The place of pilgrimage is connected with the fate of the married couple Anna Maria (1674-1749) and Johann Christoph Liebsch (1667-1745). He worked his way up from yarn merchant to the wealthy owner of numerous bleach shops. The couple thanked God for their wealth with many donations. The pious married couple dreamed the same dream; the Virgin Mary appeared to them with the request to build a chapel for them in Schnauhübel. The foundation stone was laid on 29. 7. 1732. The master builder of the Chapel of Mary Snow was Zacharias Hoffmann from Lipová (Hainspach). The one-nave Baroque chapel was completed in 1734. In 1738 Pope Clement XII granted indulgences to the chapel in Schnauhübel on the Feast of Mary Snow, thus opening the pilgrimage tradition of the village.
In the years 1843-1845 the chapel was extended under the direction of the Hainspach master builder Franz Eiselt. From the originally private chapel of the Liebsch couple a presbytery was built. The motto of the Liebsch couple was: "It's not I who build here, but God." In addition to the chapel, they dedicated a school to their home town of Schnauhübel, founded a poorhouse and transferred contributions to several churches for mass foundations. The portrait of the founding couple is shown in the sandstone relief on the church wall.
The pilgrimage site was visited at all Marian feasts, but since the foundation of an independent parish in Schnauhübel in 1850, there was only one pilgrimage to the church feast of the Maria Schnee Basilica in Rome (Santa Maria Maggiore) on August 5th. Before World War II, Schnauhübel was the destination of many processions celebrating the snow miracle of Rome. Among the pilgrims, the statue of the Virgin Mary was praised above all.
In the famous Hollywood movie "The Reader" from 2008, the idyllically situated church was the scene of two shootings. The first scene is set in 1958 and shows how far the cinematic representation can be from reality. The second scene is set in 1995, where the church looks much more realistic. Other places in the region (e.g. Kirnitzschtalbahn, Buschmühle) were also filming locations.
scene in 1958 (with Kate Winslet and David Kross):
scene in 1995 (with Ralph Fiennes and Hannah Herzsprung):