The history of St James’s Way
St James the Great, a disciple of Jesus and later apostle, came to Spain as a missionary. On his return in 44 AD, he was beheaded in Jerusalem. His body – so the legend goes – was brought to Spain in 614, where his grave was forgotten. The grave was only rediscovered in the 9th century! Since then, St James has been a national saint and patron of pilgrims.
Already the first mention of the Way from the year 1047 brings it into connection with his grave in Santiago de Compostela in Spain. The name Santiago is the local Galician evolution of Sancti Iacobi, “Saint James”. In the Middle Ages, his grave became a major goal of Christian pilgrimages besides Rome and Jerusalem. The Spanish major route was even listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993.
The St James’s Way route
One might say that each journey begins with an idea – with the thought of taking on this pilgrimage. The trip must be planned and studied, with the knowledge of what lies ahead. Year after year, thousands of pilgrims embark on this special hike. And the road begins somewhere else for each and everyone, specifically exactly where each pilgrim decides to start the journey.
There are many St James’s Way routes across Europe. In the Middle Ages, the ‘main routes’ were established, those which include St James churches and chapels along the way. The historic St James’s Way routes have remained the same to this day besides small changes due to major transport routes. The common goal of all routes is the grave of St James in Santiago de Compostela in Spain.
St James’s Way in SalzburgerLand
The Salzburg route leads through the Salzburg lake district into the city of Salzburg and continue to Grossgmain, Bad Reichenhall, Unken, Lofer and the Tyrolean border.
The route can be followed via these legs:
Take the legs from here:
Accommodation along the way
If you’re out all day, you will look forward to stretching your legs, be served a good meal and maybe to share the day’s adventures with others.
Here, you find a list of all the available accommodation en route – your hosts will welcome St James’s Way pilgrims with open arms:
Take the list from here:
Important questions about St James’s Way
Where does St James’s Way go in Salzburg?
Nearly 100 km long hiking trails take pilgrims through SalzburgerLand. They pass the pilgrimage church of Maria Plain, cross through the city of Salzburg and enter Tyrol via Unken and Lofer.
How many days does one hike St James’s Way in Salzburg?
The route can be hiked in about 4 days.
How is St James’s Way signposted?
Within SalzburgerLand, the route is uniformly identified with yellow signs showing the St James’s Way symbol.
Is the Way suitable for cyclists?
Around 90 per cent of the distance can be travelled by (trekking) bike. Alternative routes for those parts which remain reserved for hikers are marked on the map:
Do I need a pilgrim’s pass for St James’s Way in Salzburg?
A pilgrim’s pass is not required because there are no defined pilgrim hostels. Many pilgrims still highly value it, since they can identify themselves for example at parishes or use it to document their journey.
Where can I get a pilgrim’s pass?
Pilgrim’s passes, artistic postcards and souvenirs are available for example at the following places:
- Jakobswege Tirol,
- Jakobusgemeinschaft Salzburg, or
- directly at Infopoint Kirche, Franziskanergasse 3, 5020 Salzburg, Ph +43 662 8047 2087 or +43 676 8746 2087, firstname.lastname@example.org (Tue – Fr 12 noon to 5 pm, Sat 10 am to 1 pm)
Where do I get a stamp for my pilgrim’s pass?
You can get your pass stamped in the churches and pilgrim-friendly restaurants and accommodation facilities along St James’s Way.
Details of the route of St James’s Way in Austria can be read in the guidebook entitled “Auf dem Jakobsweg durch Österreich” (in German). You can order it in the SalzburgerLand shop.
The free St James’s Way brochure provides information about the route leading through Salzburg.