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Styria-Graz Region

The Knowledge Pool of
Diözese Graz-Seckau

Church Route

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The Regional Church Route to the following churches:

1) Abtei Seckau
2) Maria Buch
3) St. Lambrecht
4) St. Cäcilia/Bodendorf/Pfarre St. Georgen ob Murau
5) St. Ulrich/Krakauhintermühlen
6) St. Georgen ob Judenburg


Cultural heritage related to medieval churches can be found throughout our focus area as well four traditional pilgrimage routes that are well known and attract many people from all over Europe. Tourism in winter as well as in the summer season is very well developed and structured. The most important strength concerning the preservation of cultural heritage is still the commitment of local people, that are proud of their cultural roots and keep alive their customs and traditions. The cultural heritage of a community is not just a building or a church and the treasures contained therein. First and foremost, it finds its expression in the current life of the parish: in celebration of the liturgy and church festivals, events and in meetings.

The key for successful and sustainable preservation of tangible and intangible cultural heritage lies though in the active involvement of the young generation, that unfortunately is migrating to bigger cities due to better professional perspectives. The high migration rate is one of the hardest challenges the regional community has to deal with. Although there are many small businesses, there are not enough jobs for citizens with higher education. Various associations are active in the cultural field (choirs, brass bands, traditional music from the Alps etc) but often their focus on local initiatives is too strong so that the possibility to be linked to transregional initiatives is missed. Through more awareness raising and networking activities also supported by IT and Smartphone technologies this situation could be improved towards a common bottom-up approach in regional and transnational strategies for preserving the outstanding cultural heritage of Obersteiermark West.

Our church route and reasons for choosing them:

It is important to mention that the region is extraordinary rich in intangible cultural heritage related to medieval literature and handicraft. Our church route has six “points of interest” and it is possible to reach each of our six highlights by public transport, car, bike or pilgrimage. Along our route, two impressive benedictine abbies and four smaller churches with precious artworks that date from medieval times are presented to the visitors in a beautiful mountainous surrounding. The Abbey of Seckau contains the so-called Lettnerkreuz(Lettner is a style of architecture in a church that separates the nave and the sanctuary, like an iconostasis). The crucifix in Seckau is the oldest and last known Lettnergroup in German speaking area. The Abbey of Benedictines in St. Lambrecht can be understood as a total artwork itself, as a silent witness of the importance und influence of the abbey in the evolution of art in Austria. The pilgrimage church Maria Buch is one of the oldest pilgrimage places in Styria. The red ribbed gothic vault gives the interior an excellent medieval ambiance. The church of Saint George/ Judenburg was probably built in the first half of the 13th century as a typical Romanesque church with a tower above the choir. The mural arts of Saint Georg were made in the transitional phase of the late Romanesque style and the early gothic style, called Zackenstil. Including an interesting iconographical program these mural arts are one of the most significant artworks in Styria and the magnum opus of early Zackenstil in Austria. For the local population these churches and highlights of our route are symbolizing the history of their belief – closely linked with art and culture and their own identity that should be preserved.


Analysis focused on tangible and intangible culture heritage linked to regional churches.


Pilot Actions

PP7_die goldene Kathedrale-strana21  PP7_churchroute-app_pilote_crop  Screenshot_2014-03-07-16-44-15  Screenshot_2014-03-07-16-45-54  Screenshot_2014-03-07-16-46-07


Programmes in themes of cultural heritage and creative resources in Central Europe
Central Europe operational programmes 2014-2020


Foto_St.Georgen Judenburg  Foto St. Georgen ob Murau    



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