzenberg Castle. Often times this castle went up in flames. After the great fire of 1865, it was only rebuilt in 1917. Friedrich Mauerkircher, who died as Bishop of Passau in 1485, was one of the most important owners of Spitzenberg Castle. The remains of the curtain wall, which can still be seen along the Schlossgasse, date from the time when Bishop Mauerkircher was the owner.
  • Elementary, secondary and music school: Until 1939, the Mauerkirchner vicarage was located in the place of today's primary and secondary school. On September 1, 1939, on the very day the Second World War broke out, construction began on the school. Towards the end of the war a military hospital was set up in the school area. The school building was expanded twice, most recently from 1977 to 1980, when the large gymnasium was also built.
  • Market fountain with equestrian statues: Until the church fire on June 17, 1865, there were two life-size equestrian statues in the parish church in Mauerkirchner. The riders represented the founder, Heinrich I and the field captain Rasso von Andechs. Old records tell of an inscription that was next to the riders. According to this inscription, King Heinrich I is said to have donated two bronze equestrian statues in honor of 'Our Lady' to Mauerkirchen in 948 after a successful battle of Hungary. These statues were destroyed in the church fire in 1297 and replaced by cast stone statues, which were destroyed in the market fire in 1865. The market fountain built in 1990 is intended to remind of history with this representation.
  • Kaiser Joseph Park: Right next to the church is the Kaiser Joseph Park. Here we see a bronze statue of the reform emperor Joseph II on a granite base. Under Joseph II the Innviertel came from Bavaria to Austria. The monument was erected towards the end of the 19th century by the citizens of Mauerkirchen.
  • Maria-Hafner-Park: see separate menu item Maria-Hafner-Park
  • Christophorus statue: At the Brunnbachbrücke in Untermarkt there is a beautiful Christophorus statue with a child, created by the famous sculptor Rupert Rothböck .
  • Floriani chapel in Biburg: In memory of the serious flood disasters in Mauerkirchen and Biburg, this Floriani chapel was built in Biburg - on the Mattig - in 1991/1992.
  • Jahndenkmal:
  • Stone sculpture by Franz Frauenlob: Since July 2001 the sculptor Franz Frauenlob has been working on a stone sculpture in Josefspark at the invitation of the Mauerkirchen cultural initiative. The stone, a so-called karst marble from Dalmatia, with a weight of approx. 5.5 tons, comes from the former Südbahnhof in Vienna and was donated by the artist. The work is 'two-sided', with the character of the sculpture continuously changing into its opposite as you walk around. In order to lend dynamism to the form, the artist included acute triangles and trapezoids in his design concept. The stone offers various interesting perspectives when walking around it. The sculpture is set up on the Buchberg.

Maria Hafner Park

  • A memorial for the former American release camp in 1945: More than 60 years after its closure, there were and are repeated inquiries from former camp inmates or their relatives as to whether there would be a memorial regarding the former camp. These inquiries from those affected, but also the fact that the local homeland researcher Herbert G. Brandstetter was able to document the history of the camp in his book "Mauerkirchen - Die Chronik", published in 2005, reinforced the desire for such a memorial in Mauerkirchen.
  • Initiatives and extensive planning: In January 2008 Herbert Brandstetter took the initiative in a joint conversation with Mayor Dietmar Vlach and the District Chairman of the Austrian Black Cross (ÖSK), Vice Mayor Walter Haid, and suggested the establishment of a memorial. As a location, he suggested a community-owned property at the end of the Untermarkt. At Brandstetter's request, Wolfgang Vierlinger prepared a first draft plan. Herbert Brandstetter wrote the accompanying text for the display boards. According to the memories of contemporary witness Erwin Pichler, one of the panels shows the enormous size of the camp in an aerial photo from 1951. Photo documents come from the private archive of photographer Peter Nemetz. As a result, the Mauerkirchner municipal council passed a unanimous decision in principle for such a project and the naming of the memorial in "Maria-Hafner-Park". The regional cultural directorate, which was brought in in the spring of 2008, suggested the involvement of further specialists and a sculptor. Paulus Wall (regional cultural directorate) personally got a picture on site during an on-site inspection. The market town entrusted the sculptor Hermann Gschaider, who comes from Mauerkirchen and who lives in Schalchen, with the design of a granite sculpture. In March 2009 the Uttendorf architect Manfred Hellmann created a new, detailed plan. In doing so, he changed the interior design of the facility and suggested that the sculpture be set up in an elevated position in order to make it more visible from the street. A secondary idea of ​​the designer was to highlight those who died in the release camp by placing memorial stones around the sculpture. 18 large granite cubes for the 18 soldiers who died in the release camp emerge from the evenly shaped surface.
  • The construction of the memorial: After the market town had submitted the project with the new documents to the regional cultural directorate for assessment in the spring of 2009 and this finally gave the "green light", the realization of the "Maria Hafner Park" could begin. The architect Hellmann was subsequently commissioned to coordinate the project. In the following September, the necessary earthworks began and in October both the design of the square was completed and the granite sculpture was placed on the planned base. Then the necessary electrical installations and the assembly of the three glass display boards took place. In the spring of 2010, the work was completed with the construction of the benches and the design and planting of the green areas. District captain Georg Wojak and the honorary vice-president of the ÖSK, Karl Harner, supported the construction of this memorial with personal donations.
  • The release camp in Mauerkirchen 1945: Towards the end of the Second World War, the fully motorized (re-established) 6th German Army was in Styria and Upper Austria in April 1945. Their commander, General Hermann Balck , led over 30,000 men into American captivity. Immediately after the collapse of the German resistance, a large part of the 6th German Army was concentrated in the Mauerkirchen-Uttendorf area to form a huge release camp here. The demolition of the two Inn bridges in Braunau (May 1 and 2, 1945) by the National Socialists had a serious disadvantage for the area. Originally, the Allies planned to set up a release camp in Regensburg and Rosenheim. Due to difficulties in transport, however, Mauerkirchen was chosen to do so.
  • The establishment of the camp: On May 3, 1945, the first American troops marched into Mauerkirchen without a fight. Immediately afterwards, the release camp was set up. This extends from Stockleiten along the railway line to Reichsdorf. The officers slept in big cars, the common soldiers in tents, huts or in the open air. A number of railroad trains stood between the Mauerkirchen and St. Georgen stations. Offices were housed in the wagons. Every German prisoner of war was checked for his or her political past. Members of the SS had to march on foot to their own camp in Altheim. On May 10, 1945, the commander of the troops in the American zone of occupation, General Harry John Collins, arrived in Mauerkirchen. In a speech broadcast over loudspeakers in the camp, he assured the camp inmates that they would be released as soon as enough paper could be found to print the release notes. However, he had to admit that the administration was unable to provide the thousands of prisoners with food. On June 17, 1945, several hundred soldiers from the Mauerkirchen camp were brought to Kaprun by truck, where they continued the work on the power plant construction that had to be carried out by forced laborers during the war. 50 soldiers were also assigned to repair the state fire brigade school in Linz.
  • Issue of release papers: From May 20, 1945 the release of the prisoners could begin. The soldiers received their discharge certificates in the (former) brickworks in Eglsee No. 9-11. Those from the area were released immediately, the others were loaded onto trucks and transported back to their homeland. Every day entire motorcades and from the beginning of July also railroad trains drove with the dismissed in all directions. The hope of an early release meant that the huge camp did not have to be surrounded by barbed wire fences or guarded by the Americans. By September 1945 around 200,000 German prisoners of war had been smuggled through and released.
  • Thousands of motor vehicles: In addition to the many soldiers, around 2,400 motor vehicles had been brought into the camp since May 9, 1945 and were then looted many times. In the course of the following months, the vehicles were dragged to Ranshofen, where they were recycled in the aluminum works. There were also about 20 generals among the prisoners. For example, the commander of the "Army Group South", Colonel General Lothar Rendulic (1887–1971), who capitulated to the Americans on May 7, 1945 in St. Martin im Innkreis, the Chief of the General Staff of the 6th Army, General Heinz Gaedcke (1905– 1992), the commander of the 1st Panzer Division, Lieutenant General Eberhard Thunert (1899–1964), or the Infantry General Albrecht Schubert (1886–1966). The German author Karl Aloys Schenzinger (1886–1962) was also one of the prisoners in the Mauerkirchen camp. 18 members of the German armed forces died in the camp as a result of accidents and illnesses . They were buried in the St. Florian cemetery. On September 16, 1945, the Americans dissolved the release camp. Since November 1, 1944, there had been a military hospital in the school building, in which 20 members of the Wehrmacht had died. These were initially buried in the local cemetery. It was not until 1966 that they were exhumed and transferred to the war cemetery of St. Florian.
  • Maria Hafner - the angel of the 6th Army: With the establishment of the release camp in Mauerkirchen, Maria Hafner, as head of the Mauerkirchen local office of the Red Cross, was faced with a task that she had not dared to think about when she took over her post in 1939. With her 32 Red Cross helpers, she worked daily at the main dressing station, where 200 to 300 men had to be looked after at all times. Until the camp was closed in September 1945, the Mauerkirchen Red Cross Sisters provided 194,888 soldiers, including 3,165 wounded, and 4,038 refugees with food, linen, bandages, medicines and hygiene products. In addition, they gave milk, eggs, butter and bread to around 25,000 people. The helpers begged the residents of the area for food and laundry. 131,000 meals were served and around 36,000 hours worked. This averted an impending famine and epidemic risk.
  • Highest distinction: Maria Hafner was born on December 6, 1891 in Mauerkirchen in house Untermarkt No. 31 as the daughter of the master carpenter couple Franz and Maria Katzlberger. In 1920 she married Karl Hafner, who continued the carpentry business in the house at Apothekergasse No. 3. The marriage produced three children: the son Karl (missing in the war in 1944) and the daughters Ilse and Elfriede. Maria Hafner had worked for the Red Cross since 1914, and in 1920 she became an active member. From 1939 she headed the Mauerkirchen branch until her death. In later letters of thanks from members of the Wehrmacht, Sister Maria Hafner is often referred to as the "angel of the 6th Army".
  • Florence Nightingale Medal: On May 17, 1963, she was awarded the highest distinction of the International Red Cross, the “Florence Nightingale Medal”, for her commitment. President Hans Lauda made the presentation in Linz. The importance of the “Florence Nightingale Medal” can be seen from the fact that it is only awarded to 36 people worldwide each year. Hafner was only the fifth Austrian and the first Upper Austrian to receive this award. Maria Hafner, who had also been the bearer of the Golden Ring of Honor of the market town of Mauerkirchen since 1963, died on January 10, 1969, at the age of 77.
  • The establishment of the Maria Hafner Park was funded by the Austrian Red Cross / district office Braunau am Inn and by funds from the state of Upper Austria (regional cultural directorate).


Dietmar Vlach (1953–2015) of the SPÖ was mayor from 1997 until his death on April 22, 2015. The current mayor is Horst Gerner from the SPÖ. The 25 mandates in the municipal council are divided between SPÖ 10, ÖVP 8, FPÖ 6 and Neos 1 seat.

Social facilities

In recent years, a workshop and a house for people with disabilities have been built by the Evangelical Diakoniewerk Gallneukirchen. In addition, 14 serviced apartments were handed over to their destination. In March 2010, the "House for Seniors" with 80 beds was opened to round off and supplement the social offers. Furthermore, a youth and club center was housed in the newly adapted event center (renovation from 2004–2005). A family counseling center “Zentrum Spattstraße” was set up on the 2nd floor of the municipal office.

Population development

year 1991 2001 2011 2018
Residents 2,372 2,297 2,299 2,566

The population decreased from 1991 to 2001 because there was a negative migration balance (−170), which could not be offset by the positive birth balance. There was immigration from 2001 to 2011, but the birth balance turned negative, so that the population remained almost constant.

Regular events

  • Mauerkirchner Christkindlmarkt in December
  • Morning pint by the fire brigade in the school yard in July
  • Farmers market every Thursday
  • Children's Carnival in the multi-purpose hall always on Carnival Sunday
  • Herring feast in the event center every Ash Wednesday


More than 40 clubs are active in Mauerkirchen. Here are some of them:

  • ÖTB gymnastics club Mauerkirchen
  • Mauerkirchen volleyball club
  • SV Mauerkirchen
  • Mauerkirchen tennis club
  • Mauerkirchen volunteer fire department
  • Tractor Club "Die Oidn"
  • Stock shooting club
  • Disc throwing club
  • KuMM - Culture in Mauerkirchen Together
  • Biburg morning pint club
  • Goldhaubengruppe Mauerkirchen
  • Healthy community of Mauerkirchen


Sons and daughters of the church

Honorary Citizen of the Common

  • August Gruber (retired mayor, later member of the state parliament), 1867
  • Karl Freiherr von Schwarz (builder of the Braunau-Steindorf railway line), 1873
  • Friedrich Bergmüller (Mayor, former member of the Landtag and Reichsrat), 1883
  • Franz Xaver Nothaft (pastor), 1901
  • Josef Matzner (Vice Mayor, retired fire brigade commander), 1929
  • Karl Starmühlner (retired mayor, retired fire brigade commander), 1929
  • Mark W. Clark (Commander in Chief of the American Forces in Austria), 1946


  • Herbert G. Brandstetter: Wall churches. The Chronicle. Mauerkirchen municipal office, 2005.
Panoramic picture of the market town of Mauerkirchen

Web links

Commons : Mauerkirchen  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Statistics Austria: Population on January 1st, 2020 by locality (area status on January 1st, 2020) , ( CSV )
  2. Statistics Austria : Changes to judicial districts , March 26, 2008 (PDF)
  3. ^ State of Upper Austria, history and geography, coat of arms. Retrieved April 8, 2019 .
  4. ^ Province of Upper Austria, municipal elections 2015, Mauerkirchen. Retrieved April 8, 2019 .
  5. ^ Statistics Austria, A look at the community of Mauerkirchen, population development. Retrieved April 8, 2019 .
  6. salzburg.com