Domain: Cultural routes (pilgrimage routes)
Title: Kirche unterwegs (Church on the Move)
Church on the Move is a mobile application that introduces pilgrims and tourists to heritage sites along the Slovenian–Styrian Mary’s Pilgrimage Route to Mariazell as well as the parishes in Styria. The application provides cultural and “inspirational” content as well as practical information for the pilgrimage. One innovative element is QR codes on panels at important sites that enable instant access to the available content.
- Diözese Graz-Seckau (Diocese of Graz-Seckau, department for new media), http://www.katholische-kirche-steiermark.at
- Pfarre Hartberg (Parish of Hartberg), http://hartberg.graz-seckau.at
- Pilgrimage Europe SI-AT, http://www.pilgern.info/index.php?id=5&L=5
- CodeFlügel GmbH, http://www.codefluegel.com
The idea and initial concept for developing the mobile application Church on the Move has been developed in the EU co-funded cross-border project Pilgrimage Europe SI-AT (2011-2013). The Pilgrimage project involved the Diocese of Graz-Seckau (lead partner), regional development agencies, research groups, and tourism organisations in Austria and Slovenia. Based on the results, the Diocese of Graz-Seckau and the Styrian Parish of Hartberg decided to create the mobile application. The goal was to cover the heritage sites along the Mariazell Pilgrimage Route from Slovenia to Austria and to include information on all Styrian parishes.
The technical implementation was carried out by CodeFlügel, a small Styrian developer of mobile and augmented reality applications with a track record in cultural projects.
Financing / funding
The development of the mobile application has been organised and funded by the Diocese of Graz-Seckau, with support by the Parish of Hartberg. It also benefitted from expertise and content developed in the European cross-border project Pilgrimage Europe SI-AT.
Content & IPR / licensing
Church on the Move provides information about the main sites along the Slovenian–Styrian Mary’s Pilgrimage Route to Mariazell. For the Slovenian part of the route information is included starting from Ptujska Gora. The content for each site includes cultural information (heritage objects, legends, etc.), spiritual content (text and audio), a 360° panorama, and of course a map and routes are provided so that the users do not get lost on their way to the next pilgrimage site. Features of the part on the parishes in Styria include an image and brief description of each church, navigation support, a calendar of saints, news of the diocese, and live-streaming of religious services. The app is available for free while the copyrights of the content remain with the different providers.
Technologies used / innovative features
Church on the Move is a state-of-the art mobile application that is available for Apple iOS and Android smartphones and tablets. The navigable map of the route suggests tours taking into account the user’s current position (identified via GPS). Information on the pilgrimage sites can also be accessed on-site by using the Quick Response (QR) codes that have been placed on panels.
The main target group of Church on the Move are residents and tourists in the cross-border region of Styria and Slovenia, and the international community of pilgrims who are visiting all or some sites along the Mariazell Pilgrimage Route. Information for the pilgrimage route is provided in German, Slovenian and English.
Cooperation: The mobile application has been developed in a cooperation of the church community with a creative producer of web and mobile services. It builds on knowledge, expertise and content of previous cross-border projects of Austrian and Slovenian organisations.
Content: The mobile app provides cultural heritage and “inspirational” content along the pilgrimage route. The project manager of Church on the Move, Martina Linzer (Diocese of Graz-Seckau) also emphasised the importance of combining this content with information for various needs of tourists and pilgrims, e.g. navigational support, practical information about local services, etc.
Technologies used / innovative features: The application uses various functionalities of smartphones and tablets. One innovative component is QR codes on panels at important sites that enable instant access to the available content.
Sources and links
- Kirche unterwegs, website of the mobile app (in German), http://www.katholische-kirche-steiermark.at/specials/app#.UmUJ38rcCyZ
- App on Apple iTunes Store, https://itunes.apple.com/at/app/kirche-unterwegs/id690523707?mt=8
- App on Google Play store (Android), https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.codefluegel.kirchenfinder
- Mariazell Pilgrimage Route, descriptions of sites, http://pilgern.graz-seckau.at/englisch
- Pilgern 2.0, project website, http://www.pilgern.info/index.php?id=5&L=5
- Pilgrimage in Europe: Cross-border ways towards a better understanding and faithful cooperation, Mariazell, 13-15 May 2012, conference report, http://familienreferat.graz-seckau.at/pilgrimage#