Highly spiritual – The Black Forest was often a harsh and difficult living environment for its former inhabitants. There was no insurance in the event of illness, fire, poor harvests, or other turns of fate. Help and salvation was sought through the belief in the living God and the intercessions of the saints. Henceforth, chapels were built in the districts and hamlets far from the parish churches in the village. They are “small churches without their own clergy”. It was in these chapels that people once sought hope and assurance in times of need.
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St. Odile founded the abbey named after her in Alsace around 690 and presided over it as the abbess. She founded the Niedermünster Abbey with one spital at the foot of St. Odile Mountain around 700. The healing spring by the mountain is still frequented today. St. Odile is the patron saint of Alsace. Legend claims that she was born blind and received the gift of sight during her baptism. Her grave on the St. Odile Mountain is a well-known, frequently visited pilgrimage site.
In 1978, the renovated Tannenkapelle (Tannen Chapel) on the Kapellenweg was consecrated. The so-called “Löffeltanne” had stood here previously. According to tradition, it was mainly people with eye complaints that visited the Tannenkapelle. Numerous votive tablets proclaim various prayers that were heard by St. Odile, known as the patron saint for eye, ear, and head pain.
The small chapel is in a solitary spot on a forest path. It is well cared for and invites visitors to come and linger.
The little chapel’s feast day is on 13 December.