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Basilika Wilten

Innsbruck, Austria

Wilten's Parish and Pilgrimage Church, the Wilten Basilica, is one of the most splendid houses of worship in Tirol. As legend has it, even Roman Legionnaires were attracted to it by the fame of a Madonna Painting. This place of pilgrimage was taken over by the Premonstratensian Order in 1140. The first church on the site was erected around 1259 and was visited by large numbers of people. When the original church was in a dilapidated state it was removed and rebuilt between 1751 and 1756 in a rich Rococo style with twin towers. The design of the new church was entrusted to Josef Stapf, one of the most eminent church architects of his generation. The interior of the church is a kaleidoscope of soft colors, mixed with glorious gold and lavish rococo plasterwork by Franz Xaver Feichtmayr and Anton Gigl. The elaborate ceiling murals are by Matthaus Gunther and depict scenes from the life of the Virgin Mary. The sandstone figure depicting Our Lady Under the Four Columns on the high altar had been the subject of pilgrimage since the Middle Ages.

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