Boasting a privileged location in the attractive Alpine foothills of Upper Bavaria, Altötting is centred between Munich, Passau, Salzburg and Lake Chiemsee. For over 1250 years the town has been Bavaria’s spiritual centre and for five centuries has featured as Germany’s principle Marian pilgrimage site.
The objective for over one million pilgrims and visitors each year is to see the “Black Madonna” kept in the octagonal Chapel of Grace. In all probability an early Christian baptistery erected around the year 700, this small church structure stands at the centre of the spacious chapel square so elegantly surrounded by Baroque buildings. The chapel also houses a silver urn immortalizing the hearts of Bavarian kings and prince-electors, as well as precious votive offerings.
Pope Benedict XVI, who was born nearby in the town of Marktl and who is closely connected to Altötting through his numerous official, as well as private visits, described the pilgrimage town as the “Heart of Bavaria and one of the Hearts of Europe”. In the course of his pastoral tour in 2006 Pope Benedict XVI also paid a visit to Altötting and in 2008 he awarded the town the high distinction of the “Golden Rose”.
In the following pages you will find interesting and important information pertaining to a stay in our pilgrimage town.