It was Magdalena Bogner, a farmer’s wife from the Spieltenner Farmstead in Schlögelsbach who set the ball rolling. Every time she set off for the village of Terfens she felt drawn to a specific larch tree where she prayed. When she told her story to the hermit of St. Martin in Gnadenwald, Johann Weiss, in 1665, he made a clay statue of the Virgin Mary for her to attach to the tree. She took the precious gift home and her husband placed it in a niche next to the larch tree. A small canopy protected the statue from the rain and a small block of wood was laid down on the ground, making it more comfortable for people to kneel and pray. More and more people came to Maria-Lärch to pray to God. A timber chapel was soon erected, which was replaced by a stone building not long after. The building was enlarged in 1718. Joseph II abolished pilgrimages and the sacred statue was taken to Terfens. In 1796 the chapel was re-opened and the statue reinstalled. The pilgrimage church was renovated in the early 1990s and has become quite well known in the German-speaking region.
Distance: About 8 kilometres (4 miles)
Walking time The car park is right next to the Maria Larch Chapel. You can go on an easy panoramic walk which starts and finishes at Maria Larch Chapel. It takes about 1 ½ hours.