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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Christmas 2010 – Liechtenstein

Liechtenstein post issued a Christmas stamps featuring three large ceiling paintings of Maria Hilf.

In idyllic surroundings in the Mäls district of the Balzers community there stands a chapel about whose origins little is known, although its praises are sung in many poems and it is used as a popular wedding chapel. One legend tells of a dragon which brought added difficulty to the penurious lives of the people of Mäls. In their distress the farmers vowed that they would build a chapel to the Blessed Virgin if she would rid them of the dragon.

Another tradition refers to the battle fought on 5th January 1289 between Friedrich von Montfort, Bishop of Chur, and his cousin, the imperially minded Count Hugo von Werdenberg. It is from this time that the earliest foundations date. The first structure of any size was built in 1690, when the Maria-Hilf Chapel had become a popular place of pilgrimage. This building was followed by others in 1720, 1842/46 and 1895. The chapel was given its present-day appearance by the extensive renovation of 1945.

A distinctive feature of the chapel are the three large ceiling paintings, whose authorship is likewise unknown. The paintings with their rustically rendered figures may have originated in the middle of the 19th century when a new roof structure was built. The ceiling paintings were renovated in 1945 and refreshed in 1977.

Title: Christmas 2010 – Liechtenstein
Date of Issue: 15 November 2010
Country: Liechtenstein
Denominations: CHF 0,85 – CHF 1,00 – CHF 1,40