Einsiedeln. Photo/Foto: TES.

Einsiedeln Monastery

The origins of the Holy Chapel housed inside the huge and beautiful baroque monastery go back to the year 934. The chapel was built at the site of the violent death of a monk called Meinrad. The name Einsiedeln appeared for the first time in a document in 1073.

The monastery became a Habsburg dominion in the thirteenth century. Schwyz plundered the monastery in 1314 and the subsequent Habsburg-Schwyz war ended in defeat for the Habsburg in 1315 near Morgarten.

The Monastery came under the protection of Schwyz in 1433. The construction of the enormous baroque monastery was started in 1704 and replaced the earlier Romanesque and Gothic buildings.

The main reason was the prestige as a pilgrimage destination after 1466 when the present statue of the Black Madonna was brought to Einsiedeln.

The place became the most important destination of veneration of Maria in Switzerland and far beyond.

The monastery is part of the Shrines of Europe network, uniting Europe´s principal Maria pilgrimage sites. (Further information: