The diocese of Engelhartszell is documented for the first time in 1214 und 1227. It can be assumed that at this time a church already existed.
The beautiful parish church of Engelhartszell lies on a rock in the town centre and can be accessed from the market place with 62 steps. The church offers a worth seeing baroque interior.
A unique feature is hidden in the triumphal arch to the Altar: Behind the statue of the Saint John you can see a rectangular deepening – the mount for a rood screen! During the middle age the altar room was only accessible for clergy and thus, was separated by a richly ornamented wall – the rood screen or in German “Lettner” – from the worldly nave.
In this parish church a crucifix group used to be situated before the rood screen, which can be still seen on the outer wall above the main entrance. After the Council of Trent in the 16th century these barriers were removed from most churches and the high altars, which were visible for everyone, were installed.
To the history:
From 1459 to 1503: A marble panel in presbytery and a civil emblem at the southern entry document that in 1459 the chancel and in 1503 the nave was constructed. On 12th August in 1509 the gothic market church was consecrated by the Bishop Urban from Passau.
In 1764 the church was artistically redesigned in the baroque style by the Tyrolean sculptor Joseph Deutschmann. Also the gothic spire was replaced by an onion-shaped baroque steeple.
Old gravestones on the outer walls display the historical importance of the market town.
Constructed on a rock in the centre of town, the Parish church, visible from far way, dominates the image of Engelhartszell. From the market place 62 steps lead up to a round tour with a fantastic view over the town.