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Pilgrimage Tours in Bavaria

Altötting - Homeland of Pope Benedict XVI

Altötting - "the Heart of Bavaria and one of Europe's hearts" (Pope Benedict XVI, 2005)

For centuries, Altötting has been the spiritual center of Bavaria and the most significant place of pilgrimage in Germany in veneration of Virgin Mary. The "Black Madonna" (a wooden statue from 1330) is kept inside the octagon of the Chapel of Grace. A copy of the Altötting Madonna is displayed in the Basilica of the National Shrine in Washington D.C.

From May to October, numerous pilgrimages, festive church services and candlelight processions (always on Saturday night) take place here. Pope Benedict XVI visited Altötting in 2006 and, in 2008, he decorated the most important Marian Shrine in Germany with the Golden Rose.

Altötting is located in the Upper Bavarian Alpine region between Munich, Passau and Salzburg, not very far from Lake Chiemsee and in the vicinity of Marktl (11 miles), the birthplace of Pope Benedict XVI. Altötting is also the starting point of the 139 mile Benedict Trail, connecting the places where Pope Benedict spent his early and later childhood.
For art lovers, the late gothic Stiftskirche (Collegiate Church) with its former cloister and the new Treasury with its famous "Goldenes Rössl" (1392) are of great interest as is the monumental cyclorama "Jerusalem Panorama" of the year 1903. This classic panorama of the Crucifixion of Christ in Altötting is Germany's sole historic large-scale panorama (approximately 12,917 sq ft). Its creator was Prof. Gebhard Fugel (1863 - 1939) a 20th century doyen of biblical artwork.

A unique ambience can be felt around Christmas time with the Altötting Christmas market, the traditional Alpine Advent Choirs, a great Christmas Concert, the magnificent mangers and the richly decorated town center.