Pilgrimage church




The parish church of St Mary's Assumption is one of the oldest pilgrimage churches on the Lower Rhine in Wesel-Ginderich, a district on the left bank of the Rhine.

History of the pilgrimage church:

A church was mentioned in the village Ginderich as early as the 11th century. It was confirmed by Archbishop Anno II of Cologne in 1190, as was the pilgrimage to the Virgin Mary, making it the oldest pilgrimage to the Virgin Mary on the Lower Rhine. Today, however, only the mighty west tower remains of the original Romanesque building; the choir and nave were demolished and rebuilt in the 14th century. The parish church, which was generously proportioned for the rather small parish, created an appropriate setting for the miraculous image of the Virgin Mary. The Ginderich pilgrimage lost its supra-regional significance in 1640 when the Brandenburg Elector Friedrich Wilhelm banned processions. For the Marian pilgrimage site, the withdrawal of the right to procession signalled the end of a centuries-long era.

St Mary's Assumption today

It was not until 2005 that Bishop Reinhard Lettmann of Münster reinstated the Ginderich church as a place of pilgrimage in the diocese. Since then, around 2,500 believers have made the annual pilgrimage to the miraculous image of "Mary, Queen of Peace" during the pilgrimage period from May to October, thus reconnecting with the old Lower Rhine pilgrimage tradition of Ginderich.