There are many legends about the Maria Brettfall Church. The pilgrimage church has a splendid cliff top setting above the municipality of Strass im Zillertal and can be seen from far away. One legend says that a miner hung a picture of the Virgin Many on a tree just above today’s church, asking for the loving protection of the Divine Mother. The next day he found the picture on the Brettfall cliff. The miner attached the picture to the tree three times, and every time he came back the next day he found it on the cliff-top. Legend says that a timber chapel was soon built to house the picture. According to the Mining Chronicles of Schwaz written in 1536, the construction of the Maria am Brettfall Church and eremitic monastery was prompted by Father Stoff Weymoser who was a hermit. Hermits owned Maria Brettfall up until the mid-19th century. There are many tales about the former inhabitants of the place of pilgrimage. One of the inhabitants, Franz Margreiter from Alpbach, became quite famous. After the pilgrimage church was closed on 3 August 1786 on the orders of Emperor Joseph II, he fought for its reopening. ‘Brettfall Franzl’, as he was called, even travelled to Vienna and was given an audience by the Emperor. His wish was granted on 15 May 1787.
Distance: About 31 kilometres (19.5 miles)
There’s a car park at the start of the walk to the pilgrimage church in Strass im Zillertal. A gravel path with a slight incline leads past Stations of the Cross up to the Maria Brettfall Pilgrimage Church. It’s about a 30-minute walk.