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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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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Pilgrimsleder som för folk samman: på Jakobsleden från Speyer till Metz inser man att gränsöverskridande idéer inte är något vi uppfunnit idag. Men det är ingen anledning att inte försöka. Tid har man i alla fall på den ca 290 km långa leden genom ett av Tysklands vackraste områden.

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Via Baltica, eller den baltisk-västfaliska Jakobsleden som den också kallas, är en förbindelse i öst-västlig riktning som börjar på gränsen mot Polen och går genom fem förbundsländer. Därmed sammanför den även Europa lite mer.

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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 har länge setts som ”Nordeuropas Santiago”, kyrkan St. Nikolai med de heliga oblaterna i Bad Wilsnack, målet på pilgrimsleden Berlin–Bad Wilsnack. De legendariska blodsoblaterna har fallit offer för flammorna. Men än idag känner man vilken betydelse kyrkan en gång hade.

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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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St. Anne: the patron saint of guilds, women, mothers and laymen. Legend has it that the church in Alt Krüssow, Brandenburg with St. Anne's robe was a major pilgrimage destination in the Middle Ages. Pilgrims can now retrace the saint's steps on the St. Anne's Path pilgrimage trail.

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