Maria im Stein

Useful Information

Location: Wanderparkplatz Aachtobel, Steinhöfe 1, 88662 Überlingen.
From the B31n in Überlingen take the Bad Saulgau exit, L200 towards Bad Saulgau, after 6.4 km take the Heiligenberg Frickingen exit, turn left towards Lippertsreute, after 1 km turn right, after 1.5 km turn left towards Steinhöfe. From the hikers' car park 400 m/10 minutes on foot.
(47.8193365, 9.2240105)
Open: no restrictions.
Fee: free.
Classification: SubterraneaCave Churche
Light: bring torch
Guided tours: self guided
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Bibliography: Anonymous (2000): Lippertsreute - Maria im Stein 2. Auflage. Verlag Schnell & Steiner, Regensburg 2000, ISBN 3-7954-5505-7.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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11th century Hohenbodman Castle built by the Lords of Bodman as a hilltop castle.
1507 Hohenbodman Castle becomes the property of the bailiff of the imperial city of Überlingen.
24-FEB-1550 first written mention of the chapel in a hereditary fief.
1642 Hohenbodman Castle conquered and burnt down by Konrad Widerholt.
1663 place is marked on a map with a cross and a tower.
1715 extensive repairs to the dilapidated chapel.
1720 to 1750 the miraculous image of the Comforter of the Afflicted becomes a popular pilgrimage destination.
19th century pilgrimage site abolished.
1948 new chapel built.
1976 tower restored.
1996-1999 tower renovated.


Maria im Stein (Mary in the Rock) is a place of pilgrimage in the Aachtobel ravine of the Salemer Aach near Lippertsreute. At the end of the last ice age around 12,000 years ago, the meltwater from the glaciers cut deep into the soft Molasse rock. This created a rock face with small erosional caves. Later a chapel was built here and the caves were extended. Niches were cut into the rock face to accommodate a statue of the Virgin Mary, among other things, hence the name Maria im Stein. When pilgrimage site was reactivated after World War II, a new, somewhat larger chapel was built, which, however, only consists of a semicircular roof on the rock face that protects the chancel. The benches for the faithful are located outside in a semicircle around it. A cave slightly higher up in the rock face with a crucifix appears to have been artificially carved into the soft limestone.

The chapel goes back to Albero von Bodman, who was persuaded by Eberhard von Rohrdorf to take part in the Damiette Crusade. On his return, he built a chapel on this site, and the accompanying legend (see below) is typical of the time. Its popularity as a place of pilgrimage developed in the 18th century, at that time, the miraculous image of the Trösterin der Betrübten (Comforter of the Afflicted) was here. At the beginning of the 19th century, the pilgrimage site was abolished. The miraculous image was moved to the parish church in Lippertsreute, where it can still be found today. The current chapel was built after World War II.

Alberto von Bodmann was captured while travelling to the Holy Land against the Turks. After many years, Alberto saw all earthly hopes fading and turned to God and Mary in prayer. After happily escaping from Turkish captivity, he built a church to the Mother of God here, in this place where he saw his home castle for the first time again, true to his vow.

The place is once again a place of pilgrimage, albeit not to the same extent as in the 18th century. Numerous votive tablets bear witness to the fulfilment of requests for help. The spring below is regarded as healing water, and many people come here to collect some.

If you wish, you can combine this with a short hike. The path leads down into the Aachtobel and then on to the remains of Hohenbodman Castle, which was built as a hilltop castle by the Lords of Bodman at the end of the 11th century. In 1507, it became the property of the bailiff of the imperial city of Überlingen. During the Thirty Years' War, it was captured and burnt down by Konrad Widerholt in 1642, destroying everything except the tower. The 37-metre-high tower, popularly known as Mehlsack (sack of flour) because of its white paint, was renovated in 1976 and between 1996 and 1999 by the municipality of Owingen. Since then, it has been accessible, a steep spiral staircase leads up to the top, and there is a wonderful view. On a clear day, you can see a panoramic view of the Alps over the Linzgau and Überlingen. Even with the viewing tower, the hike is only 3 kilometres long and can be completed in an hour