Wies Church


Wies Church

Infobox World Heritage Site
WHS = Pilgrimage Church of Wies


State Party = GER
Type = Cultural
Criteria = i, iii
ID = 271
Region = Europe and North America
Year = 1983
Session = 7th
Link = http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/271
The pilgrimage church of Wies (German: "Wieskirche") is an oval rococo church, designed in the late 1740s by Dominikus Zimmermann, who spent the last eleven years of his life in a nearby dwelling. It is located in the foothills of the Alps, the Steingaden municipality of the Weilheim-Schongau district, Bavaria, Germany. In 1738 tears were seen on a dilapidated wooden figure of the Scourged Saviour. This miracle resulted in a pilgrimage rush to see the sculpture. In 1740 a small chapel was built to house the statue, but it was soon realized that the building would be too small for the number of pilgrims it attracted, and thus Steingaden Abbey decided to commission a separate shrine. Many people who have prayed in front of the statue of Jesus on the altar have claimed that people have been miraculously cured of their diseases, which has made this church even more of a pilgrimage site.

Construction took place between 1745 and 1754, and the interior was decorated in stuccowork in the tradition of the Wessobrunner School. "Everything was done throughout the church to make the supernatural visible. Sculpture and murals combined to unleash the divine in visible form" [Citation
last = White | first = James F.
title =
isbn = 0-8146-6194-7
page = 50
] .

A popular myth claims that the Bavarian state had planned to sell or demolish the rococo masterpiece during Secularization at the beginning of the 19th century, and that only protests from the local farmers saved this jewel of rococo architecture from destruction. Available sources however document that the state commission in charge clearly advocated the continuation of Wies as a pilgrimage site, in spite even of economic objections from the Steingaden abbot. [Citation
last1 = Stutzer | first1 = Dietmar
last2 = Fink | first2 = Alois
title = Die irdische und die himmlische Wies
publisher = Rosenheimer Verlag
year = 1982
publication-place = Rosenheim
isbn = 3-475-52355-8
pages = 99-100
]

The "Wieskirche" was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1983 and underwent massive restoration in 1985-91.

Notes

External links

* [http://www.wieskirche.de Homepage of the Wieskirche]
* [http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/271 Wies at the UNESCO]


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