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Church Penisula - Maria Wörth

Maria Wörth became property of Freising between 875 and 883. Its first documentation was in 894 and it was made to the collegiate church by Bishop Otto of Freising in 1146.  During this time the second church of Maria Wörth, the so called winter or Rosary church, was sanctified. In 1279 a charnel house was built right next to the church. Even though some architectural changes were made from time to time, the charnel house as well as the two churches provide an excellent insight in the Romanesque architecture of that time. The collegiate church has a crypt, while the winter church offers beautiful cycles of frescoes from the 12th century. In the 20th century the south bank of the Lake Wörther evolved into a popular international tourism site.  

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    • Church Penisula - Maria Wörth Originally, Maria Wörth hadn´t been a peninsula, but a small island in the Lake Wörther. It was not until 1770, a connection to the main land existed, due to embankments and the downwelling of the water level. Between 875 and 883 it became property of Freising. The church, which is located on the highest point of the island, was first mentioned in 894. Supposedly, the relics of the holy Primus and Felician, who suffered from martyrdom in the 3rd century, were brought to Maria Wörth unter the reign of Bishop Waldo von Freising (884-906). For this reason Maria Wörth definitely became the center of the Freising mission. It was upraised to the collegiate church by Bishop Otto von Freising (1138-1158) and the first provost was mentioned in 1151. In 1155, presumably under the presence of Bishop Roman the First, another church, the so called winter or rosary church, was sanctified. In 1279 provost Heinrich founded a charnel house in honour of the Holy Katharina, Elizabeth and Magdalena. In 1399 both churches were damaged by a severe fire, but they were reconstructed soon after. Around 1500 the brightness of Freising seemed to fade away. The Provost´s church descended to a benefice with no official functions. In 1529 Maria Wörth was incorporated by the St. George´s order of knights in Millstatt. After the transfer of the commodities to the Jesuit order in 1598, the existence of the second oldest Provost´s church in Austria came to an end. After the Jesuit order was prohibited by Pope Clemens XIV in 1773, Maria Wörth again became a simple parish.
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    Architecture and Furniture

    • Church Penisula - Maria Wörth The Collegiate Church Maria Wörth is located on the highest point of the peninsula, about 20 meters over the water level. Through a portal, which is built in the late Gothic style, the visitors enter the cemetery. The partially conserved curtain wall tells the story of the erstwhile fortification of this church. On the right side of the Romanesque portal in the south there is a relief figure located in a late Gothic niche, which most likely displays the Holy Primus. In the center of this sacral building you´ll find the Romanesque crypt right under the main chancel. The cross vault of the three-bay crypt with its square outline is pillared by marble cribs. In the crypt reside the mortal remains of the martyrs Primus and Felician. The winter or rosary church, which is located in the west of the Collegiate Church, is typical of a square choir church from Early Middle Ages. This building, which originally was flat-angled and surrounded by a cemetery wall, received a burred cross vault in the 16th century. Typically Gothic are the windows as well as the chapel and the vestry in the south of this compound. The charnel house, which became the chapel in 1279, is a two-story rotunda with a cone-type roof and apsis in the upper floor.

      The cycle of frescoes from the 12th century, which was rediscovered in the chancel of the winter church in 1895, is one of the most exciting treasuries of the Romanesque Art in the Alps region. The images show Christ as the judge of the world on a throne as well as the twelve apostles, who are place in the arcades.


      After the fire in 1399 the Romanesque windows were replaced by Gothic windows and the frescoes were partly damaged. During the restoration in 1969 even more frescoes from the 14th century appeared on the north side of the nave. A glass painting in the chancel of the winter church from the year 1420 depicts Maria with her child. An enthroned Mother of God is located at the center of the Baroque altar of the collegiate church Maria Wörth. The statue of the Virgin Mary is surrounded by statues of the Holy Primus and Felician from the 17th century. The rest of the interior of the church are in the Baroque style, except two late Gothic panels on the western wall of the baptistery. Only inside the Romanesque crypt one can find wall paintings from the 15th century.

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    Regular guided visits


Römisch-katholische Pfarrpfründe in Maria Wörth
Pfarrplatz 1
9082 Maria Wörth
Ph. +43 4273 2289

Tourist Information:
Tourismusinformation Maria Wörth
Seepromenade 5
9082 Maria Wörth
Österreich / Austria
+43 4273 2240-21

Highlight Churches

Opening Hours:

Rosary and Winter Church

April - September
8am - 6pm

October - March
9am - 5pm

Church Penisula - Maria Wörth

Church Penisula - Maria Wörth