MARIAZELL, a village of Austria, in Styria, 89 m. N. of Graz. Pop. (1900), 1499. It is picturesquely situated in the valley of the Salza, amid the north Styrian Alps. Its entire claim to notice lies in the fact that it is the most frequented sanctuary in Austria, being visited annually by about 200,000 pilgrims. The object of veneration is a miracle-working image of the Virgin, carved in lime-tree wood, and about 18 in. high. This was presented to the place in 1157, and is now enshrined in a chapel lavishly adorned with objects of silver and other costly materials. The large church of which the chapel forms part was erected in 1644 as an expansion of a smaller church built by Louis I., king of Hungary, after a victory over the Turks in 1363. In the vicinity of Mariazell is the pretty Alpine lake of Erlafsee.
See M. M. Rabenlehrer, Mariazell, Osterreichs Loreto (Vienna, 1891) ; and O. Eigner, Geschichte des aufgeshobenen Benedictiner stifles Mariazell (Vienna, 1900).
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)