In honour of St. Hemma, one of the pilgrimage routes in Styria leads in seven stages from Admont Abbey to Gurk in Carinthia. In principle, the Hemma Pilgrimage Route can be walked from all directions. And each of the eight routes invites you to recharge your batteries amidst an impressive landscape, feel inspired, and find yourself.
Even if numerous sights await you along the pilgrimage route: One of the highlights is certainly the crossing of the Lower Tauern mountain range via Glattjoch, with the stage's endpoint in Oberwölz. The latter is the smallest town in Styria and an absolute cultural gem in the middle of the Alps due to its history and well-preserved town wall.
The Hemma Pilgrimage Route originated from the so-called Carniolan pilgrimage: Starting from Carniola in Slovenia, pilgrims made their way to Gurk to the tomb of St. Hemma. It's a route that can be traced back to the year 1607 by means of historical records. But who exactly was St. Hemma?
Hemma was born between 995 and 1000 as Countess of Friesach-Zeltschach. She founded two Benedictine monasteries, Gurk Abbey and Admont Abbey, and probably died in Gurk in 1045. Hemma was known and loved above all for her charity. To this day, her memory is honoured in Carinthia, but also in Slovenia and Styria. Hemma is the patron saint of Carinthia and is invoked for a happy delivery and for the healing of eye diseases.
Strictly speaking, the name "Hemma Pilgrimage Route" is not quite correct. In fact, we are speaking of a whole network of star-shaped routes that cover a total of around 800 kilometres. Pilgrims start at eight different starting points, but the destination is the same for all of them: the small town of Gurk, where Saint Hemma was laid to rest in the cathedral crypt.
While the first route leads from Sveta Ana over the Loibl Pass, the second runs from Crna na Koroskem via Seeberg to Gurk. With the Abbey of Ossiach, the Collegiate Church of Millstatt, the Palatine Church of Karnburg and the Turracher Höhe, there are four starting points in Carinthia. Those who would like to start their pilgrimage in Styria have two options: Either they start out on the main route from Admont via Lambrecht Abbey, or they set out on their journey from St. Hemma near Edelschrott to Gurk.
The Hemma Pilgrimage Route is the right one for all those who ...