Seefeld - Church of St Oswald

The Parish Church

The religious history of Seefeld is first documented in the 12th century, when the woods on the Seefeld plateau were granted to a monastery in present-day Germany.

A form of church had probably stood for a long time before the Church of St Oswald was first mentioned in the 14th century.

However the Legend of the Host brought pilgrims streaming to the Seefeld plateau and in the 15th century Seefeld was made into a separate parish. Many of the rulers of the Tirol donated goods, land and money to the church and the church was extended and improved by a succession of stonemasons and artists. The church of St Oswald is now considered one of the most important Gothic buildings in the Tyrol.

In the 16th century, Emperor Maximilian began the century-long construction of a monastery next to the church. The Augustinian monastery was completed at the beginning of the 17th century but the monks remained only until 1785 when the Emperor Joseph II dissolved the monasteries and sold their wealth. When the Tirol came under Bavarian control the monastery was sold into private hands and the buildings are now the five-star Hotel Klosterbräu.

The Church of St Oswald in Seefeld

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The Legend of the Host

The church of St Oswald, named after a Scottish missionary, had been established at the beginning of the 14th century.

Towards the end of the century, one of the trustees of the church was the local knight Oswald Milser. During the communion services he demanded the large portion of the communion wafer that was normally kept for the priest.

As the knight was known as an impatient and important person, the priest did not dare refuse him.

However, as soon as the wafer touched Oswald Milser's lips, he began to sink into the stone floor. The frightened Milser tried to hold firm to the altar but the stone there started to melt under his hands as well.

The priest quickly removed the wafer from the knight's lips and the stone became firm again. The wafer however began to run with blood. The alarmed Milser fell to his knees and cried for forgiveness.

He retreated from the world and died two years later in Stams monastery in the Inn valley.