In addition to the 360° panoramic view of 620 Alpine peaks and 13 lakes, visitors to Mount Rigi can also enjoy many beautiful mountain chapels. The “Maria zum Schnee” pilgrimage chapel on Rigi-Klösterli is even one of the most beautiful mountain chapels in the world.
Pilgrimage chapel on Rigi Klösterli
The construction of the “Maria zum Schnee” pilgrimage chapel on Rigi Klösterli in 1688 boosted pilgrimage tourism. More and more pilgrims sought advice and healing at “Maria zum Schnee”, so that from 1715 the Capuchins were on site all year round.
The chapel on Rigi Klösterli is called “Maria zum Schnee” because it is dedicated to St. Mary and goes back to a legend which says that snow fell on the Esquiline Hill in Rome in August 352 AD. This was interpreted as a sign from God that a church should be built on this spot in honor of the Virgin Mary.
Since then, the feast of “Mary Snow” has been celebrated every year on August 5 to commemorate this event.
The pretty “Maria zum Schnee” pilgrimage chapel is one of the most beautiful mountain chapels in the world. The altarpiece is a copy of the famous “Maria zum Schnee” painting in the magnificent church of Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome.
A few years later, the chapel could no longer cope with the flow of pilgrims. In 1721, it was replaced by a larger one – the current pilgrimage chapel. Around 1730, up to 25,000 pilgrims visited the chapel every year.
The many petition boards in the chapel allow the faithful to bring their requests and intentions before God. It is a kind of prayer wall on which people can record their personal intentions in writing. The tradition of hanging up petition boards goes back to the conviction that God hears and answers the prayers and requests of his faithful.
People usually write down their wishes, worries, needs and gratitude on the plaques. These can be about health, relationship problems, professional challenges or even gratitude for good events in life. By hanging the plaques in the chapel, it is symbolically expressed that the faithful place their requests and concerns in God’s hands and trust in his help and guidance.
The petition plaques in the chapel thus serve as an expression of people’s faith and hope and as an opportunity to bring their worries and needs before God.
The pilgrimage church “Maria zum Schnee” is particularly suitable for romantic wedding ceremonies.
St. Michael’s rock chapel
Guests have been coming to Mount Rigi for over 400 years. One reason was the spring on Rigi Kaltbad, which was said to have healing powers. The name Felsenkapelle (rock chapel) refers to the fact that the chapel is situated between two rocks – the Nagelfluh rocks on Rigi Kaltbad.
The first chapel was consecrated in 1585. The Catholic rock chapel on Rigi Känzeli Trail dates back to 1770.
The rock chapel of St. Michael on Rigi Kaltbad is shrouded in legend as it exudes a mystical and mysterious aura due to its location and history. Nestled between rock faces, the small chapel is a place of power for many locals and visitors alike.
In earlier times, this place was called Schwesternborn. Legend has it that at the time of Emperor Albrecht of Austria – at the beginning of the 14th century – three pious sisters withdrew to this wilderness to escape violent bailiffs who wanted to abduct them.
They led a holy life there. Legend has it that after the death of the last of the three sisters, a spring of healing water sprang up. Many people sought healing by bathing in the cold spring water. This is where the name Kaltbad comes from.
Pilgrims not only came to the crystal-clear spring, but also to the “mild mother Mariae Gnadenthron”. The stained glass windows with St. Brother Klaus, Our Lady with Child, Christ and St. Thomas the Unbeliever and St. Christopher were created by various artists.
The mystical and mysterious aura of the St. Michael rock chapel on Rigi Kaltbad has contributed to it being visited not only by believers, but also by people in search of spiritual experience and inner contemplation.
The chapel can accommodate 120 people and is ideal for weddings and baptisms.
Video St. Michael’s rock chapel with spring
Be inspired by the mysticism and spiritual surroundings…
Chapel on Rigi Scheidegg
The Pietà “Mother of Sorrows” chapel is located on Rigi Scheidegg. The name “Mother of Sorrows” for the Pietà Chapel on Rigi Scheidegg comes from the central motif that can be found in the chapel. A Pietà is a depiction of the Virgin Mary with the body of Jesus on her lap, symbolizing the suffering and pain of a mother for her child.
The name “Mother of Sorrows” for the Pietà Chapel on Rigi Scheidegg expresses the deep connection of the faithful to the Virgin Mary and her grief over the death of her son Jesus. The Pietà depiction recalls the suffering and sacrificial death of Jesus Christ and at the same time expresses the hope of resurrection and eternal life. The chapel on Rigi Scheidegg is a place of contemplation and comfort for people seeking support and security in difficult life situations.
Combined with a short hike, this chapel is well worth a visit.
The Rigi Scheidegg chapel is ideal for weddings and christenings. It can accommodate 70 people and can be reached with the Kräbel-Rigi Scheidegg aerial cableway via Goldau or with the Obergschwend-Rigi Burggeist aerial cableway via Gersau.
Chapel on Rigi Kulm
The mountain chapel “Regina Montium” (1,798 m) is majestically situated on Rigi Kulm. On Easter Monday 1967, it was solemnly consecrated by the Abbot of Einsiedeln, Benno Gut, and named “Regina Montium”.
The mountain chapel on Rigi Kulm is called “Regina Montium”, which translates as “Queen of the Mountains”. This name goes back to the significance of Mount Rigi as one of the most famous and beautiful mountains in Switzerland.
The name “Regina Montium” for the mountain chapel on the Rigi Kulm expresses the significance of the mountain as a symbol of beauty, strength and sublimity. The chapel is a place of devotion and prayer and offers a breathtaking panoramic view of the surrounding mountains and lakes. It is a popular destination for tourists and pilgrims who want to enjoy the beauty of nature and the spiritual atmosphere of the place.
The chapel was built from simple natural stone. In 1969, it was given a stained glass window with the inscription “Regina Montium”, which translates as Queen of the Mountains. The stained glass window by the Arth painter Hans Schilter (1918-1988) adorns the altar wall.
The Rigi Kulm mountain chapel is ideal for a wedding or christening. It is easily accessible with the Rigi Railways from Vitznau or Goldau and can accommodate 80 people.
The mountain chapel can be visited on request at the Rigi Kulm Hotel.
Rigi Kaltbad Reformed Mountain Church
If you hike from Rigi Kaltbad to Rigi First, you will come across a somewhat peculiar building, built into the steep slope, unconventionally shaped and clad in natural wood. It is the reformed mountain church on Rigi Kaltbad.
The building was designed by architect Ernst Gisel. The shape, which was considered very modern at the time, did not convince everyone, especially those who had wanted a picture-book church. At Christmas 1963, the now much-visited and much-famed mountain church was consecrated.
The chapel seats 120 people and is ideal for weddings, christenings and cultural events.
In 1742, a Way of the Cross was built from Rigi-Dächli to the “Maria zum Schnee” chapel on Rigi-Klösterli. The Malchus Chapel was the twelfth of fourteen stations on this Way of the Cross. Some priests settled there to look after the guests, which established the name Klösterli.
As the pilgrims became fewer and fewer and the number of secular travelers increased, acts of vandalism became more and more frequent, so that the Way of the Cross was finally removed except for the Malchus Chapel.
The Malchus Chapel had also fallen into disrepair and as it is not known who owned it, the Rigi-Goldau Rescue Service restored the chapel on a voluntary basis.