The Speyer-Metz St. James' Way route, the ruins of Wörschweiler Abbey
The Speyer-Metz St. James' Way route, the ruins of Wörschweiler Abbey ©Florian Trykowski
Spiritual travel from A to Z
Pilgrimages
in Germany

The St. James' Way route from Speyer to Metz – where boundaries lose all meaning

Pilgrimages to promote international understanding: on the St. James' Way route from Speyer to Metz, it is clear that cross-border thought is not an invention of the modern era. But don't let this discourage you from making a conscious effort to give it a go. There is plenty of time to think on the roughly 290 km route through one of Germany's most beautiful regions.

The pilgrimage from Speyer to Metz, the South Route of the Palatine Ways of St. James, is a little bit like life itself. It has highs and lows, it rises and falls. It takes pilgrims through sun-drenched plains and forests where the sun is brave enough to break through. But it is also a route with fantastically spectacular vistas and panoramas that promise hope. The first highlight right at the start of this pilgrimage is Speyer Cathedral, a pilgrimage site, UNESCO World Heritage Site and the world's largest surviving Romanesque church. Traditional paths take pilgrims through the Palatinate with its beauty and diversity, across the Rhine Plain, the German Wine Route, popular for its mild climate, and through the Palatinate Forest. After around 145 km, half the journey is already behind pilgrims once they reach Hornbach Abbey. Even if all that remains of this former Benedictine abbey is ruins, which have now been incorporated into a hotel, it is still worth visiting the museum which explains the history of the abbey. Pilgrims can experience a genuine idyll in Bliesgau in the stage which extends as far as the Saar river, before heading on to Saargemünd/Sarreguemines in France. The South Route meets the North Route, which crosses the Palatinate from the east to the south-west, just past Forbach in Lorraine. One of the most beautiful Gothic churches in France, Metz Cathedral, is the final highlight on the pilgrimage.

St. James' Way: Speyer-Metz (North and South Route)

Total length of route: approx. 290 km

Pilgrim hostels along the route?: Yes; Hornbach Abbey (Hotel)

Starts/arrival options: Speyer

Ends/departure options: Metz

Length of the South Route from Speyer to Hornbach Abbey: approx. 145 km/6 stages

Pilgrim hostels along the route?: Yes

Starts/arrival options: Speyer

Ends: Hornbach Abbey

Departure options: Zweibrücken Central Station

About the route: signposted with a white scallop shell on a blue background; moderately difficult;

For details of the tour and GPS tracking information (in German), visit:
www.urlaub.saarland

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