Churches in the Ruhpolding Valley
Beautiful churches and chapels in the Ruhpolding valley invite you to stop by.
Ruhpolding’s churches and chapels are special places of contemplation and amazement at the craftsmanship and architecture of the past. They remind us that faith shows us the right way and that the intercession of saints accompanies us down the path of life.
St George's parish church
Construction of this hilltop church began in 1738, though it was not consecrated by Bishop Franz Truchsess of Chiemsee until 1754. Gunezrhainer, the court’s master architect, kept the exterior façade simple. Yet everyone is certain to be touched by the harmony which radiates from the interior of this house of worship, by the monumental power of the high altar and by the artistic beauty of the carved saintly figures. The crowning glory of the shimmering golden Rococo interior of George's is undoubtedly on the left side of the chancel, a feature unmatched anywhere else in Bavaria. The golden case of the right-hand side altar houses the church’s most significant sculpture, the Romanesque Madonna from the 12th century. Its creator and origins are unknown.
Church services: Saturday 7:00 pm, Sunday 8:30 am, and 10:00 am; Pastor: Otto Stangl
The Protestant church of St John
The church south of Zeller Strasse was built in 1952. The altar and Crucifixion group are the work of the Ruhpolding sculptor Andreas Schwarzkopf. The altar and baptismal font are made of Ruhpolding marble. The Crucifixion group is made of painted limewood and very impressive. The cross is manufactured from a three-hundred-year-old beam originally from a threshing barn at the Neustadler-Hof. The church is open daily and invites visitors to sit in quiet contemplation beneath the cross.
Important Tip: The car park for visitors to the church is located by the speedway stadium, from where a pathway leads directly to the church (3 minutes)
Church services: Sunday 09:30 am; pastor: Thomas Schmeckenbecher
The chapel of St Valentine
The chapel enjoys a long tradition and is mentioned in ancient archives as early as 1450. It is thought that this was once the site of an old courthouse. The stone benches beneath the linden tree may well have served as the magistrates’ benches. The stone pillars were perhaps intended to evoke a site of execution. These are only theories, of course. The benches might equally as well have been seats for pilgrims, and the pillars monuments to the woodcutters who had perished on the Zellerberg. The interior of the chapel houses a rare treasure: the net-vaulted ceilings and the frescoes in the Gothic choir. Also of interest are the saintly figures which date from many different centuries.
The small Maria Schnee church
If you’d like to visit the small Maria Schnee church from Ruhpolding, you can do so by going along the Urschlauer Ache river through Brand, Maerchenwald and Gruttau to this Marian shrine in Urschlau. In the vestibule of this pilgrimage church – called Osn – hangs a plaque of the founder Wolf Urschlauer. In the middle of the Thirty Years’ War, he sacrificed the majority of his possessions in order to create a faithful sign of his trust in the helper of Christians. On 22 July 1754 this Marian shrine was consecrated by Chiemsee Bishop Franz Carl, Count of Friedberg and Trauchberg.
The ‘Schlosskapelle’ (Palace Chapel) was built in the manor house in 1587. At the time of the Wittelsbachers, Ruhpolding in the Weisse Traun river valley belonged to the territory of the rulers of Bavaria, but was the religious estate of the Archdiocese of Salzburg. This fact is important for the town’s artistic development. The Bavarian rulers’ Ruhpolding hunting lodge drew the attention of the noble family to the religious building. The ‘Schlosskapelle’ built in 1587 on the east side was the stately chapel.
The Ruhpolding chapel trail
In Ruhpolding, you can find many wayside crosses, various other crosses and small chapels along the edge of the road. In order to learn more about these we have put together a trail companion for you.
The chapel trail begins at the ‘Schlosskapelle’ (Heritage Museum). Give yourself about two hours’ time. Allow yourself a break here and there and enjoy the beautiful surroundings. You will also find small restaurants along the way. The goal of this trail is the village fountain. Take this hike and you certainly won’t regret it!
You can pick up detailed directions from the Tourist Info for 50 cents.