Das Käppele Würzburg: AKA 'Visitation of Mary Pilgrimage Church'
The Käppele (Chapel) in Würzburg is not usually one of the first sites that those with limited time in Würzburg get to see. Usually they head straight to the Alte Mainbrücke or Festung Marienburg. Since I have been lucky enough to spend a lot of time in Würzburg, I have had chance to admire the elegance of the Käppele close-up.
It was two days before Christmas Day that I went to visit the Käppele. It was the most wonderful time of the year in which to go since the snow had left a crisp white layer on the ground. There was a kind of mass taking place at the chapel so I could hear the choir singing festive hymns. It was, in many senses a dream-setting for an 18th century historical film and the chapel looked exactly as you would expect it to be portrayed in a book.
The Käppele functions first and foremost as a place of pilgrimage to worship the Virgin Mary. But whether you are there for religious reasons or otherwise, the Käppele is a treat to the eyes. The architecture reflects purely rococo design, never more obvious than when you enter the "Miracle-working Chapel" and take a closer look at the gold ornaments, babes, reliefs and wall paintings. This was added in 1778, 29 years after the Käppele was completed in 1749.
I did not stay long inside the chapel for want of not disturbing the mass that was taking place, but I did stay a little longer outside listening to the choir and admiring the view over Würzburg. It is quite a walk up to the Käppele, and in bad weather I recommend making the journey by car. It is possible to park close to the Käppele, but there is still a 5-10 minute walk to get to the main doors.
If I had chance to stay somewhile longer in the chapel, I think it would be interesting to take a look at the Pilgrimage Guest Book. I'm sure in here it would sum up the exact feelings of each and every person that comes to admire such a lovely piece of architecture, for reasons both pious and artistic. [more]
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