St. Bridget's Trail – Schwerin
St. Bridget's Trail – Schwerin ©DZT/Norbert Krüger

On a pilgrimage along St. Bridget's Trail, your thoughts turn inward as your feet go forward

The 350km St. Bridget's Trail runs from Stralsund on the Baltic coast to Lüneburg Heath. It follows a section of the route that Sweden's patron saint Bridget took during the pilgrimage that she made to Santiago de Compostela with her husband in 1341.

The patron saint of Sweden, founder of the Order of the Most Holy Saviour and mother to eight children, Saint Bridget (Birgitta von Vadstena, 1302-1373) was a woman with strong visions and political ambitions. She lived her life as a prophet and politician, founded a hospice for Swedish pilgrims and students, cared for prostitutes and tried to give them a new start. She was canonised in 1391 by Pope Boniface IX, and Pope John Paul II made her a patron saint of Europe in 1999 along with Catharine of Siena and Edith Stein. St. Bridget travelled a great deal during her lifetime and is therefore also known as the patron saint of pilgrims. In 1341 she went on a pilgrimage on foot with her husband Ulf to Santiago de Compostela. Retracing the steps taken by St. Bridget of Sweden, St. Bridget's Trail runs through Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania from the Hanseatic town of Stralsund via Güstrow, Schwerin and Boitzenburg to Lüneburg in Lower Saxony – past masterpieces of brick Gothic architecture and through the Sternberg Lakes region. It also takes in medieval abbeys and magnificent places to pray such as abbey churches. In the past, pilgrims generally visited pilgrimage sites with relics, such as St. Anthony's Hospital (founded in 1222), Tempzin Monastery and Schwerin Cathedral whose Holy Blood relic is said to contain a drop of Christ's blood. The pilgrimage monastery of Tempzin, housed in an ancient building dating back more than 500 years, still offers very basic accommodation to guests wishing to experience the life of a typical pilgrim.

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