O, was ist es doch Großes
um einen Priester!
Erst im Himmel
wird man ganz verstehen,
was ein Priester ist.
Johannes Maria Vianney - Pfarrer von Ars
Small in size but great in history and meaning, the chapel of mercy is the centre of the large chapel square. The octagon (eight-cornered tower), the core of this church, built around 700, is assumed to be the oldest still standing church in German right of the Rhine river. Its eight-cornered ground plan indicates its original purpose as baptism chapel. According to legend, the Holy Bishop Rupertus of Salzburg baptised the first Christian Duke of Bavaria here. Around 1330 the approx. 70 cm high early gothic picture of a standing Mother of God with child carved of lime wood in Burgundy or the Upper Rhine was brought here, which was made a place of pilgrimage and a holy picture around 150 years later, in 1489, according to reports of two healing miracles. In the early 16th Century, a few years after the start of the pilgrimage, the octagon was expanded with the late gothic long house with a pointed ridge turrent and the roofed corridor. The Golden Rose was brought by legate Cardinal Joachim Meuisner by order of Pope Benedict XVI. as a sign of the appreciation of the place of mercy and the Capuchins in 2008.
Meaningful artworks are the decorations in silver on the altar, completed in 1670, whose reredos including the shrine with the Holy picture symbolises the crowning of Mary. The reveal of the altar niche shows an artful illustration of the "root of Jesse". The silver works are from the goldsmiths Balthasar Ableithner, Franz Oxner and Johann F. Fesenmayr. A silversmith work of world ranking is the „Silver prince“ kneeling to the right of the altar, donated by elector Karl Albrecht in 1737, made by the Dutch master Wilhelm de Groff, a life-size image of the ten-year-old prince Max III. Joseph in a petit rococo armour. As a pendant, the silver statue of the kneeling Holy Brother Konrad created by the Munich sculptor Prof. Georg Busch was added in the thirties. The wall niches contain numerous silver votive offerings from several centuries.
The bays on the Western side of the octagon hold the silver heart urns of important personalities from the house of Wittelsbach, among them all the electors and kings up to Ludwig III. the most impressive tomb is that of the Wittelsback emperor Karl VII., made in 1745 by the Munich court sculptor Johann Baptist Straub.
The corridor around the chapel is decorated with around 2000 votive tablets from several centuries. They are to be differentiated from the cycle of the over 50 large "miracle tablets" that were made by a painter from the area of the „Danube school“ from 1500-1520.