Maria Saal, Carinthia, market town in the district of Klagenfurt Land, alt. 505 m, pop. 3,700 (3,202 in 1981), area 34.84 km2, highly popular with pilgrims and day trippers; situated north of the town of Klagenfurt in the outer regions of the Zollfeld (valley drained by the River Glan, part of the Klagenfurt Basin). - Open air museum exhibiting typical Carinthian farmsteads, convent of the Sisters of Mercy (including a domestic science school and a home for mentally handicapped children); timber processing, haulage company, car traders, distribution centre of a trading chain, engineering works. - Late Gothic fortifications encircling a provost´s cottage and a pilgrimage church (constituted the religious centre of Carinthia during the 8th century, bishopric until 945 with short interruptions). Choir and transept (1430), nave (1450-1459), fortifications (destroyed by a great fire, rebuilt between 1670 and 1674); various stone monuments from Virunum (e.g. stone relief of a Roman wagon), as well as historical tombstones (Keutschach Epitaph, 1510) along the outside of the south walls. Interior ornamented with Gothic frescoes (Genealogy of Christ, 1490); transept decorated with murals (1430), a mural by H. Boeckl (1928) and Baroque stucco works; impressive high altar (1714) with a cast stone madonna (1425); magnificent winged altars in the side choirs. The church bell weighing 6,600 kg was cast from Turkish canons in 1687; Baroque pulpit (1747); Gothic lantern (1497) in front of the south portal; charnel house (first documented mention in 1416); fortifications including a tower, a deanery, a former provost´s cottage (now housing the museum of local history´s furniture collection) and a gate house (ornamented with frescoes depicting the Virgin, 1776); column dedicated to the Virgin (1663); Plague cross ornamented with Late Gothic murals(1523).
Literature#F. Schroeer, Propstei- und Wallfahrtskirche Maria Saal, 1983.