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Jakobsweg (Way of St James) Tirol in the Wilder Kaiser

Pilgrimage. Hiking. Culture. Health for the mind, body and soul

The Way of St James pilgrimage trail in Tyrol

The general route of the Jakobsweg through Tyrol. There are primarily three Jakobsweg paths that pass through Tyrol heading west. Of course these were not the only routes the pilgrims took and today many also make a small side trip or a take a more circuitous route. The paths that are described as Jakobsweg are those that have been proven to carry streams of pilgrims over the centuries by buildings, patrocinia and documents. Over the years the Jakobsweg ways have naturally adapted to political (eg war) and geographic (eg flooding, rock fall) conditions.
From the north: The Jakobsweg from southern Germany leads from Rosenheim to Kufstein and further along the Inn valley to the west, through Innsbruck and on to the Arlberg where it continues through Voralberg on to Bludenz, Feldkirch and Liechtenstein and on to the Bernese highlands.
From the east: The Jakobsweg leads through the Drau valley in Carinthia to Lienz and along the Puster valley to Innichen, Bruneck and finally north of Brixen into the Eisack valley. Here it merges with the Jakobsweg coming up from the south.
From the south: The Jakobswegfrom Italy leads from Salurner Klause to Bozen and further to the north over Brixen and Sterzing into the Wipp valley. From the Brenner pass the route leads down into the Inn valley that it meets at Innsbruck.

Jakobsweg parishes of Going, Ellmau, Söll

Jakobsweg parish of Going

The parish church of the Holy Cross in Going

Going is to the east of Ellmau at the foot of the Wilder Kaiser. The magnificent massif has left its stamp on the little parish. It is part of the the most well known ski and summer sport areas in the eastern alps. To service the local mining industry a miners settlement was formed at the end of the 16th century in the district of Prama, some houses are still reminiscent of these. A church was first documented in Going at the end of the 14th century. Today's parish church of the Holy Cross is a baroque building dating back to 1774. There is a lovely resting place for thirsty pilgrims in the village centre - the village fountain that was built in the 1960ies and is protected by a copper statue of St Florian. In Going there is a wonderful example of how body and soul find each other on the Jakobsweg. At the same time this building is a clear sign for all those that believe that a pilgrim only comes nearer to his inner goal through self-chastisement: the Dorfwirt's chapel. Its was built in the 17th century and now belongs to the Gasthof Dorfwirt.

Jakobsweg parish of Ellmau

The Visitation of Mary chapel is Ellmau's landmark. The parish church (background) is dedicated to St Michael.

Ellmau is west of St. Johann and of the magnificent scenery of the Wilder Kaiser. The parish church of St. Michael was first documented in 1215, the current baroque church was built in 1740. Today's district was then ruled from Bavaria. The well-to-do clan of the Rapotonen was responsible for the county administration of the Inn valley at the turn of the first millennium. The first written mention of the village of Ellmau can be found in a charter of Herrenchiemsee monastry from the year 1155. In it the ministry official of the Margrave Englebert of Istria Sigboto von Steteheim, consigns his manor "in Elmouwe situm in loco Horngahe" (= in Ellmau situated in the district of Horngach) to Chiemsee Abbey. The area around Ellmau is fantastic for winter sports and also has numerous hiking routes that draw guests into the magnificent mountain world in summer.

Jakobsweg parish of Söll

Söll parish church: St Peter and Paul

Söll lies somewhat east of Wörgl in the high valley between the Inn valley and Leuken valley. The late baroque parish church was built in 1771 and is dedicated to St. Peter and St. Paul. Often called the "Söll Farmers' Cathedral" on account of its impressive size, it is particularly worth looking at the large paintings which depict the great events in the lives of both apostles. Söll is a popular tourism destination that boasts great attractions in winter as well as many rewarding activities in summer. A side trip into the "Söller Hexenwasser", a fabulous prize-winning theme park, is also recommended for pilgrims or indeed especially for them.