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At the beginning of January 2018, the parish of Weiz received the certificate from the Vatican confirming that the parish church on the Weizberg has been designated a basilica minor.
Fifth basilica in the diocese
This makes the parish church on the Weizberg the fifth church in the Graz-Seckau diocese to receive this honorary title after Mariazell (1907), Seckau (1930), Rein (1979) and Mariatrost (1999). Prerequisites for this title are that the church building must be of significance and the personnel and furnishings have to be given for an exemplary celebration of the new liturgy and for frequent sermons and confessionals. Austria has slightly more than 30 churches overall with the privilege of calling themselves “basilica”.
The first church on the Weizberg is said to have been built back in the year 1065. Construction was entrusted to the Styrian architect Joseph Hueber. The cornerstone for today’s Late Baroque church was laid in 1757. It was completed after slightly less than two years of construction, with a length of 53.58 m and a width of 25.80 m / 29 m in the unfinished state.
It is 21 m high at the top of the dome. The interior work was not started until 1769. Josef Adam Ritter von Mölck, the court painter, created the frescoes, choosing the five major festivals of Our Lady in the church year for the ceiling paintings. The high altar with the sorrowful Virgin Mother (pietà) as its centre point – a miraculous image from the early 15th century – was created by the sculptor Veit Königer (1771). The pulpit completed in 1775 and the side altars are works of Jakob Peyers.
The stone relief on the outdoor staircase presumably shows the old parish church with one tower and part of Alt-Weiz with the tabor and Schloss Thannhausen.
To the south outside the church stands the funerary monument of Aquilinus Julius Caesar, the father of Styrian historiography, who spent the last years of his life on the Weizberg.
Sunday: 8:00 am and 10:30 am
Monday - Thursday and Saturday: 7:00 pm
Friday: 8:00 am
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