© Photo: Oberösterreich Tourismus GmbH./Robert Maybach: Enjoy the view in Upper Austria
Enjoy the view in Upper Austria

Kirchen und Kapellen von Eggelsberg

Eggelsberg, Oberösterreich, Österreich
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Church and chapels in the municipality of Eggelsberg

Anyone arriving at Weinberghöhe from Gundertshausen on a clear day will be struck by the beauty of the picture that suddenly appears before their eyes as if by magic. The horizon is framed by the blue Alps with their glowing firns, and the gentle hills huddle in front of them, adorned with the darkness of the forests and the friendly colours of the farmland. Happy market town! Embedded in so much beauty, protected by one of the most beautiful buildings in the Innviertel, the "Innviertler Domes", as many people call this extraordinary country church. Traces of human life were found in 1959 with the discovery of a pottery shard from the late Stone Age at the foot of the "Schlossberg" (formerly called Pankranzenberg) in the IBM district. In 1958, a 25.50 cm long bronze needle was found at a depth of one to one and a half metres in the Kager peat trench. Two prehistoric burial mounds were discovered on the south-eastern shore of the Heratinger See.
The castle was the centre of life in the village for almost a millennium. Wernhart de Idina was the first lord of Ibm Castle to appear in history in 1070. The castle, which had suffered a great deal from frequent changes of ownership and various fires, was abandoned as early as 1816 due to dilapidation and was left to decay. It was demolished around 1900 and the remains were used to fill in the road in the moor between Ibm and Hackenbuch. The district of GUNDERTSHAUSEN was first mentioned in a document in 1070, EGGELSBERG in 1143.

Eggelsberg parish church
The parish church was built between 1420 and 1436 on the highest point in EGGELSBERG. The originally Gothic 72 metre high tower dominates the countryside for miles around. The massive cemetery wall surrounds the church, which is accessed via a gatehouse. It makes the church look like a church of refuge. The building can be attributed to the Burghausen master builder Oswald Bürkel and his cousin Konrad. The two-aisled Gothic building is attributed to the "Bürkel type", characterised by a strong central pillar in the nave. The church is accessible through south and north-facing porches with star vaults. The ogee-arched portals feature heavy doors with Gothic locks and ornate fittings in fleur-de-lis ornamentation. The stylised lily is often associated with the coat of arms of the Sonderdorf family, today the municipal coat of arms of Eggelsberg. According to tradition, the Sonderdorf family, lords of Ibm Castle, generously sponsored the extension of the church. The ceiling of the church is richly decorated with ornaments and scrollwork from the Gothic period. The interior of the church was superbly remodelled in three phases during the Baroque period. Around 1648, the life-size crucifix, a jewel among the works of art in the church, was created by the Braunau sculptor Martin Zürn. It used to be attached to the centre pillar and is now located on the north wall of the presbytery. The work is of noble grandeur and poignant inwardness. The organ case, dating from 1653, has five parts and is painted in black and gold. The round pictures depict the Annunciation. The year 1866 (the year the organ was thoroughly repaired) appears in the centre. The first church bell dates back to 1498.

Chapels, wayside shrines and shrines
In addition to the four large chapels in the parish of Eggelsberg, there are other chapels scattered around the parish, along roads and paths, which bear witness to the piety and devotion of our ancestors. As places of worship and silent witnesses of bygone days, they are part of the familiar landscape of our homeland and deserve to be preserved and cared for accordingly. The history of the origin of these cultural monuments is usually no longer known in detail. It was often accidents and illnesses, often storms and fires that gave rise to the construction of a chapel. They were built out of gratitude for help in times of need or for no particular reason to honour God. The construction and furnishings were not so much based on artistic considerations, but were mostly solid craftsmanship that corresponded to the feelings of the population.

Chapel in Ibm:
When the castle in Ibm was demolished, the era of the castle chapel also came to an end. Fortunately, the statue of "Maria Hilf", which dates back to the 15th century and is certified in an old document as having miraculous powers, was saved by Mr Rauchberger, who later donated it to the chapel. Today, the statue is the centrepiece of the chapel.
The "Maria Hilf" chapel in Ibm was built more than 100 years ago by the Ibm chapel association. The chapel, originally built to honour the memory of the great patron of Ibm, Mr August Plank von Plankenburg, became the new and venerable home of the "Mother of God with the Child".
The original, neo-Gothic altar was removed due to its desolate condition - the new altar was rebuilt according to a photograph, true to the original style - down to the last detail. A Stations of the Cross were found during work on the bell tower. The "St Augustine", a statue of a saint from the castle - early 15th century - was expertly restored and placed above the entrance door to the chapel.
Church services are held in the chapel every week (in the summer months on Fridays at 7 pm, in winter on Saturdays at 8 am).

Chapel in Gundertshausen:
The neo-Gothic chapel in Gundertshausen was built by the first brewer Matthias Würzinger between 1853 and 1856. The chapel was dedicated to St Mary. Although it has remained in the possession of the brewing families to this day, it has always served the ecclesiastical life of the village of Gundertshausen in the spirit of its builder. The entire building was thoroughly renovated in 1984. The interior is dominated by the richly carved neo-Gothic altar, which still has clear Gothic elements. The altarpiece shows the Mother of God with the child above an old view of Gundertshausen. St Mary is flanked by the apostles Andrew and Matthias. The figures standing halfway up the altar structure under small turrets represent the four evangelists St John, St Luke, St Matthew and St Mark. A beautiful wrought-iron altar screen separates the presbytery from the church interior and statues of St Maximilian and St Valentine stand on a console. There is a carved crucifix on the right-hand wall of the church. In a dungeon niche to the left of the entrance stands the figure of "Our Lord in misery", a remarkable depiction of the tormented Christ. Two pictures outside the presbytery show events that once moved the village population. After the last restoration, the little church was consecrated by Diocesan Bishop Maximilian on 6 October 1984 as part of an Innviertel church consecration festival. Regular church services no longer take place in Gundertshausen. However, there are individual atmospheric devotions throughout the church year.

Chapel in Herating:
The "Edelsitz von Herolding", first mentioned in 1070 as a place of skulls, once included a church dedicated to St Catherine. It stood on the lakeshore and was surrounded by a cemetery. The church is mentioned in several documents. It had its own priest, who received two potato fields and a cow as his salary, and the little tufa church was closed around 1780 under Josef II and had to be demolished due to dilapidation. Grandfather Wimmer, born in 1861, and Anthaler's father, born in 1849, were told what happened back then by "Kragleder Krump" (presumably so called because of his walking disability), who as a young boy served at the last mass. It was the Sunday after Ascension Day. The priest stood on the already rotten pulpit and read the Gospel: "A little while and you will see me no more", broke through the pulpit, stood up and continued reading: "A little while again and you will see me again". The boy went home after mass and recounted the "funny" incident. His father, he said, then gave him a good shake by the ears and told him "remember, that was the last mass in Herating". At the beginning of the 20th century, the castle in Ibm and the castle chapel were demolished. Franz, a farm labourer in Herating, was sent there to work. The labourers took home everything they didn't want to use for the substructure of the road to Hackenbuch. This farm labourer took the bell from the castle chapel with him to Herating. In 1909, it was placed on the farmhouse as a roof bell to call the servants to meals, where it still stands today. Today's chapel was built from the remains of the old church around the middle of the 19th century. It was restored in 1975 by the owners of the Herating estate, Alois and Ida Wimmer, with the help of the rural youth, and the altarpiece, painted between 1650 and 1670, depicts "Maria Hilf". It was restored in 2001 by Countess Divina von Schlick und Weissenburg in an exemplary manner. The four statues depict St Augustine, St Ambrose, St Florian and St Aloisius. They probably originate from the old church due to their size. St Catherine is always referred to as the patron saint of the church, while St Augustine could be a secondary patron saint.

St Koloman's Chapel in Oberhaunsberg (Kolomanischacher)
The chapel was built at the beginning of the 19th century on the road to Fillmannsbach, probably in memory of the Heimhausen church, which was demolished in 1784. It is owned by the Hitzginger family from the Haunsbergergut estate and is an important cultural monument. The chapel was restored in 1965 and is a small prayer chapel with a rectangular floor plan, dedicated to St Coloman. The patron saint of the chapel was arrested on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land in Stockerau in 1012 on suspicion of being a Hungarian spy and hanged after unsuccessful torture. His grave is in Melk. He is commemorated by a 17th century relief depicting his capture with eight people. The valuable group of figures was stolen from the chapel in 1972, but was later found again. In order to protect it from further access, it was handed over to the O.Ö. Provincial Museum. A copy was placed in the chapel, but was stolen again in 1992. Important works of art from the chapel, which probably originate from the demolished church in Heimhausen, are on loan to the parish church in Eggelsberg. These are the Madonna with the sceptre from the Zürn workshop and two Gothic figures of bishops. Another valuable statue was stolen after the Second World War and the year 1839 can be seen on the back wall, while the number 1878 with the letters I.H. can be seen on the grille.

KAINZBAUER chapel in Untergrub
According to tradition, the chapel was built by the great-grandfather of the current owner. The reason for this was that the farming couple had been childless for a long time. When the longed-for blessing of children finally materialised, the farmer built the chapel out of gratitude. It is furnished with a pew and features sacred images.

HANGÖBL chapel in Bergstetten
The chapel was in a poor state of repair and was recently thoroughly renovated. According to tradition, prolonged misfortune in the barn prompted the owner at the time to promise to build a chapel to pray for the prevention of further misfortune. The chapel was built and the cattle returned to normal.

BUHER chapel in Heimhausen
The former owner of the Buher estate was seriously injured with a circular saw in the 1920s. However, the wound healed without permanent damage. In gratitude and for the farmer's happy return from the war, he built the chapel at the Buher estate in 1927. The Holy Family is depicted on a ceiling fresco. At the front is a grotto with a statue of the Virgin Mary.

SCHLÖGL chapel in Gundertshausen
Nothing is known about the construction history of the old brick portal niche, which apparently dates back to the previous century. It and the land on which it stands have passed into other hands several times and is now visually very cramped due to the development of the surrounding area. The interior has been deepened as a result of the road level being raised. The central mural, which was restored some time ago, shows signs of damage again. The chapel is an old cultural asset worthy of preservation in the centre of Gundertshausen.

"LENZ SEPP" - Chapel in Heimhausen
The chapel is in good condition and was once richly decorated. At the end of the 1980s, however, it was plundered by art thieves. A wooden figure of St Coloman was stolen from the small altar. The existing pictures were cut out of the less valuable frames and also stolen. The chapel is now decorated with conventional pictures and figures. Nothing more is known about when and why the chapel was built

FLACHNER Chapel in Unterhausberg
The chapel is said to have been built around 1500. This would make it one of the oldest buildings in the municipality. The chapel dedicated to St Barbara was furnished with a valuable, painted wooden statue of this saint as well as an old wooden cross with fittings, which are still preserved but have been removed from the chapel. The wrought-iron grilles bear the date 1913. There is a memorial plaque in the chapel that tells of the happy outcome of a rare mishap. On 11 August 1916, the four-year-old son of the former owner of the farm and the chapel swallowed a five-centimetre-long garment pin, the kind used to fasten neckerchiefs. The needle, which is attached to the memorial plaque, fell off naturally after three days thanks to the intercession of St Barbara.

PEST Chapel (RUMPLER Chapel) in Haselreith
The history of the chapel goes back to the time of the plague. It is said to have been built in 1651. The plague also devastated the population of Haselreith. Only three farmers are said to have survived, having buried themselves in a dung heap. According to legend, they built the plague chapel. In more recent times, the tastefully decorated chapel has been raided several times by art robbers. Around 1960, artistically carved figures of apostles were stolen. A valuable rural crucifix fell victim to thieves in 1990 and a year later a beautiful picture of the Virgin Mary was stolen. Now there is a plaster figure in the venerable chapel.

SIEGLER chapel in the Gundertshaussen district
The chapel is located off the road in the immediate vicinity of the Sieglergut. It is a small courtyard chapel and nothing is known about its construction history. Inside there is a statue of Christ and several rural pictures, including a picture of the Virgin Mary with the inscription "Johann Renzl - Braunau 1879"

BAISCHER chapel in Haselreith
The well-preserved chapel bears the date 1853 with the addition "M. M." on the door. It was probably built around the middle of the last century. In the interwar period, it was restored by senior teacher Bachleitner-Hofmann. On the outside, a slogan above the door commemorates the fallen warriors of the First World War. The interior of the chapel is richly decorated with figures, pictures and a Stations of the Cross. A plaque on the left-hand side commemorates a child who drowned in the house pool in 1949. Another on the right wall commemorates the lucky rescue of a boy who got lost in the forest at the age of 22 months and was found safe and sound by a 120-strong search party.

MAIER Chapel in Weilbuch
Nothing is known about the history of the chapel, which is certainly very old. The date of its construction has also been forgotten. Inside there is a wooden monstrance with two candlesticks.

HIRSCHLINGER Chapel in Eggelsberg
The chapel was built in 1956 in place of an old altar in gratitude for the farmer's wife's recovery after a long illness. The crucifix from the old shrine was transferred to the new chapel and adorns its left side wall.

GERSTLOHNER Chapel in Arnstetten
The chapel is located near the Kaisergut estate in Gerberling. It was built after the Second World War by the Gerstlohner family in gratitude for the happy return of their son from the war. Inside there is a Madonna and several pictures.

AICHRIEDLER Chapel in Pippmannsberg
The chapel is probably between 160 and 200 years old. Nothing is known about the reason for its construction. However, an incident is remembered that took place around 30 years ago. A farmer sought shelter in the chapel before a sudden thunderstorm. When the rain subsided, he decided to move on. As he left the chapel, lightning struck and completely destroyed the Madonna that had been placed there. The chapel is in good condition.

ESTERBAUER Chapel in Höpfling
The chapel on the B156 federal road, whose early history is unknown, originally stood on the opposite side of the road near the junction to Ibm. It had to make way for the widening of the road. Legend has it that a foundling was once deposited there, but was found in time and rescued. The new chapel was built by the Esterbauer family. The chapel contains a picture of the Virgin Mary, which is said to come from an old Eggeslberg family estate and was donated by the wife of the former gendarmerie post commander Alois Thamm after the Second World War.

PFARRER-Schacher in Eggelsberg
The parish chapel, which probably dates back to the 18th century and stood at the foot of the church hill on the B156 main road, was, according to tradition, erected to commemorate the tower cross that fell in 1754. It stood in its place for around 200 years until it had to make way for the widening of the road. It left a lamentable gap in the townscape. Rudolf Huber, who had taken care of the chapels, demanded the rebuilding of the parish chapel for a long time in vain. This was repeatedly postponed due to the planned expansion of the cemetery. He did not live to see the new chapel built elsewhere, but he would certainly have been delighted with the new chapel next to the car park at the east entrance to the vicarage. It is modelled on the old chapel and is a jewel in the immediate vicinity of Eggelsberg.

The stone-built chapel is at least 300 years old. It is said to have been built in honour of the Mother of God. The chapel was once furnished with an altar, several valuable statues and pews, and on the altar were sculptures of St Anne with Mary as a child, St James with scrolls, Jesus with a sceptre and several statues of angels. A small carved Stations of the Cross could be seen on the walls. The angel statues were stolen about six years ago. Due to the widespread thefts, the other works of art were moved to a safe place. The altar belonged to the Pfaffinger family and was destroyed in the 1992 fire at the Hötzenauer Gut. The surviving figure of Jesus, which is kept by family members, has the typical curly head of the Zürn figures. The Stations of the Cross were given to the church and are said to be in a museum in Linz. A plaster figure that had been erected to replace the valuable statues was stolen in 1984.

BLASL Chapel in the Eggelsberg district - a new wayside shrine
The Blasl Chapel, about whose original construction nothing is known, has an eventful recent history. It was in a desolate state until the 1980s and was left to decay. In 1984/85, the chapel was completely renovated by the companies Ernst Ramböck and Georg Zenz, with financial support from the Goldhaubenfrauengemeinschaft Eggelsberg and several private individuals. Rudolf Huber provided a picture of the Holy Family for the decoration. The newly renovated chapel fell victim to a road accident at the end of the 1980s. It was so badly damaged by the impact of a motor vehicle that it had to be demolished. The donated picture was also destroyed. In place of the chapel, the Reiter family erected a beautiful wayside shrine that fits well into the landscape and is reminiscent of the old brass chapel.

The simple chapel, covered with wooden shingles, was built by Mr and Mrs A. and W. Reindl vulgo Heberger-Wagner in 2003 out of gratitude. One of their sons narrowly escaped death twice as an infant and a third time as a teenager.

KOHLBACHER Chapel in Ibm:
The chapel next to the "Auer am See" estate originally stood on the opposite side of the road and was already quite dilapidated. It is not known when and for what reason it was built. In gratitude for the happy return home from the First World War, the owner built the current chapel, which houses a statue of the Virgin Mary with child.

Where the road from Haselreith to Gundertshausen crosses the Spielberg-Weilbuch connection, there is an ancient, mossy stone by the roadside, known locally as the "Lederergeiß". Nobody knows when and for what reason it got its strange name.
Behind the stone is a shrine with an old metal plaque depicting Christ on the cross with Mary and John and the poor souls in purgatory below. Whether a road accident was once the reason for the erection of the shrine or whether it was dedicated to the memory of the dead who were carried past on the "Haselreither Totenweg" (Haselreith Path of the Dead) will also remain a mystery shrouded in myth. Only a few of the horror stories told by our ancestors about the "Lederergeiß" have been passed down.

HUNTER'S IMAGE STOCK on the old Gstaig church path
On the wooded ridge on the former Gstaig church path to Höslrein, an old, dilapidated shrine once stood by a prominent stone. In 1981, at the instigation of Mathias Schnaitl, a wayside shrine dedicated to hunting was erected in its place. The small monument, covered with wooden shingles and designed in an exemplary manner, blends harmoniously into the landscape. The shape and dimensions were taken from an Alpine tomb. The picture depicts the hunting motif known from the founding legend of Kremsmünster Abbey, which shows a kneeling huntsman in front of a white stag. Below the picture is the following saying, which comes from an old hunter's epitaph: "St Hubert, who kneels before God and sees all our sins, put in a good word for your hunters at the right time. Forgive what we have done to God's creatures in vain delusion. That we have protected the game, nurtured it and cared for it in the winter hardship, bring this to the fore, so that one day we and our dog will find a reasonably good place in heaven's eternal grounds."

Haselreith weather cross
An old weather cross stood at a prominent spot in Haselreith in early times. It was once erected there because the village was frequently struck by lightning. It is no longer possible to determine when this happened. Over time, wind and weather have damaged the cross to such an extent that it had to be removed. In the same place, the Baischer family from Haselreith erected a mighty wooden weather cross to remind us of the forces of nature and their dangers to the farm, fields and meadows.

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Kirchen und Kapellen von Eggelsberg
Marktplatz 13
5142 Eggelsberg

Phone +43 7748 2255
E-Mail gemeindeamt@eggelsberg.ooe.gv.at
Web www.eggelsberg.at

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