The ever helpful “Mother of the Black Forest”
An old legend tells of how Todtmoos was founded. The Mother of God is said to have appeared to the lay priest Dietrich von Rickenbach in 1255. She instructed him to take up life as a hermit at Schoenbuehl, between Wehra and Totenbach. Once there he was to fell a tree and construct a chapel out of the wood. Dietrich heard the calling and the chapel soon became a place of pilgrimage. By 1268 the wooden chapel had been replaced by a stone construction. In 1319 the church came under the administration of the monastery at St. Blasien which boosted its popularity amongst pilgrims. The first miracles were recorded in 1427, including the removal of the plague from Basle and Freiburg. There are also reputed to have been healing springs here. Little is known about the almost live size Pietà that hangs above the High Altar except that it was carved by a local craftsman around 1390. Today Todtmoos is not only a renowned spa town but remains popular as a place of pilgrimage, especially on Marian feast days. The most well known of these is the walking pilgrimage from Hornussen in Switzerland during Whitsun.