The high altar – grace of the Holy Mary

The double-winged high altar dedicated in 1755, based on a design by Johann Baptist Zimmermann.

It is an expression of the increasingly pronounced devotion to Mary on the Heilige Berg since the Thirty Years’ War. The double-winged high altar extends over two storeys in keeping with the church interior.

The lower altar is the actual pilgrimage altar, the upper altar was used by the monks as their choir altar. Both altars centre on the veneration of Mary. The Madonna with the Christ child is enthroned in the niche of the pilgrimage altar. Her crown, sceptre and breastplate mark her as queen of the heavens. The meditative boy has picked a fruit from a bunch of grapes. It implies the representation of Christ in the wine press, which is frequently encountered in the Late Middle Ages. Christ is pressed in the press of passion and produces the wine of mercy (see Jesus Sirach 24, 17).

Patrons of the church

The imagery of the Mother of God is flanked by statutes of the church patrons: Saint Nicholas of Myra as patron of the pilgrims and ferrymen, among others, and Saint Elisabeth of Thuringia from the line of the Counts of Andechs.

Upper high altar

You will also find our art guide in the Monastery Store.

Andechs Monastery Emblem