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Salvenkirchlein on the summit of the Hohe Salve

The highest lying pilgrimage church in Austria

Standing on the summit of the Hohe Salve is the Chapel of St John. Salvenkirchlein, as the chapel is also called, is regarded as the highest pilgrimage church in Austria. It is dedicated to St John the Baptist. The early Baroque altar with the figure of St Bartholomew and St John, and an altar piece featuring the baptism of Jesus are from the year 1666. Explore this little church which is steeped in history at 1,829 metres. Salvenkirchlein can be reached on foot via the lovely hiking paths on the Hohe Salve and also via the Hohe Salve cable car from Hopfgarten.

  • Salvenkirchlein summit Hohe Salve
  • Hiking summit Hohe Salve (64)
    From the summit of the Hohe Salve you get to enjoy a stunning view.
  • Salvenkirchlein summit Hohe Salve

Prayers in Salvenkirchlein

  • check24.06.2020 - St John festival

  • check26.07.2020 - St Anna’s Day Mass on the summit with an early morning pint

The history of the pilgrimage church on the Hohe Salve

Salvenkirchlein was first mentioned in written documents dating from 1589. A Chiemsee register of births, deaths and marriages, talks of ‘Salvenberg – a St. John church’. The valleys around the Hohe Salve were settled from a very early date. The original pagan inhabitants of these valleys even celebrated their Sun festivals on the Salvenhöhe, which was blessed with lovely natural surroundings. At the end of the 19th century a bronze object relating to this was found on the Hohe Salve. However this find was declared as missing. At the time of Christianity the church on the Hohe Salve was dedicated to the saint of the solstice, St. John the Baptist.

Thanks to the accessibility of the summit many visitors soon came from all parts to see the pilgrimage church on the Hohe Salve. The first holy mass was read in 1617 by Pastor Ambros Strasser.

In 1640 the Salvenkirchlein was completely destroyed by a lightening strike and then completely re-built by 1643. However the chapel on the summit of the Hohe Salve was not spared further lightening strikes in other years. Hence the decision to install a lightening conductor on Salvenkirchlein in 1784. However in 1807 the pilgrimage church was destroyed again. Severely damaged by other weather events and having fallen into further disrepair, Salvenkirchlein was redeveloped between 1970-1972 and 1999. More fundamental refurbishment work was carried out on the chapel in 2017. The shingles and the roof were renewed.

24th June is the patronal feast of the Hohe Salve pilgrimage church. Other key celebratory days include St Anna Day on 26th July and Bartholomew's Day on 24th August.

  • Family hiking Hohe Salve (72)
    A family hiking from the summit of the Hohe Salve down to the reservoir. Salvenkirchlein, in the background is the highest lying pilgrimage church in Austria.
  • Salvenkirchlein summit Hohe Salve
  • Salvenkirchlein summit Hohe Salve
  • Hiking summit Hohe Salve (66)
    Salvenkirchlein is the highest lying pilgrimage church in all of Austria and a popular destination with many hikers.
  • Salvenkirchlein summit Hohe Salve
  • Hiking summit Hohe Salve (63)
    The bench in front of Salvenkirchlein on the summit of the Hohe Salve invites you to enjoy a rest.
  • Salvenkirchlein summit Hohe Salve

Good to know

  • checkParking areas: Direct at the valley station for Bergbahn Hohe Salve in Hopfgarten

  • checkWC: in the neighbouring summit restaurant

  • checkSnack stop: Direct on the summit of the Hohe Salve

  • checkSuitable for prams: Yes. Prams can be transported in the gondola and the path is suitable for prams too

  • checkPrayers: Times for prayers will also be shown in the event calendar

Pilgrimage Church on the Hohe Salve

You need to leave this amount of time to get from your holiday destination to the excursion destination

From your start town ... ... To your destination Journey time
Hopfgarten 0.5 km ca. 2 minutes
Itter 3.8 km ca. 7 minutes
Kelchsau 8.0 km ca. 10 minutes
Wörgl 10.5 km ca. 15 minutes
Angath 11.5 km ca. 15 minutes
Angerberg 15.00 km ca. 20 minutes
Mariastein 16.00 km ca. 20 minutes
Kirchbichl 14.00 km ca. 15 minutes

Journey distances and arrival times for this route are calculated for travel by car to Bergbahn Hohe Salve valley station, Hopfgarten. Excl. gondola ascent.

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