Karoli Chapel – Waldkirchen’s idyllic hideaway
The name Karoli derives from St. Charles (lat. Carolus) Borromaeus (1538 – 1584).
He was bishop and cardinal of Milan, reform bishop of the Council of Trent and a leading light of the Catholic Movement for Religious Renewal. When the plague raged in Northern Italy, he led efforts to attend the sick. The high altar painting, the main picture of the nave fresco, reminds of his charitable work.
In the 17th century some Italian traveling salesmen were staying at Waldkirchen, among others the tradesman Bernhard Linus, a great admirer of cardinal Charles Borromaeus. He founded Caroli Chapel around 1655 in the cardinal’s honor. In 1756 the chapel was enlarged, received coloration and was fitted with a new altar (Rokoko style). The ceiling fresco in the presbytery shows an ancient view of Waldkirchen around 1750. During the last years, at last in 2000/2001, several renovation works and restorations were carried out mainly by volunteers.
The chapel was, and still is, a popular place of pilgrimage. It is in an idyllic setting surrounded by age-old lime trees, and attracts many wanderers, art lovers and prayers. Old traditions are still kept alive, such as the ‘Walk to Emmaus’ on Easter Monday, the ‘Peace Procession’ of the women on Whit Monday and the so-called ‘St. Leonhard Ride’ in honor of the patron saint of cattle and horses early in November.
Below the small road lined with lime trees, a so-called ‚Crystal Curtain between Heaven and Earth’ limits the architectural ensemble around Karoli Chapel. This installation, composed of glass blocks of different sizes in shades of blue, was errected in 2007 on the occasion of the Regional Flower and Garden Festival. This artwork has been consciously designed to set a counterpart to chapel and linden-lined road. And besides, accent lighting at night creates a glamorous atmosphere.
Please get further information at Touristinformation Waldkirchen.