The Elizabeth Path
The Elizabeth Path ©Elisabethpfad e.V., Hainau
Spiritual travel from A to Z
Pilgrimsvandra
i Tyskland

Retracing the steps of St. Elizabeth – three ecumenical paths to faith

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.

Her good deeds have gone down in history. For example, the time when she carried bread in her apron from Wartburg Castle to feed the poor. When her husband asked her what she was carrying, her apron opened and there lay roses instead of bread...

Although Saint Elizabeth of Thuringia was born into one of the most powerful dynasties of her time, she devoted herself, and all of the resources available to her, to the less fortunate. Elizabeth's life prompted others to reflect upon their own lives, so taking a pilgrimage along the Elizabeth Paths is perfect for this kind of meditation. Whereas the Elizabeth Path from Frankfurt to Marburg is Germany's first pilgrimage route, parts of the other two trails follow the major St. James' Way network. Marburg is the final destination for the routes starting in Frankfurt, Eisenach and Cologne, although the Elizabeth Path from Cologne also takes in two of Europe's major historical places of pilgrimage: Cologne Cathedral, with the Shrine of the Three Kings, and St. Elizabeth's Church, which was built in honour of Saint Elizabeth and houses a shrine to her. After the Reformation, the church was converted to Protestantism. The church's conversion to a different denomination had no impact on her adoration – she was held in high esteem for her benevolence by all, regardless of their religious affiliation. The three Elizabeth Paths are also designed with this in mind – as ecumenical paths to faith, to humanity and to the inner self.

The Elizabeth Paths

Elizabeth Path 1

Total length of route: approx. 130 km

Starts: Sachsenhausen in Frankfurt, Church of the Teutonic Order

Ends: Marburg, St. Elizabeth's Church

Arrival options: Frankfurt am Main Central Station

Departure options: Marburg

About the route: signposted with an "E" on a red background

Elizabeth Path 2

Total length of route: approx. 190 km

Starts: Eisenach, Wartburg Castle

Ends: Marburg, St. Elizabeth's Church

Arrival options: Eisenach Central Station

Departure options: Marburg

About the route: follows part of the St. James' Way pilgrimage route (indicated by a scallop shell). Please note: the route forks off in places. The Elizabeth Path is signposted with an "E" on a red background

Elizabeth Path 3

Total length of route: approx. 165 km

Starts: Cologne, Cologne Cathedral

Ends: Marburg, St. Elizabeth's Church

Arrival options: Cologne Central Station

Departure options: Marburg

About the route: part of the St. James' Way pilgrimage route (indicated by a scallop shell). Please note: the route forks off in places. The Elizabeth Path is signposted with an "E" on a red background

Pilgrim hostels along the routes?: Yes

For information on guided pilgrimages, accommodation/pilgrim's passports (in German), visit: www.elisabethpfad.de

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