Verschiedene Weihrauch Gegenstände, Weihrauch, Gold und Myrrhe im Altöttinger Weihrauchmuseum.
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Experience the Fascination of Incense in Altötting

Its fragrance is closely connected to the High Masses celebrated by the church. Many people have experienced its beneficial and pain-relieving effect. At times there is something mystical about incense, and at other times it is just relaxing. "At our small incense museum, we wish to show our guests the craftsmanship that goes into such products and how much there is to be learned about incense” says Eva Kilwing. She initiated the incense museum (including concept shop) which is located at the Chapel Square 2 (Kapellplatz 2) in Altötting. A visit to the museum is very informative, and many secrets are revealed.

The relatively small room is stylishly furnished. There is a gleam in the eyes of every visitor when they see the colourful and beautifully arranged blends on display at the Weihrauchmanufaktur Kilwing (Incense Manufactory Kilwing). Even more pleasant, relaxing and soothing are the very interesting fragrances, which are not obtrusive at all.

Verschiedene Weihrauch varianten im Altöttinger Weihrauchmuseum.

Incense is Real Craftsmanship

Visitors experience the myth of incense with all their senses. The brief discovery tour starts with a look at the large sacks on the floor. "They contain the dried resinous gum of Boswellia trees, which we obtain from various harvest areas" explains Kilwing. The mighty trees grow only under certain climatic conditions. Calcareous soils, desert climate and trade winds all have a favourable effect on their growth. Moreover, the moisture generated by monsoons is also of vital importance. Incense originates from the South Arabian region, such as Oman, as well as from countries along the Horn of Africa or from India. "The entire incense production chain is based on nothing but manual work, starting with the resin harvest stretching over several months" says Eva Kilwing. Visitors also do "manual work" when they put large dried pieces of resin into their hands. They exude an exquisite scent. "The time of harvest, the Boswellia variety, the harvest region, a certain colour and size of the resin are decisive factors for optimum quality. Large pieces store the essential oils best" the expert points out. In view of its colour, the pure natural product is called "white gold". "The trees are all family owned. They are sometimes used as a dowry. In the old days, this important resource was the subject of many a fight" says Eva Kilwing.

The Incense Museum

The museum is small, but impressive. There are interestingly designed boards with information reaching from the history of incense up to the areas of incense application. Some 3,500 years ago different peoples already recognised the beneficial effect of incense on the body. They discovered that smoke disinfects the air. Incense is also an ingredient of ointments applied on the joints and skin. The Persian physician Avicenna already discovered the benefits of frankincense pearls for internal use. What is so special about incense is the power of boswellic acids. They have a favourable effect on chronic inflammatory diseases. The scientifically proven beneficial effects of  "white gold" are demonstrated on the boards displayed at the museum.

Das Weihrauchmuseum in Altötting mit den verschiedenen Weihrauchschalen.

The History of Incense

The burning of dried resinous gum was of practical and mystical significance. Since ancient times people have used aromatic smoke to enhance their living environment and to effectively fumigate it. The Pharaohs used it for ritual acts. The Romans used incense to replace offerings. It is beautiful and valuable – after all, God was to receive the most beautiful gifts. The church has used incense since the middle of the 1st millennium A.D. and has used it permanently as a symbol of celebration since 1570. Among others, Jesus was to be experienced through the use of incense. When visitors to the museum are shown the art of fumigating, they can experience the sensuality that the gentle scent of incense exudes. The body absorbs the smoke of the essential oils with all its pores. Some people still feel the power of incense hours after visiting the museum, as its naturally gentle scent miraculously lingers in their nose.

Das Weihrauchmuseum Altötting Kilwing mit einer Weihrauchschale, in der die "Innere Ruhe" liegt.