182 Route 25. MARIAZELL. From Murzzuschlag
Gesellschaft. At the foot of the Calvarienberg is a triangle carved
in the rock, with a bronze portrait of Archduke John.
The valley becomes narrower and more picturesque. The road,
skirting the clear and rapid Miirz, ascends to (8 M. from Neuberg)
Murzsteg (2570 ft.; "Edler, with garden; "Grabner), with an imperial
shooting-box. To the S.W. stretches the Hohe Veitschalp (6500 ft.).
The valley divides here. The highroad ascends the Dobrein-Thal
to the W. and crosses the (1 hr.) Niederalpel Saddle (4000 ft.; fine
view of the Veitschalp and Hochschwab) to (20 M.) Wegscheid, a vil¬
lage 9l/2 M. to the S. of Mariazell (p. 184).
The new Roao to Maeiazell via Feein is preferable. This runs to the N.
through the gradually widening valley of the Miirz to the (37s M.) Scheiter-
boden (2700 ft.; Inn), and then leads through wild ravines, between the
cliffs of the Rosskogl on the right and the Proleswand on the left, close by
the side of the foaming stream. In the midst of this rocky wilderness a
small waterfall descends from a cavity above, called Zum Todten Weib
(2730 ft.). The valley soon expands into a green dale, surrounded by
lofty, pine-clad mountains, in which lies the hamlet of (272 M.) Frein
(2840 ft.; Inn). Thence the road continues to the W. through the Freiner-
Thal, passing (3 M.) Gschwand, and then ascends in wide curves to the
(2'/2 M.) HUhnerreith-Sattel or Schoneben-Sattel (3750 ft.), between the Student
and the Fallenstein. Descending to (1 M.) the Schmieden Inn (3630 ft.), we
follow the road through the pretty Fallensieiner-Thal to the (5>/2 M.) Guss-
merk (p. 183), on the road from Bruck to (372 M.) Mariazell.
The Footpath from Frein over the Frein-Sattel to Mariazell (4'/2 hrs.)
is more attractive and saves lhr. Guide (3 fl.) not necessary. The marked
path diverges from the road to the right at (3 M.) Gschwand (see above), and
ascends into the wood to (3/i hr.) the summit of the Frein-Sattel (3670 ft.).
Then a steep descent (after 20 min., to the left, following the brook) to
the Hallthal, where we cross C/2 hr.) the Salza to the Kernhof and Maria-
sell road (p. 183) and to (2 hrs.) Mariazell.
29 M. Mariazell (2830ft,; "Schwarzer Adler; "Lowe; "Krone;
"Weintraube; "Greif; Rossi, etc.), very picturesquely situated in
a wide basin, surrounded by wooded mountains of varied forms, is
the most frequented shrine in Austria, being visited annually by up¬
wards of 100,000 pilgrims. The village consists almost entirely of
inns and taverns, all of which are crowded at the time of the great
pilgrimages (from Vienna on 1st July, from Gratz on 14th Aug.)
during the latter half of August,
In the centre of the village rises the imposing Church, erected
at the end of the 17th cent,, with its four towers, of which the hand¬
some Gothic central tower belongs to the original structure of the
14th century. The miraculous image of the Madonna and Child,
20 inches high, carved in lime-wood, was presented in 1157 by a
priest of the Benedictine abbey of St. Lambrecht (the mother-church
of Mariazell). Count Henry I. of Moravia built a chapel for it about
1200, and Lewis I., King of Hungary, enclosed this chapel in a larger
church, after a victory over the Turks in 1363.
The Interiob is 207 ft, long and 69 ft. broad. Behind a silver railing
in the nave is the chapel containing the miraculous Image, on a silver
altar. The Pulpit is of red marble. On the High-Altar is an ebony crucifix
and two lifesize silver figures, presented by the Emperor Charles VI.
Beneath the cross is a silver terrestrial globe, 6 ft. in diameter, surrounded