Jakobsweg (Way of St James) Tirol in the Wilder Kaiser
Pilgrimage. Hiking. Culture. Health for the mind, body and soul
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
The Way of St James parish of 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.
The Way of St James parish of Ellmau
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.
The Way of St James parish of Scheffau
It is assumed that a Roman church was built here as early as the 13th century. This was followed 200 years later by a Gothic structure with ogival windows, vaults and door frames. The church tower and the Gothic figure of Our Lady in the top left of the nave also date from this period. The parish church has stood in its current Baroque form since 1756. The murals were painted by Matthias Kirchner from Kitzbühel. The high altarpiece was painted by Johann Nep. Strasser in 1868. It depicts both church patrons above Scheffau.
The church exterior was last renovated in 1980 and it saw extensive interior renovations in 2001/02. The congregation altar, ambo and baptismal font were newly made from light Italian marble, while the confessional box and main portal were remade from timber. The new porch (vestibule) and stairs from the community hall are particularly inviting.
The church guide can be found on the literature stand in the parish church of Scheffau.
The Way of St James parish of Söll
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.