St. Nicholas' Church, or the Church of the Holy Blood, in Bad Wilsnack was once considered the "Santiago of northern Europe" and is the final destination on the Berlin - Bad Wilsnack pilgrimage route. Although the legendary bleeding hosts fell victim to the flames, visitors can still sense the importance once attached to the church.
Legend has it that the blood-sodden hosts performed great miracles in Bad Wilsnack, making the church one of the most famous pilgrimage sites from the Middle Ages. As a result, hundreds of thousands of pilgrims in physical and mental distress have made their way here from all over Europe seeking help. The hosts were destroyed by a Protestant preacher following the Reformation. All that remains is the Holy Blood Shrine in the church's chapel, which has once again become a pilgrimage destination on the route from Berlin.
A pilgrimage is a journey in search of enlightenment, mutual experiences and discovery. There are plenty of worthwhile discoveries on the long Berlin - Bad Wilsnack pilgrimage route across farm lanes, hiking paths and little-known roads, including the frescos from the Late Middle Ages in Bötzow Church, the Gothic brick church in Linum, the fieldstone churches in Barsikow and Berlitt, the 13th century Church of Sts. Peter and Paul and St. Stephan's Chapel in Wusterhausen. Before completing the final stage of the route, we recommend taking a moment to see Kyritz Friary, a former Franciscan establishment, and the Mary's altar in Görike Church. And perhaps the Plattenburg, one of Germany's largest water castles, will inspire pilgrims to take stock of their personal experiences along the way just before they reach the end of the route.
Length of route: approx. 120 km/7 stages
Pilgrim hostels along the route?: Yes
Ends: Bad Wilsnack
Arrival options: Berlin Central Station
Departure options: Bad Wilsnack
About the route: consists mainly of farm lanes and hiking paths; pilgrimage can be undertaken all year round
For information, tips, accommodation/contact details and current event dates relating to the pilgrimage route (in German), visit: www.wegenachwilsnack.de