The Basilica of Birnau

The pilgrimage church of Birnau – a choir of angels perched high above the vineyards.

High above the lake, the slender, pink and white Baroque tower of Birnau church nestles among the picturesque vineyards. Standing on the viewing platform in front of the church it’s easy to understand why this place has become so popular for both tourist excursions and weddings.

Passing through the portals of the sanctuary, the visitor enters a totally different world, one of Baroque splendour and religious devotion. In the ornate interior, it’s easy to see why the basilica is considered to be the finest Baroque church in the region. The weightlessness of the decoration, the plasticity of the angel figures by the sculptor Joseph Anton Feuchtmayer; the brilliance of the painted ceiling, executed by the artist Gottfried Bernhard Göz: all these make the interior a feast of colour and splendour. Built in 1750 and dedicated to the Virgin Mary, the church is a place of pilgrimage, attracting many believers each year, and is still cared for by a working order of Cistercian monks. The clock faces on the tower, pointing in all four directions, and the three in the interior of the church, are all part of the oldest working clock in Germany.

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