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Visitation of the Virgin Mary Chapel, Zugspitze


The Visitation of the Virgin Mary Chapel (Mariä Heimsuchung) is located 2600 meters above sea level and is Germany's highest church.  It is located on the Schneeferner plateau of the Zugspitze, which is Germany’s highest mountain. It lies south of the town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, and the Austria–Germany border crosses the western summit.

View of Zugspitze

The Zugspitze is one of the must-see attractions and I took many of our family visitors to the top.  However, to get to the chapel, you must take the rack railway (Zugspitzbahn) and not the main summit cable car.  The rack railway station is located at the bottom of the mountain, or you can take a train from the city of Garmisch-Partenkirchen and then catch the rack railway train at the Zugspitze station.

The main cable car will take visitors from the bottom to the summit, but the rack railway stops below the summit at the Schneeferner plateau station where you can disembark and follow the path up to the chapel.  From the Schneeferner you can take a short cable car ride to the summit which is 2,962 meters (9,718 ft) above sea level and has spectacular views and a restaurant.

Zugspitze Cable Car #2

In 1980, in the year of the 50th anniversary of the Zugspitzbahn, the foundation stone was laid for the construction. It was inaugurated on October 11, 1981 by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, then Archbishop of Munich and Freising.

Zugspitze Cable Car

The altarpiece in the chapel depicts Mary's encounter with Elizabeth. On the right side of the wall is a picture of Jesus' death and resurrection, the wall painting on the left shows Jesus' baptism by John in the midst of a mountain landscape.

View Atop Zugspitze

The Zugspitze Chapel is open daily. In the summer season, weather permitting, a Protestant mountain service takes place on Tuesdays at 12 p.m. and a Catholic mountain service on Sundays at 12 p.m. The chapel is also used for weddings.


Images (5)
  • View Atop Zugspitze
  • View of Zugspitze
  • Zugspitze Cable Car #2
  • Zugspitze Cable Car
  • Zugspitze Mariä Heimsuchung

George G

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