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Pilgrimage Church of Wies

Pilgrimage Church of Wies

Miraculously preserved in the beautiful setting of an Alpine valley, the Church of Wies (1745–54), the work of architect Dominikus Zimmermann, is a masterpiece of Bavarian Rococo – exuberant, colourful and joyful.

Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

Église de pèlerinage de Wies

Miraculeusement conservée dans l'écrin d'une vallée des Alpes, l'église de Wies (1745-1754), chef-d'œuvre de l'architecte Dominikus Zimmermann, est probablement l'expression la plus parfaite du rococo bavarois, exubérant, allègre et coloré.

Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

كنيسة دي فيز للحج

ما زالت كنيسة دي فيز (1745-1754) في حالة ممتازة وهي تقع في كنف وادي من وديان الألب. إنها تحفة فنية للمهندس المعماري دومينيكوس زيمرمان وهي على الأرجح أجمل تعبير لنمط الروكوكو البافاري المليء بالحيوية والفرح والألوان.

source: UNESCO/CPE
Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0


维斯教堂(1745至1754年)坐落在风景秀美的阿尔卑斯山谷中,保存十分完好,是建筑师多米尼克斯·齐默尔曼(Dominikus Zimmermann)的作品,是巴伐利亚洛可可风格的优秀代表作。整个作品充满了活力,欢快而且色彩丰富。

source: UNESCO/CPE
Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

Паломническая церковь в деревне Вис

Церковь в Висе, построенная в 1745-1754 гг., чудесным образом сохранилась в живописной альпийской долине. Это пышный, красочный и преисполненный радости шедевр баварского рококо работы архитектора Доминикуса Циммермана.

source: UNESCO/CPE
Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

Iglesia de peregrinación de Wies

Conservada milagrosamente en el corazón de un valle de los Alpes, la iglesia de Wies (1745-54), obra del arquitecto Dominikus Zimmermann, es una joya del arte rococó bávaro, exuberante, alegre y lleno de color.

source: UNESCO/CPE
Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0


source: NFUAJ

Bedevaartskerk van Wies

De Kerk van Wies werd gebouwd van 1745 tot 1754 en is goed intact gebleven in de prachtige omgeving van een Alpenvallei. De kerk is gebouwd door de architect Dominikus Zimmermann en geldt als een meesterwerk van de Beierse Rococo kunst; uitbundig, kleurrijk en vrolijk. In 1738 gebeurde er een wonder: een eenvoudig houten beeld van Christus werd niet meer vereerd door de Norbertijnen en een aantal gelovigen zag het beeld in tranen. Er werd een houten kapel gebouwd om het miraculeuze beeldje te eren. Vanwege de grote toename van pelgrims besloot de abt in 1745 een schitterend heiligdom te bouwen.

Source: unesco.nl

Outstanding Universal Value

Brief synthesis

The sanctuary of Wies, near Steingaden in Bavaria, is a pilgrimage church extraordinarily well-preserved in the beautiful setting of an Alpine valley, and is a perfect masterpiece of Rococo art and creative genius, as well as an exceptional testimony to a civilization that has disappeared.

The hamlet of Wies, in 1738, is said to have been the setting of a miracle in which tears were seen on a simple wooden figure of Christ mounted on a column that was no longer venerated by the Premonstratensian monks of the Abbey. A wooden chapel constructed in the fields housed the miraculous statue for some time. However, pilgrims from Germany, Austria, Bohemia, and even Italy became so numerous that the Abbot of the Premonstratensians of Steingaden decided to construct a splendid sanctuary. Consequently, work began in 1745 under the direction of the celebrated architect, Dominikus Zimmermann, who was to construct, in this pastoral setting in the foothills of the Alps, one of the most polished creations of Bavarian Rococo. The choir was consecrated in 1749, and the remainder of the church finished by 1754. That year, Dominikus Zimmermann left the city of Landsberg to settle in Wies near his masterpiece, in a new house where he died in 1766.

The church, which is oval in plan, is preceded to the west by a semi-circular narthex. Inside, twin columns placed in front of the walls support the capriciously cut-out cornice and the wooden vaulting with its flattened profile; this defines a second interior volume where the light from the windows and the oculi is cleverly diffused both directly and indirectly. To the east, a long deep choir is surrounded by an upper and a lower gallery.

A unique feature is the harmony between art and the countryside. All art forms and techniques used - architecture, sculpture, painting, stucco work, carving, ironwork, etc. - were melded by the architect into a perfect, unified whole, in order to create a diaphanous spatial structure of light and form. The remarkable stucco decoration is the work of Dominikus Zimmermann, assisted by his brother Johann Baptist -  who was the painter of the Elector of Bavaria, Max-Emmanuel, from 1720. The lively colours of the paintings bring out the sculpted detail and, in the upper areas, the frescoes and stuccowork interpenetrate to produce a light and living decor of unprecedented richness and refinement. The abundance of motifs and figures, the fluidity of the lines, the skilful opening of surfaces, and the 'lights' continually offer the observer fresh surprises. The ceilings painted in trompe-l'œil appear to open to an iridescent sky, across which, angels fly, contributing to the overall lightness of the church as a whole. 

Criterion (i): The sanctuary of Wies, a pilgrimage church constructed in the open countryside, is a perfect masterpiece of Rococo art.

Criterion (iii): The Pilgrimage Church of Wies is an exceptional testimony of cultural and religious traditions. 


In this sparsely settled area, in complete solitude, it was possible for a religious and architectural idea to be realized unhindered. The site, therefore, contains all elements necessary for Outstanding Universal Value. There are no immediate, adverse effects of development and/or neglect. 


The setting is completely untouched. Form and design, material and substance, use and function of the Pilgrimage Church of Wies have remained unchanged. 

Protection and management requirements

A core and a buffer zone have been identified to ensure the lasting protection and sustained preservation of the visual and built integrity of the Pilgrimage Church of Wies and its immediate surroundings.

The laws and regulations of the Federal Republic of Germany and the Free State of Bavaria guarantee the consistent protection of the Pilgrimage Church of Wies and its surroundings. The listed monument, which is situated outside the town in a protected landscape close to a nature reserve, is protected by a number of legal instruments (monument protection law, nature protection law, building and planning law). Furthermore, the regional development programme of the Free State of Bavaria contains a special clause according to which UNESCO World Heritage properties are to be protected and maintained in good condition.

The Free State of Bavaria is owner of the Pilgrimage Church of Wies. The property is managed under the responsibility of the Pilgrimage Church Foundation St Joseph. The State Construction Office Weilheim is responsible for construction issues, and the coordination between the stakeholders is organised by the site manager, who is based in the administrative district office of Weilheim.

The management system consists of a set of maintenance and conservation measures to ensure the protection of the property and the surrounding cultural landscape by sustainable agriculture. More information on visitor management is provided in the Management Plan and through the Periodic Reporting mechanism.