On 24th June 2000, Absam Pilgrimage Church was elevated to a basilica, thereby becoming the first pilgrimage church in the Tyrol to acquire this status without being attaching to a monastery or an abbey. Absam is the Tyrol's most important shrine for pilgrims venerating the Virgin Mary. The day of the apparition, the 17th of every month, is always remembered. The main St Mary feast days are 17th January (Day of the Apparition) and 24th June (St John's Day, the church's second patron saint and when the villagers remember the transfer of the miraculous image to the parish church). Because many prayers had been answered, those affected thanked the Mother of Grace by attaching votive plaques to the adjoining votive chapel.
Guided tours of the basilica can be booked through Hall Tourist Office tel. +43 (0) 5223/45544-0 or Absam rectory tel. +43 (0) 5223/57164
Service: Sunday 10.00
St. Magdalena im Halltal - Absam
Ca. 1440 St Magdalena was a small monastery where a number of "Forest Brethren" lived. It owes its existence to the Hall salt baron Hans Frankfurter, who, together with a few other pious men, wished to spend the final years of his life in prayer and isolation. Later, two nuns took over the hermitage and the numbers quickly rose to 24 members. A wealthy widow from Hall, Magdalena Götzner, entered the convent. She enlarged the building and built a new church dedicated to St Magdalena. Magdalena Götzner left the monastery in 1499 and built a new convent near the St. Martinskirchlein in Gnadenwald.
In 1522 all the nuns left St. Magdalena and moved to St. Martin bei Schwaz. After that only a chaplain, dedicated to caring for the spiritual needs of the miners, lived there. In 1670 the abandoned monastery was partially destroyed by an earthquake and then in 1689 completely demolished by another quake. In 1690, the chapel was restored.
After 200 years of neglect the church was in such a poor state that in 1923 it was decided to move the beautiful, Gothic winged altar to the war memorial chapel (formerly the St Magdalena chapel) next to Hall parish church and the church was deconsecrated.
Exactly 500 years after it was first consecrated, it was fully restored in 1946 and re-consecrated. St Magdalena is now a popular day-trip destination.