This small town is famous for the Gnadenkapelle (Chapel of the Miraculous Image), of one of the most visited shrines in Germany. This is a tiny octagonal chapel which keeps a venerated statue of the Virgin Mary. According to the legend, in 1489, a 3-year-old local boy who had drowned in the river was revived when his grieving mother placed him in front of a wooden statue of the Virgin Mary at the high altar. News of the miracle quickly spread, and the chapel was immediately extended by the erection of a nave and a covered walkway.
The tradition of Bavaria calls for the heart of the king to be placed in an urn and kept at the chapel here. The heart of "mad" king Ludwig II of Bavaria, the builder of Neuschwanstein castle lies in this chapel along with that of his grandfathers and father.
During the Carlovingian period there was a royal palace here. Nearby King Carloman erected a Benedictine monastery in 876, with Werinolf as first abbot, and also built the abbey church in honour of the Apostle St. Philip. In 907 King Louis the Child, gave the abbey in commendam to Burchard, Bishop of Passau (903-915), (probably identical with Burchard, second and last abbot). In 910 the Hungarians ransacked and burnt the church and abbey.
In 1228 Duke Louis I of Bavaria rebuilt them and put them in charge of twelve Augustinian Canons and a provost. The Augustinians remained until the secularization of the Bavarian monasteries in 1803. For centuries, the city was the seat of the House of Oettingen and was incorporated into the Kingdom of Bavaria in 1806.
Other architectural highlights in the town are the twin-towered Stiftskirche, a late Gothic church erected in the early years of the 16th century in order to cater for the growing affluence of pilgrims, and the huge Neo-baroque Basilika, built at the beginning of the 20th century.