The Holy Sepulchre

The Holy Sepulchre or Außerkirchl chapel is a truly singular piece of Christian architecture and symbolises the devotion of the Baroque population. It consists of three structures joined together: Around 1633, local innkeeper Georg Paprion - one of the many pious pilgrims of the 17th century - built a chapel with a round structure and a pitched roof in the style of the Chapel of Grace, or Shrine of Our Lady, located in the German town of Altötting. The adjoining nave is often referred to as the Chapel of Suffering. Upon his return from a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, where he had acquired a floor and elevation plan of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Golgotha, he added a third: the Chapel of the Holy Sepulchre, which was concluded in 1653.
The Church of the Holy Sepulchre

A glance from the Chapel of Suffering into the Altötting-inspired Chapel of Grace reveals a polygonal rotunda with arching windows and niches. The miraculous image dates back to the 16th century, and the altar was skilfully carved by the Schranzhofer wood workshop in San Candido/Innichen around the time the chapel was built. The niches contain scenes from the Life of the Virgin, illustrating Mary's involvement in the history of salvation: Annunciation, Visitation, the flight into Egypt, Christ taking leave of his Mother, Jesus appearing to Mary, Mary and John at the tomb of Jesus on Easter Morning.

The Chapel of Suffering

The north face of the Chapel of Suffering shows Christ's agony, the Mount of Olives, the Flagellation of Christ, the Crowning with Thorns and Jesus being condemned to die on the Cross. On the eastern side, the Passion continues with the Way of the Cross and the Crucifixion. The artwork by the ingenious sculptor Schranzhofer is among the most significant creations of local popular religious art. The depictions furthermore document the costumes in use at the traditional passion plays of the 17th and 18th century.

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The Chapel of Altötting

Just like in Jerusalem, the Tomb of Jesus is located in a polygonal hall with a dome, arching windows and a two-storey arcade. The light enters from above, and very little light reaches the tomb at all: This contrast vividly reflects the thin line between death and resurrection. On the tomb, the resurrected Jesus Christ brings joy and light to the world much like the apostles painted in the upper arcade. The Evangelists, whose message is being spread by the apostles and their successors, float above them. At the very top: God the Father, who has sent his son to redeem mankind.

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