The St. Vincent Pilgrimage Church in Heiligenblut am Grossglockner
It is featured on practically every postcard of Heiligenblut am Grossglockner: the St. Vincent church ranks among the most renowned and architecturally fascinating churches in Austria. Its world-wide fame is partly due to its remarkable location, set against the impressive backdrop of the Grossglockner. Yet it is also distinguished by the intriguing Legend of Briccius, which suggests that the glass vial displayed inside the church contains the ‘Heiligen Bluet’ – the holy blood – of Christ. The legend, which is visually narrated in a series of paintings inside the church, continues to draw thousands of visitors and faithful pilgrims every year.
The Heiligenblut parish church is dedicated to St. Vincent of Saragossa. Earliest records of the church date back to 1253, while the first pilgrimage to the ‘Heiligen Bluet’ (the holy blood) was documented in 1273. In 1390, the decision to turn the relatively small church into a more befitting House of God marked the beginning of an almost 100-year-long construction period. On 1 November 1491, the new pilgrimage church of Heiligenblut was consecrated – and has been able to accommodate the continuously growing number of pilgrims and visitors ever since.