Ettal Abbey, Bavaria, Germany -- Entering that Gothic portal, we are overwhelmed by the baroque splendor within this twelve-sided (dodecagon) main room used by the congregation. The monks have their own worship space which we see at center of the top picture. The miraculous statue that draws pilgrims (perhaps its greatest miracle) is where the tabernacle would be on the far altar. It shows here as a tiny gold sliver below the massive oil painting at center. These panoramas merge on the picture of the virgin being decapitated at lower right (or upper left).The front is dominated by the six side altars and their paintings shown at top. The back features the historic organ and two faux balconies -- all overhanging four baroque wood-and-gilt confessionals. (You may have to click on "hide captions" to see them.)

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