The baroque monastery of Einsiedeln, destination of many pilgrimages.
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The "14 holy helpers well"
Wonderfully fresh water flows from its 14 tubes.
In 835 Meinrad, a Benedictine monk from the island of Reichenau, retreated as a hermit to the "Dark Forest". He was followed by other hermits, among them Bishop Benno of Metz. In 934 Eberhard, a distinguished priest from Strasbourg, gathered the hermits together in a Benedictine monastery.
The Romanesque and then Gothic monastery suffered the fate of many other European monasteries and churches. In the baroque period the buildings no longer met the spatial requirements. They were demolished. In 1704 the current monastery complex was begun: a strictly symmetrical Baroque building with four inner courtyards.
Famous is the miraculous image of the black Madonna of Einsiedeln. It stands in the Chapel of Grace
Over the centuries, the Madonna and Child of Einsiedeln have turned black through the soot from candles, oil lamps and incense.
However, when she was ceremonially allowed to return to Einsiedeln in 1803, five years after fleeing from the French, she was restored in Austria. The artist made the skin clean again and thus flesh-coloured. But people were disappointed: "This is not our Madonna - ours is black!" So the artist painted over the face and hands with black paint, and that's how it has remained until today. The hermit Madonna had made her mark on the people as the Black Madonna.
After a few stages of pilgrimage through Switzerland we encounter the black Madonna again and again. There are many copies of the Hermit Madonna. For example in Freiburg in the Franciscan Church, or on the pilgrimage route between Ulm and Constance in Oberdischingen (in the chapel near the Cursillo House St. James).
When we visited the Madonna again in August 2015, she wore a different robe -
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Rapperswil - Einsiedeln
Overview Camino de Santiago in Switzerland
Einsiedeln - Schwyz
Galgenen - Einsiedeln