As you may see, winter has finally arrived to Switzerland over the last few days. So be careful when you walk up the stairs.
Next to the stairs you will notice a figure of Virgin Mary. It is not the only one here.
There are two amazing things about the abbey. First - it is very bright and colourful. To be honest I do not remember ever visiting a church with that much of pink colour.
Just look at the ceiling ...
... and the chapels.
The second unusual thing is that, unlike in most churches that I have seen so far, there is no organ in the back.
Instead, there are two organs located in the aisles in the front part of the church. One on the left ...
... and another on the right hand side.
The main altar is separated by a type of fence. The doors are open but pilgrims are not allowed to enter inside.
Because Einsiedeln welcomes thousands of pilgrims every year. It is a major stop on the Camino de Santiago. But pilgrims come mainly to visit the little black chapel in the back of the church.
People pray there every day but the pilgrimage season at Einsiedeln runs mainly from Easter to Rosary Sunday (the first Sunday in October).
Inside the chapel you will see the Black Madonna. Her black skin is presumably due to the smoke of candles. She is dressed in magnificent golden robes.
Our Lady of Ensiedeln is said to have brought many miracles over the last thousand years. In fact, she is supposed to have belonged to the founder of the first hermitage that was created in this place in ninth century. The remains of Saint Meindrad can be found in one of the chapels.
Centuries ago, Abbots of Ensideln were princes of the Holy Roman Empire and ruled the land around the Abbey. Today they focus on religious service and the famous college they run. Still, the Abbey remains an important place on the Swiss map and a beautiful piece of architecture admired by all visitors, regardless of their beliefs.