St. Bartholomä

Architecture & Buildings

Europe, Germany, Landkreis Berchtesgadener Land

St. Bartholomä is a Catholic pilgrimage church in the Berchtesgadener Land district of Bavaria in Germany. It named for Saint Bartholomew the Apostle (Bartholomäus in German), patron of alpine farmers and dairymen. The church is located at the western shore of the Königssee lake, on the Hirschau peninsula. It can only be reached by ship or after a long hike across the surrounding mountains. A first chapel at the lake was built in 1134 by the Provosts of Berchtesgaden. From 1697 onwards it has been rebuilt in a Baroque style with a floor plan modelled on Salzburg Cathedral, two onion domes and a red domed roof. The church features stucco work by the Salzburg artist Joseph Schmidt and a three-apse quire. The altars in the apses are consecrated to Saint Bartholomew, Saint Catherine, and Saint James respectively. An annual pilgrimage to St. Bartholomä is held on Saturday after August 24, starting from the Austrian municipality of Maria Alm and crossing the Berchtesgaden Alps. Near the chapel lies the old hunting lodge of the same name. The lodge, which was first erected in the 12th century with the church, has been rebuilt multiple times. Until 1803, it was a private residence of the Berchtesgaden Prince-provosts; after their territory had been incorporated into the Kingdom of Bavaria in 1810, the building became a favorite hunting lodge of the ruling House of Wittelsbach; today it is an inn.