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Schwarzbildchen (little black image)

The picturesque little town lies in the region called Eifel, 29 km West of Bitburg. In the woods less than one km West of the town. Follow the Burgstrasse uphill past the Castle that houses the Youth-hostel. 46 cm, copy of 17th century? painted wood.

Some time around the 17th century there was a nobleman by name of Kuno von Falkenstein, who was in love with the beautiful maiden of the castle Neuerburg. Alas, he wasn’t the only one! His rival, with some friends, resolved to kill him. They attacked him in the woods near the castle. He wouldn’t have stood a chance if it weren’t for the Virgin Mary helping him. She appeared to him in a vision and showed him a hollow oak tree where he could hide.
After his miraculous rescue, thankful young Kuno placed this Black Madonna, probably meant to be a copy of the Black Madonna of Altötting, in the oak. Soon the people of the region started coming here on pilgrimage and apparently some of their prayers were answered. The chapel across from the shrine in the tree exhibits quite a few ex-voti – thanksgiving plaques offered to the Black Madonna.

In 2010 the local priest reported that the original was stolen. In 1984 an artist made two copies resembling the old statue, one for the tree shrine and one for the church in town. The latter seems to be kept in the parish office building.

Information and photos are based on Ean Begg(*1) and Mark Veermans, a Dutch man who walked from Holland to Montserrat, Spain on a Black Madonna pilgrimage and took the most beautiful pictures. If you don’t know Dutch I recommend googling Mark Loopt (that is 'Mark walks' in Dutch) and clicking on “translate page”.

What remains of the 700 year old oak tree is carefully
preserved and still houses the Black Madonna.

Just the more recent ex-voti
"Mary helped. Keep helping!" "Thanks be to Mary!"

*1: Ean Begg, The Cult of the Black Virgin, Arkana: 1985, p. 238