Did the European project begin on the St. James' Way pilgrimage? In any case, the Council of Europe certainly ascribes symbolic importance to it for the creation of Europe. The Commission for Westphalian Antiquities used this as an opportunity to research five medieval routes and prepare them to be opened to pilgrims travelling within the St. James' Way network, as well as anybody interested in cultural history.
Hikers on the roughly 1,000 km of St. James' Way routes in Westphalia take a journey through a network of paths that has been historically and archaeologically prepared for pilgrims, hikers and culture lovers over many years with scientific aspects in mind. Lost pilgrim badges and pilgrim burial sites prove that these medieval paths and former long-distance trade routes were once used by pilgrims.
There are five routes in total: Osnabrück to Wuppertal, Höxter to Bochum, Minden to Soest, Marburg to Cologne via Siegen and Bielefeld to Wesel, which opened in 2015. These routes take pilgrims through valleys, hilly uplands, tranquil forests and moorland, past ancient churches, abbeys, monasteries, ruins, palaces, to historic sites and through cities steeped in history. They inspire mindfulness and reflection, as pilgrims follow the yellow scallop shell on a blue background in their attempts to reach their next destination and find themselves along the way.
Total length of the 5 St. James' Way routes in North Rhine-Westphalia: approx. 1,000 km
Pilgrim hostels along the route?: Yes
Each route has a download (in German) with a description of the route and detailed information on the course to take, attractions along the way, pilgrim hostels, places to collect stamps
as well as GPS tracking information and tips. For more information,
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