After returning home to Indiana from Germany in early 2000 where we lived for a time working for the US military, we started a home project in an effort to bring the lovely European tradition of wayside shrines to our property by erecting a set of Stations of the Cross, several field crosses, garden cross and a Marian garden statue. What began as a home project, inspired by our faith and the faith we saw throughout Europe, became a family vocation to help establish this Catholic tradition here at home.
Our shrines are typical of the many similar outdoor crucifix shrines found in the Alpine regions of Europe, especially southern Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France and northern Italy. Wayside shrines are known by many names in different regions of the world. Our shrines are modeled after the shrines that have been popular in Western and Eastern Europe especially the Alpine regions.
In the Alpine regions of Europe common names for wayside shrines are Bildstock,Marterl,Helgenstöckli, Wegstock, Schöpflöffel, Flukreuz or Wegkreuz, which are names used for a wide variety of wayside shrine types. The terms are sometimes used to describe a specific type of wayside shrine, but the terms can also be used interchangeably to describe any type of wayside shrine.
A shrine on a single column or post is known in German as Bildstock. The Austrian/South German single column or post shrines are known as Marterl. This term Marterlharkens back to the Greek martyros'martyr', for a Christian saint. Many historic wayside shrines are various decorative shrines on a single post, the shrine at the top of the post contains a niche or opening similar to a tabernacle.
"Thank you for your fine detailed work. The shrine is beautiful. My God Bless Your Efforts."
"The shrine is magnificent. I never expected it would be this nice. Thanks."
"The shrines are so beautiful my mother loved them. I'd like to order another one for myself!"
"Your workmanship is superb. Please send me another [shrine]. Thanks"
"Thank You so much, the Shrine is beautiful." Susan, CT
In the opening or niche there is an image or a statue of Jesus, Mary, or a Saint. Any of our shrines could fit this category of a single post shrine but the most specific example would be our Marian Shrine.
In the Eifel region of Germany, some popular shrines consist of a single pillar with a niche for a depiction of a saint. These are known asSchöpflöffel(German for “ladle” or “serving spoon”). This type of shrine was popular from the Late Middle Ages through the 16th century but can still be seen in today. Our pillar shrines are a good example of this type of shrine.
Flurkreuz or Wegkreuz is the German name given to a self standing crucifix with or without a shrine housing (roof and crucifix backing). Our Alpine shrines and Bavarian Cross fit this category perfectly.
4193 E. Ore Branch Road, Bloomfield, IN 47424; (812) 384-3813