View on the exhibition. Photo: Swiss National Museum

Einsiedeln Abbey is one of the most significant European places of pilgrimage, drawing people from all over the world. Popes, emperors, kings and ordinary citizens have lavished privileges, gifts and donations on this abbey with its vast European network. More than 250 000 pilgrims visited the abbey in 1720 for example. Thanks to the aura of this pilgrimage destination, the abbey survived the Reformation and the consequences of the French Revolution. The exhibition tells the eventful history of the abbey and of its pilgrimage. Many of the main exhibits are on show outside the abbey walls for the very first time. Examples include a manuscript said to have belonged to Saint Meinrad, a chalice from King Carol of Romania and the splendid clothes and jewellery of the Black Madonna.Madonna.