The interior of the octagon

The octagon of the Chapel was once called a ”room with ravishing effect” by a well-known expert. The rotunda only measures a few steps, but has an exciting history; emperors, kings, popes have kneeled here and prayed, along with millions of simple pilgrims. The magical interaction of mystic darkness and the gold and silver of the altar and the silver votives in the wall shrines sparkling from the candlelight captivates every visitor.
The altar in shiny silver and gold and the venerable image of Mary in the middle shrine locking down on the visitors in mild and motherly way dominate the scene. The loud world stays outside, everything become quiet and beholding.

The altar is built into one of the eight niches. It carries this marvellous look only since Baroque times. The old gothic shrine altar is only shown on copperplates. The Holy women Katharina and Margareta flank the Holy picture. In 1645, still during the thirty year war, the Munich sculptor Marx Schinagl created a silver tabernacle for the picture by order of the elector Maximilian. In 1670 the reveal of the niche was artfully decorated with the „root of Jesse“, the worldly family tree of Christ made of silver. It was designed by the painter Tobias Schinagl from Burghausen who is ranked among the best of this genre in Germany. The models were supplied by the Munich sculptor Balthasar Ableithner, and Franz Oxner from Munich put them into silver and gold. The altar was completed in 1673 with Mary’s crowning by the Holy Trinity in the upper tympanum, probably by Franz Fesenmayer from Augsburg, following the design of the Munich painter Kaspar Amort. The large antependium table of the altar table is also made of silver and shows the legendary baptism of the duke by Bishop Rupertus, a work of the past-rococo time, made in 1821. High above the altar niche, already nearly engulfed by the darkness of the vault, the large silver tablet with the image of the city Burghausen shimmers through, whose donation praised the people in need during the Spanish war of succession in 1705.

Altötting- Heart of Bavaria:
Nowhere else does this word become so concrete, tangible and understandable in o many ways as here in the octagon of the Holy Chapel.

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