Thenneberg, Dornau, pilgrimage church

Pilgrimage church © Zoller

Out of gratitude for the prelate’s recovery from a serious illness, Abbot Jacob Pach of (Klein-) Mariazell commissioned the construction of the pilgrimage church “Zum leidenden Heiland in der Dornau” directly at the Via Sacra to Mariazell in Styria. The work was carried out in two phases covering the period between 1764 and 1774. The series of frescos is derived from the Sorrowful Mysteries and was painted by Franz Zoller.

It seems that Zoller’s work on the presbytery did not meet the expectations, since Johann Bergl was commissioned in 1774 to overpaint the frescos. The result was much more colourful and richer, quite in line with Bergl’s typical style.

Unfortunately, these paintings fell victim to extensive restorations of the frescos in the 1960s which brought back the old – originally unwanted – work from Zoller.

Bergl’s paintings can only be viewed on photographs from the time before the restorations. The quality of these images is however rather poor.