The pilgrimages of old

Rediscovering ancient pilgrimage routes is a revelation of our time. People want to learn how to slow down. There is a right path for everyone on Germany's well-developed pilgrimage routes.

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It is not a new pilgrimage route, but it is certainly a "healing" one: the route from the Elisabethbrunnen well in Friedrichroda's Reinhardsbrunn district to the Lutherbrunnen well in Tambach-Dietharz, where Luther was once rid of his suffering. This is a route for reflecting on health, healing and the ever so important inner voice.

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The story of the blood miracle of Walldürn dates back to around 1330. This tale has lost none of its fascination; as testified by the numbers of worshippers who go on the pilgrimage during the four-week period to honour the Holy Blood in the minor basilica. And they often travel with great hope for solace in their backpack.

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Ruten Via Baltica kaldes også den baltisk-westfalske Jakobsvej. Den udgør således en øst-vest-forbindelse for Jakobs-pilgrimme, hvis startsted ligger på grænsen til Polen, og den fører gennem fem tyske delstater. Dermed bliver Europa også knyttet en smule tættere sammen.

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Pilgrimsruter skaber gensidig forståelse mellem folk: På Jakobsvejen fra Speyer til Metz går det op for én, at udveksling af tanker over grænserne ikke er nogen moderne opfindelse. Hvilket ikke bør afholde én fra at prøve det bevidst. Der er tid nok til det på den cirka 290 kilometer lange rute gennem en af Tysklands smukkeste egne.

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For 375 years, Christians looking for hope have sought out an image of the Mother of God: the Madonna in the small Baroque chapel on Kapellenplatz (Chapel Square) at the heart of Kevelaer. This has transformed the tiny town in the Lower Rhine region into one of the most important Marian shrines in Germany, and made it a meeting place for prayer and silent conversation with God.

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As the saying goes: "in vino veritas". If you believe this, then the Wine Route is the ideal pilgrimage for exploring your inner self. This indulgent trail from Koblenz to Konstanz boasts ever-changing scenery and exciting cultural history. The entire route is accessible, so it is perfect for hikers and wheelchair users who like to hike.

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Pilgrims on the route between Erfurt, Arnstadt and Paulinzella are not just following in the footsteps of three important strong women, they also get to experience the local and religious history.

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The hiking trails and pilgrimage routes that snake through the region of St. Wendel are thought to offer "moments to take pause". They connect Saarland's long-established pilgrimage sites, including St. Wendel, Tholey and Marpingen. They also reflect deep faith and are a source of strength for those who have set out on their journey.

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Den kaldes „Nordeuropas Santiago“, den såkaldte Wunderblutkirche (mirakel-blods-kirken) St. Nikolai i Bad Wilsnack, der er målet for pilgrimsruten Berlin–Bad Wilsnack. De sagnomspundne "blodhostier" (nadverbrød) er for længst blevet flammernes bytte. Men man kan dog stadig fornemme den betydning, som denne kirke havde i tidligere tider.

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Three routes in Hesse are dedicated to St. Elizabeth, who, in acts of exemplary selflessness, cared for those whose lives had taken a cruel turn: the poor, the sick and the needy. The Elizabeth Paths start in three different places – Frankfurt, Eisenach and Cologne – yet all roads lead to St. Elizabeth's Church in Marburg.

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