Church of St. Maria Loreto
Despite its unobtrusive façade, the Loretokirche – a church close to Mirabell Gardens serving the nuns of the Capuchin Order – has a small surprise in store. Its interior is famous for its holy paintings, and especially for the so-called Loretokindel dating from the 17th century.
Loreto Church welcomes many visitors at all times of day. This is due, on the one hand, due its central location close to Mirabell Gardens on Paris-Lodron-Straße. On the other, those in search of peace and reflection find themselves surrounded by a number of holy paintings, including that of Maria Loreto in the right side-chapel. The Loretokindel also sees a constant flow of visitors and is venerated for its purportedly miraculous powers. This small, only 11 cm-tall ivory carving of Jesus dates from the 17th century. It is clad in a jewel-encrusted cloak that was made by nuns from the convent. Pilgrims from near and far come in order to press the figure against their head.
Loreto Church in Salzburg has a long and storied history that extends all the way back to the turmoil of the Thirty Years War. The nuns of the Loreto Convent in Landshut were compelled to flee to Salzburg in 1632. By Archbishop Paris Lodron, they were granted permission to build a convent, the cornerstone of which was laid in September 1633. The convent houses 30 cells for the use of nuns.
When the French occupied Salzburg in 1800, the convent was used as a barracks and munitions depot. Just six years later and the convent was threatened by dissolution. In order to avoid this, the nuns decided to begin feeding the poor, and they have operated a soup kitchen for the needy ever since. In an air raid during the Second World War, the church was hit by bombs and heavily damaged. However, Loreto Church was rebuilt and re-consecrated in 1946.