Following the tradition of the Andechs-Merania counts who formerly resided here, the church is dedicated to St. Nicholas of Myra and St. Elizabeth of Thuringia.
The origins for this patronage most likely date back to the era of the Andechs counts, for as early as 1130, St. Nicholas Chapel at Andechs was a pilgrimage destination. It is quite likely that the valuable collection of relics belonging to the Andechs counts was kept here.
In order to enable the pilgrims to circumnavigate the grounds, a small courtyard (Pfortenhof) separates the pilgrimage church from the monastery complex. Set above its entrance is the monastery or prelate chapel with its dome-like structure. Pilgrims reach the courtyard through a narrow terrace, which is located in front of the church to the west and through an arched walkway at the northwest corner. From the courtyard, they proceed to the outer courtyard back to the serf's court (Fronhof) at the south, where the main entrance of the pilgrimage church is currently located.