Mils - Baumkirchen - Fritzens
Ascent206 mDistance6,3 kmHighest point668 mDuration2:00 h
Our magical place is situated outside of Mils east of the parish church in a recreational area. While resting on the wooden bench you will probably notice that there are only two oaks left but from a distance they look like a single mighty tree. It is important to know that this charming place has always played an important role for the locals as it was the place to be for a romantic rendezvous. Many centuries ago, there were extensive oak forests in this area. Now you can find the remains of the tree population along the hiking trail from Mils to Baumkirchen.
The power of the oak
The oak possesses great symbolic power not only in ancient times, also many European cultures have been held the tree in high esteem. In other words, an oak forest, in its former function as a nutritive forest, provided everything necessary for human existence - food for humans and animals as well as firewood and timber. The Celts worshipped the oak in a special way as did the Christians. In other words, the oak symbolizes strength, courage, and endurance.
In Christianity, the oak tree was repeatedly associated with the Holy Mary. Many are the images of the Virgin Mary placed in a tree.
According to legend, three peasant boys are said to have discovered a statue of the Virgin Mary in an oak tree that they had just felled. Unfortunately, today we no longer possess the original statue of the Virgin Mary of Mils. It probably fell victim to a church fire in 1415. The Madonna figure now placed on the left side altar in the parish church probably dates from around 1420. Over the centuries, many pilgrims came to Mils and prayed before the Madonna and implored for her intercession.
With the church fire of 1791, the pilgrimage came to an end, although this time the figure of the Virgin Mary was saved from the flames. Due to the appearance of the image of the Virgin Mary of Absam, which fell during the construction of the new church, Absam became the most important church of pilgrimage. This new place of grace finally overtook Mils as pilgrimage site.