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Marien- oder Pestsäule

Marian or Plague Column

Johann Matthias Leitner & Andreas Zeller
1738 (copy 1968-72)

Kapfenberg /  Marien- oder Pestsäule   Kapfenberg /  Marien- oder Pestsäule


Column with a statue of St. Mary with Child, flanked by four statues of saints.

Kapfenberg - Marien- oder Pestsäule
St. Florian
(d. c. 304), commander of the imperial army in the Roman province of Noricum, responsible for organizing firefighting brigades. Martyred because is did not want to sacrifice to Roman gods. He is usually depicted as a Roman officer pouring water from a pitcher over a fire (Wikipedia).

Kapfenberg - Marien- oder Pestsäule
St. Sebastian
(died c. 288), martyr, killed during the Roman emperor Diocletian's persecution of Christians (Wikipedia).

Kapfenberg - Marien- oder Pestsäule
St. Roch
(14th century), saint from Montpellier, he is specially invoked against the plague. (Wikipedia).

Kapfenberg - Marien- oder Pestsäule
St. Johannes von Nepomuk / St. John of Nepomuk
(Nepomuk c. 1345 - Praha 1393), confessor of the queen of Bohemia, refused to divulge the secrets of the confessional. At the behest of King Wenceslaus of Bohemia he was thrown from the Charles Bridge in Prague and drowned. John of Nepomuk is patron saint of bridges (Wikipedia)

Information Sign

mariensäule / pestsäule

1738 errichtet auf dem Platz vor dem Rathaus im Auftrag des Rates zu Kapfenberg als Erinnerung
an die Errettung vor der Pest, Säule mit Statuen geschaffen vom Grazer Barockbildhauer Johann Matthias Leitner
und dem Steinmetz Andreas Zeller
1947 aus verkehrstechnischen Gründen am Hauptplatz abgetragen
1968-1972 hier bei der Stadtpfarrkirche St. Oswald originalgetreu in Kopie aus Kunststein wieder aufgestellt,
stark beschädigte Originale aus Aflenzer Kalksandstein verschollen
Figuren von links nach rechts:
Hl. Florian - Schutzpatron gegen Feuer
Hl. Sebastian - Schutzpatron der Sterbenden
Hl. Rochus - Schutzpatron gegen die Pest
Hl. Johannes Nepomuk - Schutzpatron gegen Überschwemmungen
Oben in der Mitte: Maria, die Gottesmutter mit dem Jesukind

Marian Column / Plague Column

1738: erected on the square in front of the town hall on behalf of the council of Kapfenberg as a memory
to the salvation from the plague, column with statues created by the Graz baroque sculptor Johann Matthias Leitner
and the stonemason Andreas Zeller
1947: for traffic reasons removed from the main place
1968-1972: here at the parish church St. Oswald faithfully reproduced from artificial stone,
heavily damaged originals from Aflenz sandstone missing
Figures from left to right:
St. Florian - patron saint against fire
St. Sebastian - patron saint of the dying
St. Rochus - patron saint against the plague
St. John Nepomuk - patron saint against flooding
Up in the middle: Mary, the mother of God with the Child Jesus

Kapfenberg - Marien- oder Pestsäule

Marian, Holy Trinity and Plague Columns (Mariensäule, Dreifaltigkeitssäule, Pestsäule)

Marian and Holy Trinity columns are religious monuments with a statue of Saint Mary or a depiction of the Holy Trinity on top of a column. Around the base of the column are usually various saints. Marian columns were built to thank the Virgin Mary for intervention to quell the pestilence and other scourges. The first of those was erecrted in Vienna in 1667 (Mariensäule) and the second in 1679 also in Vienna at the Graben, the Pestsäule.
The purpose of the Holy Trinity columns was usually simply to celebrate the church and the faith, although the plague motif could play a role.
Erecting religious monuments in the form of a column surmounted by a figure or a Christian symbol was a gesture of public faith that flourished in the Catholic countries of Europe especially in the 17th and 18th centuries (Wikipedia)


Sources & Information


  • Florian, St.
  • John of Nepomuk, St.
  • Leitner, Johann Matthias
  • Marian Column
  • Mary with Child
  • Plague Column
  • Roch, St.
  • Sebastian, St.
  • Zeller, Andreas
  • Locatie (N 47°26'27" - E 15°17'12") (Satellite view: Google Maps)

    Item Code: atst121; Photograph: 13 September 2016
    Of each statue we made photos from various angles and also detail photos of the various texts.
    If you want to use photos, please contact us via the contact form (in Dutch, English or German).
    © Website and photos: René & Peter van der Krogt

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