Photographer's Note

On a clear day you could see the east face of the Watzmann mountain as a backdrop to this monastery. Visibility is poor this morning – the mountain is completely hidden in fog. Nothing to see but fog on my passage here by electric powered boat from Schönau a. Königssee. This photo was taken from the pier upon my arrival. The ancient wooden building on the right is the boathouse. Adjoining the church is the former hunting lodge of Bavarian kings. Between the church & the boathouse is a smokehouse and cafe (hidden but I will show it in another posting) where I had coffee & breakfast before starting the walk.

The hunting lodge and pilgrimage church were founded by the Prince-Provosts of Berchtesgaden in 1134. The triple-concha design of the church dates back to 1697; the stucco-work (see WS) is by the Salzburg master Joseph Schmidt. In the 18th century the summer and hunting palace was rebuilt, with older building sections incorporated. After Berchtesgaden became part of Bavaria in 1810, the palace became a hunting lodge for the Bavarian kings and was one of their favourite haunts. Since the Romantic period, the world famous pilgrimage church, set against the Watzmann range, has been a source of inspiration for numerous landscape painters.

Since the 14th century, a pilgrimage has taken place around St. Bartholomew's Day (August 24th), the day that the chapel was first consecrated, leading pilgrims from Maria Alm, near Saalfelden in Austria. The pilgrimage is said to have originated as a taken of thanks on the part of the inhabitants of Saalfelden when they were spared the ravages of the black plague. Now pilgrims are accompanied by musicians and cross the Steinernes Meer range. At the Austro-Bavarian border, they are welcomed by a Bavarian delegation consisting of the mayor and other officials.

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Additional Photos by latiff ttdi (ls7902) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 986 W: 194 N: 1674] (7380)
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