Maria Dürrnberg Pilgrimage Church

Located high above the saline town of Hallein (770 m), with a breathtaking view as far as the provincial capital of Salzburg and beyond, the red brick Marienkirche Church immediately catches the eye of hikers and pilgrims walking up from the valley.

You enter the church grounds through a triumphal arch. Its gable shows the emblem of the Salzburg Archbishop Markus Sittikus under whose reign the construction of the church was completed (1619).

The wall enclosing the grounds dates back to the same time and was designed by the Salzburg master builder Santino Solari. One of the three towerlike corner chapels is today a soldiers’ memorial with a crucifix carved by the well-known Hallein sculptor Jakob Adlhart.

The church’s austere main facade seems unexpectedly steep, its proportions are however architecturally of great interest. The high wall is framed by two wide corner structures known as “Ecklinsen” and is surmounted by a distinctly profiled triangular gable. Another remarkable characteristic is the various openings arranged exclusively along the centre axis: three round windows of varying size and shape in the gable, with gallery windows below and finally the portal cut from Untersberg marble which shows an emblem and an inscription of the sovereign ruler of the time.

Another distinctive characteristic of the late Renaissance building is the massive spire built in the style of a Venetian campanile. Inside, 200 marble stairs wind around four mighty stone pillars up to the belfry. The spire is topped by a high pyramid-shaped roof.