Located in the picturesque valley of Salza amid the north Styrian Alps, the city of Mariazell is rather small with a population of just over 3000 inhabitants. Yet, its reputation is larger than life. More than a million people visit the city each year. While some do come to sample the fresh Alpine or for the skiing (Mariazell is also after all a noted winter resort), most of the visitors are religious pilgrims who flock to Mariazell to visit its world-renowned Basilica and pay homage to the wooden image of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

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