Fifteen Eye-Catching Chapels in Tirol
The Kellerjochkapelle chapel high above the Inn Valley. © TVB Silberregion Karwendel
From rocky outcrops to alpine meadows, Tirol's chapels boast some pretty spectacular locations. We have put together fifteen of the best spots in the region combining quiet reflection with amazing views.
1. Three for one in the Kaisertal Valley
The Kaisertal Valley near the town of Kufstein has been voted Tirol's most beautiful place on several occasions. Lush green meadows giving way to the craggy peaks of the Wilder Kaiser Mountains make for a stunning backdrop home to not one, not two but three chapels.
The first is the Antoniuskapelle, more than 300 years old. It can be reached on foot from Kufstein and can be easily combined with a hike up to the Stripsenjochhaus.
The Antoniuskapelle chapel in the Kaisertal Valley. © Andreas Haller
The second is the Kapelle Maria auf dem Stein at the end of the valley. It enjoys a truly spectacular location framed against the pale rockfaces of the Wilder Kaiser Mountains. The chapel is just a stone's throw from Anton-Karg-Haus, a mountain hut serving food and drink.
The Kapelle Maria auf dem Stein in Hinterbärenbad in the Kaisertal Valley. © TVB Kufsteinerland
The third chapel in the Kaisertal Valley is near the Ritzaualm, a hut which is open all year round. Again, the views are spectacular looking towards the end of the valley with its snow-covered peaks. Fit walkers can visit all three chapels plus the Ritzaualm in one day.
The Kapelle auf der Ritzaualm in the Kaisertal Valley. © TVB Kufsteinerland / Lolin
2. The Gmailkapelle near St. Johann
The Gmailkapelle is a chapel built into the rock near St. Johann. Erected in 1782, it can be accessed in one and a half hours on foot from Hinterkaiser.
Die Gmailkapelle in St. Johann. © Franz Gerdl, Kitzbüheler Alpen St. Johann
3. The Johanneskapelle at the Hohe Salve
The Johanneskapelle is perched on one of Tirol's most beautiful mountains - the Hohe Salve in the Kitzbühel Alps. Visitors keen to learn about the history of this chapel. You can either walk up to the chapel or take the cable car from Hopfgarten im Brixental or from Söll.
The chapel on the Hohe Salve mountain. © Kitzbüheler Alpen Marketing, Hannes Dabernig
4. The Hochgebirgskapelle in Zillergrund
The Hochgebirgskapelle (also known as the St.Valentin-Kapelle) is a high mountain chapel which can be reached from the Zillergrund reservoir on foot in 1.5 - 2 hours via a steep trail. The walk up is challenging, but it is well worth it for the fabulous views at 2,250 metres above sea level.
The high-mountain chapel above the Zillergrund reservoir. © Zillertal Tourismus GmbH, blickfang-photographie.com
5. The Kellerjochkapelle
The Kellerhochkapelle is perched at the highest point on the Kellerjoch mountain. At 2,344 metres above sea level it is the highest chapel on this list. Walkers wishing to make the pilgrimage up here will need to be sure of foot, but the views of the Inn Valley and the Zillertal Alps are fabulous. From the top of the Spieljochbahn cable car it takes around 2.5 hours to get to the chapel. There is also an alternative route via the Kellerjochhütte.
Sunrise on the Kellerjoch mountain. © TVB Silberregion Karwendel
6. The Notburga-Kapelle at Astenau-Alpe
Astenau-Alpe lies above the village of Wiesing in the Inn Valley, on the slopes of the Ebner Joch peak in the Rofan Mountains. It was here that in 2003 the family which owns the land built the Notburga-Kapelle. It can be reached on foot in around 1.5 hours from the car park on the main road to Lake Achensee.
The Notburga-Kapelle chapel at Astenau-Alpe. © Martina Landgráfová
7. The Halleranger-Kapelle in the Karwendel
This small chapel framed against the nothern face of the Lafatscher peak is the most popular photo spot in the Karwendel Nature Park. It is just a short walk from the Hallerangeralm and the Hallerangerhaus, two huts serving food and drink where you can leave your bike if you decide to embark on a bike-and-hike from Scharnitz through the Hinterautal Valley. The hut is on the Eagle Walk.
The chapel at the Hallerangeralm in front of the Großer Lafatscher peak. © TVB Innsbruck/Roger Rovira
8. Seven chapels and one church above Innsbruck
The Kalvarienberg with its church of the same name and seven chapels is the most famous spot in Arzl near Innsbruck. There is, of course, plenty to see and do both in and around Innsbruck, but it is well worth taking time to visit this special place just a few kilometres east of the city. The view of Innsbruck and its surrounding mountains is wonderful, especially in the evening.
Chapel at the Kalvarienberg near Innsbruck. © TVB Innsbruck /Helga Andreatta
9. The Kapelle Unserer Lieben Frau in the Obernberger See lake
A chapel in a lake? The Kapelle Unserer Lieben Frau was built on a small peninsula in the Obernberger See lake in 1934. It still stands there today and can be combined with a walk around the lake.
The chapel at the Obernberger See lake. © Martina Landgráfová
10. The Kapelle auf der Simmeringalm
The Simmeringalm is spot between the Inn Valley and the Gurgltal Valley popular with mountain bikers and hikers. It is home to a small wooden chapel set against a stunning mountain backdrop.
The chapel at the Simmeringalm. © manuel_schof
11. The Kapelle Maria Schnee at Pfundser Tschey
Pfundser Tschey is one of the most beautiful high valleys in Tirol. The lush green meadows here are dotted with numerous wooden huts used to store hay. At the heart of it all is the Kapelle Maria Schnee, a small chapel that can be reached via an easy hike or mountain bike ride.
The Kapelle Maria Schnee between the wooden hay huts of the Pfundser Tschey.
12. The Felsenkapelle Innergschlöß
The Gschlößtal Valley in East Tirol has plenty of highlights ranging from the glacier-capped peak of the Großvenediger mountain to the "Eye of God", a unique eye-shaped lake with a tiny island in the middle forming the pupil. Visitors also enjoy the ancient settlements of Innergschlöß and Außergschlöß. A walk into the valley is an ideal way of taking in these sights plus the "Felsenkapelle", a chapel built into the rockface in 1870 after its predecessor had been destroyed by an avalanche.
Chapel built into the rock in the Gschlösstal Valley. © NPHT Wendler Martin
13. The chapel at the Oberstalleralm
The Oberstalleralm is a charming collection of 18 huts in the Villgratental Valley centered around a stone chapel. It is one of the most popular spots in East Tirol and can be reached from the village of Innervillgraten either by mountain bike on on foot after parking at the Unterstalleralm. The huts can be rented as holiday homes.
The Oberstalleralm with its huts and chapel in the Villgratental Valley. © TVB Osttirol/Armin Bodner
14. The chapel at the Gölbnerblickhütte in the Kristeinertal Valley
The Kristeinertal Valley is a side valley branching off the Pustertal Valley near the village of Anras and leading up into the Villgraten Mountains. At the end of the valley lies the Gölbnerblickhütte, named after the Gölbner mountain. This is just one of many peaks over 3,000 metres here in this part of East Tirol. Behind the hut you will find an area of lush meadows known as the Celaralm, with a number of small wooden huts dotted across the landscape. In the middle of the pastures is the Celarkapelle, a small chapel that can be reached either by mountain bike or on foot from the Pustertal Valley.
The chapel at Celaralm in the Kristeinertal Valley. © TVB Osttirol/Carolina Trauner.
Insider tip! The Kelderkapelle in the Valsertal Valley
Your reward for reading all the way through to the end of the article is an insider tip! The Valsertal Valley is one of the most remote and untouched valleys in Tirol and branches off the larger Wipptal Valley. This chapel is actually right next to the (very quiet) road into the valley, making it easy to access even for those who don't fancy a long walk. Autumn is the best time of year to visit, when the leaves shimmer in a thousand shades of red, pink, yellow and orange against the snow-covered peak of the Olperer mountain. Apart from the chapel, the whole valley is well worth a visit. The hike up to the Geraer Hütte or to the top of the Vennspitze mountain are popular.
The Kelderkapelle chapel in the Valsertal Valley. © TVB Wipptal
Do you have your own favourite chapel in Tirol? Let us know! :)