Basilica of the Fourteen Holy Helpers

Bad Staffelstein, Germany

The Basilica of the Fourteen Holy Helpers (Basilika Vierzehnheiligen) is a late Baroque-Rococo church, designed by Balthasar Neumann and constructed between 1743 and 1772. It is dedicated to the Fourteen Holy Helpers, a group of saints venerated together in the Catholic Church, especially in Germany at the time of the Black Death.

The Basilica faces the important German river Main in Franconia. It sits on a hillside, and on the hillside opposite is Schloss Banz, a former baroque monastery. Together they are known as the Goldene Pforte or golden portal, an entryway to the historic Franconian cities Coburg, Kronach, Kulmbach and Bayreuth.

On 24 September 1445, Hermann Leicht, the young shepherd of a nearby Franciscan monastery, saw a crying child in a field that belonged to the nearby Cistercian monastery of Langheim. As he bent down to pick up the child, it abruptly disappeared. A short time later, the child reappeared in the same spot. This time, two candles were burning next to it. In June 1446, the Leicht saw the child a third time. This time, the child bore a red cross on its chest and was accompanied by thirteen other children. The child said: We are the fourteen helpers and wish to erect a chapel here, where we can rest. If you will be our servant, we will be yours! Shortly after, Leicht saw two burning candles descending to this spot. It is alleged that miraculous healings soon began, through the intervention of the fourteen saints.

The Cistercian brothers to whom the land belonged erected a chapel, which immediately attracted pilgrims. An altar was consecrated as early as 1448. Pilgrimages to the Vierzehnheiligen continue to the present day between May and October.

The central scene of the unobstructed and towering high altar is a lager-than-life painting showing the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The statues depict her spouse Joseph, her father Joachim, and David and Zachariah.

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Details

Founded: 1743-1772
Category: Religious sites in Germany
Historical period: Emerging States (Germany)

Rating

4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Robert Kocsis (17 months ago)
Fantastic! Must see if you are in this neck of the woods
chiyi hu (17 months ago)
This area is fantastic!!
David Tammy George (2 years ago)
Absolutely beautiful. A must see.
Easton Dillehay (2 years ago)
Absolutely stunning. I could stay all day here just listening to the bells toll across the valley. I felt the interior should have been more ornate to accompany the beautiful exterior, but still a wonderful visit nonetheless. While you're here you might as well travel across the Main and also see Hanns-Seidel-Stiftung, Kloster Banz.
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