Maria Saal Cathedral

The Pilgrimage Church of the Assumption of Mary (German: Propstei- und Wallfahrtskirche Maria Himmelfahrt), also called Maria Saal Cathedral (German: Maria Saaler Dom), is a Catholic church in the town of Maria Saal[1] in Carinthia, Austria.[2][3] Though not the see of a bishop, the church building is a renowned monument of Late Gothic architecture and one of Carinthia's most visited landmarks.

Maria Saal Cathedral
  • Propstei- und Wallfahrtskirche Mariae Himmelfahrt  (German)
  • Maria Saaler Dom  (German)
LocationMaria Saal
Country Austria
DenominationRoman Catholic
StatusPilgrimage church
Architectural typeHall church
StyleLate Gothic
Years built1430-1459
Length50 metres (160 ft)
Width20 metres (66 ft)


A first church dedicated to St. Mary was probably built on the site about 753 at the behest of the missionary bishop Modestus, called the Apostle of Carantania. One of the first parishes in the region, this Carolingian church became the initial point of Christianisation, therefore regarded the mother church of Carinthia assuming the title of 'cathedral' (Dom). The community was vested with extensive properties by the Archbishops of Salzburg.

From 945 the parish was under direct jurisdiction of the Salzburg archdiocese. When in 1072 a Carinthian bishop was appointed, he took his see at Gurk, and the role of a mother church passed to Gurk Cathedral erected from about 1140 onwards. Nevertheless, the church of Maria Saal remained important as the site, where the Dukes of Carinthia traditionally obtained ecclesiastical blessings after their installation at the nearby Prince's Stone.

The present-day church was built in a Late Gothic style between 1430 and 1459, then partly refurbished with a Baroque interior in the 17th century. The tradition that the bishop of Gurk is also dean of the Church of the Assumption of Mary in Maria Saal, has survived to this day.

See also


  1. Christina Pfeffer, Franz Schröder: Propstei und Wallfahrtskirche Maria Saal. (Kirchenführer) Kunstverlag Peda, Passau 2004, ISBN 3-89643-555-8
  2. "Diözese Gurk-Klagenfurt • Dekanat Klagenfurt-Land • Maria Saal". Retrieved 2016-09-08.
  3. Dehio-Handbuch. Die Kunstdenkmäler Österreichs. Kärnten. Anton Schroll, Wien 2001, ISBN 3-7031-0712-X, S. 512-519

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