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Like scarcely any other region, the landscape around Villach, Faaker See and Ossiacher See presents itself as a wonderful oasis, offering not only the body but also the soul the necessary nourishment. Apart from four popular pilgrimage trails, there are also hiking paths amidst the lakes landscape, an Alpine Adriatic flair and especially a lot of hours of sunshine.
It is no coincidence that four pilgrimage routes intersect here. After all, the region with its mountains, swimming lakes with drinking water quality and the Villach old town have always been a desirable place for people who live here and come as guests. Faith, in particular, has established itself firmly here in the border region of three cultures, whereby the devoutness is reflected in the many churches and path crosses.
Pilgrimage in the beautiful mountains and lakes landscape
The Reformation still has a strong influence up until today in some regions of Carinthia. The municipalities in Arriach, Treffen and the Gegendtal are still largely Protestant today, whereby the evangelical pilgrimage route "Weg des Buches" (Path of the Book) follows the trails of the evangelical Bible smugglers. This partly Alpine trail leads through the most beautiful areas of Carinthia, with its encounters with mountains and lakes, as well as its cosy inns. However, the fact the region is traditionally open today is shown especially by the coming together of various beliefs. Tours are offered on various pilgrimage routes in the region. Today it is about togetherness and interpersonal contact. This spirit can be experienced on all the pilgrimage routes in the region. Here is a brief overview:
Jakobsweg: nobody has to travel to Spain for the Way of St. James. The most well-known pilgrimage trail leads 216 kilometres through Carinthia and the Villach region.
Marienpilgerweg: the Marienpilgerweg links some of the most impressive St. Mary's churches in the country. Three stages lead through the Villach region. It is especially worth seeing the famous pilgrimage church Maria Gail.
Weg des Buches: the Way of the Book: on the trail of the evangelical Bible smugglers and secret Protestants, the interesting pilgrimage route leads through the region as far as the Italian border near Arnoldstein.
Hemmapilgerweg: for centuries, pilgrims have made their way to the grave of St. Hemma in the Gurk cathedral. Starting at the Stift Ossiach, a recommended branch route leads in three days to Gurk.
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