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ÖSTERREICH AUSTRIA
Bundesland: Niederösterreich Lower Austria
Bezirk: Gmünd  

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Unserfrau-Altweitra

lt: Unzerfrau-Altveitra
ru: Унзерфрау-Альтвайтра

2703 Unserfrau Unserfrau-Altweitra is situated at an elevation of 514 m on the river Lainsitz, about 10 km southwest of the district town Gmünd and 2 km north of Weitra in the Waldviertel region of northwest Lower Austria. The municipality was formed in 1971 out of the cadastral communities of Altweitra, Heinreichs bei Weitra, Ober-Lembach, Pyhrabruck, Schagges, Ulrichs and Unserfrau. Unserfrau-Altweitra has a population of about 1,000 (2011).

The parish church Mariä Geburt (Nativity of Our Lady) is situated on a hill in the southwestern part of Unserfrau. According to a legend, a statue of Our Lady was found on a heap of sand after being washed ashore by the waters of a flood of the river. This became the origin of the name Unserfrau am Sande (Our Lady upon the Sand). A chapel was built towards the end of the 12th century. This chapel, called 'Ursprungskapelle' ('chapel of origin') still exists. Unserfrau thus is the oldest Marian pilgrimage site in the present-day diocese of Sankt Pölten. Next to the chapel, the present church was built beginning in 1250. A Gothic choir was added to the original, Romanesque, church in the 14th century. Baroque aisles and the tower were added between 1694 and 1698. The object of veneration, a statue of Our Lady, dates from around 1440. The tabernacle in late Gothic and early Renaissance style dates from around 1525. The flourishing period of pilgrimages to this site was the 17th century. At this time Unserfrau also was known as a spa. A medieval bathroom, a cistern of a depth of 4–5 metres, can still be seen near the church. The importance as a pilgrimage site finally came to an end in the 18th century during the reign of Emperor Joseph II. Between 1783 and 1843 the Ursprungskapelle was used as a family burial place of the landgraves of Fürstenberg residing at Weitra. The chapel later became used as a charnel house. Frescos dating from around 1520 were discovered in 1962.

[https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unserfrau-Altweitra, http://www.austria-lexikon.at/af/Wissenssammlungen / Sakralbauten/Pfarrkirchen in Niederösterreich/Unserfrau, https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liste_der_denkmalgeschützten_Objekte_in_Unserfrau-Altweitra, http://unserfrau-altweitra.riskommunal.net/system/web/gelbeseite.aspx?menuonr=220428260&detailonr=220426866, http://unserfrau-altweitra.riskommunal.net/system/web/zusatzseite.aspx?menuonr=220428260&detailonr=220428257]


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