Every pilgrim is familiar with the Way of St. James. Since the 11th century, pilgrims from all over the world have been visiting the alleged tomb of the Apostle James in Santiago de Compostela. What was originally (just) the main traffic axis of northern Spain is now a wide network of routes through half of Europe.
Just imagine: Your feet carry you further and further and, at some point, the steady movement becomes second nature ... In addition to a different kind of self-awareness, the West Styrian Way of St. James offers a unique experience of nature's beauty.
According to legend, King Herod had St. James beheaded in 44 AD – more specifically, Jacobus Maior, one of the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ. The disciples then took the body with them at night. They sailed north across the Mediterranean and around Spain. After many miraculous events, the remains of Jacobus were finally buried on the Galician coast – in a place designated by God.
A devout hermit is said to have discovered the tomb of St. James in the 9th century. Since the 11th century, it has attracted pilgrims from all over Europe. Today, Santiago de Compostela is one of the largest pilgrimage centres in the West.
The West Styrian Way of St. James was opened on 25 July 2010. The main route starts at the St. James Parish Church in Thal near Graz. From there, the route leads via St. Pankrazen to the St. James Church in the small village of Geistthal. As an alternative to the main route, pilgrims have the option of choosing the abbey in Seckau as their starting point. On a total of eight daily stages, the route leads through the Lipizzanerland (home of the Lipizzans) and the Schilcherland to Lavamünd in Carinthia. There, the West Styrian Way of St. James meets the section coming from Slovenia.
Tip: A pilgrim's pass is available from the Association for the Promotion of the Styrian Way of St. James for a five euro contribution towards expenses. Simply fill out the contact form, click send and pay for the pass. Once your payment has been received, the pilgrim's pass will be sent to you in the mail. Order your pilgrim's pass right away!
The Way of St. James is the right pilgrimage route for all those who ...