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Müller, Kathrin (2005): Die Wallfahrtskirche Weihenlinden. Baugestalt und Ikonographie im historischen Kontext. Magisterarbeit, Fakultät für Geschichts- und Kunstwissenschaften, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München.
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Abstract

This study examines one of the many early modern pilgrimage churches in Southern Germany, whose site-specific characteristics cannot be explained solely by the exigencies of baroque pilgrimage practice. The case study of Weihenlinden (near Bruckmühl, district of Rosenheim, Bavaria) demonstrates a confluence of architectural form and iconography as an immediate consequence of particular ideas and discourses within a specific ecclesiastical and historical context. In addition to being the first major project of its kind in Southern Bavaria after the Thirty Years' War, the construction of the present Weihenlinden church (1653-1657) was closely tied to the contemporaneous incorporation of the pilgrimage site into the Weyarn monastery of Augustinian canons. While the identity of the architect cannot be securely established, Weyarn's provost Valentin Steyrer personally took on a leading role in the planning process, possibly guided by Constantin Pader. The architectural concept is based on the integration of the pilgrimage site's pre-existing small chapel of Grace, erected a few years earlier, which was thus 'incorporated' into the new basilica. The building unites generic formal features of baroque pilgrimage churches, such as an ambulatory, a nave with lateral aisles, galleries, and a two-storied high altar, with particular iconographic themes: Marian veneration, the fountain as a wellspring of Grace, St. Augustine as 'Malleus Hereticorum', and the Holy Trinity as three identical male figures. This combination resulted in a multi-layered, eloquently expressive structure, meeting both the liturgical requirements of a pilgrimage church and the patron's representational needs. While the pilgrim's spiritual experience forms the core of the programme, there is also a second, more complex level of theological meaning, which is not immediately apparent to the visitor. In sum, the building's whole appearance can be interpreted as a response to the ambivalence between the diverging demands posed by tradition and status demonstration as well as by popular piety and theological dogmatics.