Very Important: Although I walked the Trail between the 8th and 20th March 2006 and was alone, I assume that in the summer you will not be alone on the Trail. As a result, it is important to leave a telephone contact at your accommodation along the Trail when you leave in the morning! You can always ask your host to make a phone call to your next night’s accommodation to inform them when you will arrive.
It is also important to choose places to stay along the trail that have showers. Having a shower is relaxing and prepares you for the next day’s walk. You will find accommodation along the trail with breakfast included. Jakobszimmer in der Evangelische-Lutheranische Kirchengemeinde St Petri in Bautzen is an exception. It does not provide breakfast, but it has a kitchen furnished with coffee and a coffee machine and there is a bakery about 200 m away.
I suggest that you have a light lunch, for instance, a bowl of soup with a glass of a drink of apple juice mixed with mineral water, known in German as Apfelschorle. Follow this with a good dinner, but again, the choice is yours. At the parishes (Kirchengemeinde) along the trail you can request a cup of coffee.
Do not forget to get your Pilgrim’s Identity Card (Pilgerausweis) stamped (Stempel) along the trail.
The accommodation fee varies from €10 at Kirchengemeinde to €15/16 at Youth Hostels (Jugendherberge) and to €25-€30 at Guesthouses (Gasthaus) and Pension and Restaurant (Gaststaette) and Pension.
Most Importantly: Drink as much water as possible!
Keep your eyes open for places where signposts are missing or there are other changes that you see and inform your host along the Trail if they are missing. There is a list of useful telephone numbers at the end of this article.
On arriving at Goerlitz your first destination is the Evagelische Kulturstifting Goerlitz, located at Heilige-Grabstrasse 79-80. There you’ll get a Pilgerausweis, including your first stamp. I suggest that you buy the booklet Der Oekumenische Pilgerweg, which will help you to find your way and locate accommodation along the trail.
Leave Goerlitz and walk via Ebersbach-Liebstein to Hochstein (about 15-17 km). The last kilometre before Hochstein is a bit steep but everyone should be able to manage it. If you have decided to stay overnight at Gaststaette Hochsteinbaude, contact the receptionist early in the day: 035826 - 601 16. Keep in mind that Gaststaette is open daily from Wednesday through Monday between 11.00 and 18.00 except Tuesday, which is their closing day (Ruhetag). If you decided to continue walking to Melaune, then as you start to descend from Hochstein towards Arnsdorf, keep your eyes open for the Trail signposts (zeichen/schilder). The accommodation in Melaune is comfortable and your host is willing to provide you with dinner and breakfast. The trail from Melaune to Weissenberg is well marked.
Keep in mind that there is no Gaststaette between Weissenberg and Kubschuetz, so you must either lunch or buy some food at Weissenberg. You can shower and sleep at Nechern (which is about 1 km to 2 km off the trail). Contact Anke Wujanz: 035876 - 416 54/467 24.
The trail from Wurschener Muehle via Wurschen-Drehsa to Kubschuetz is well marked and goes along the cherry alleys. At Kubschuetz you can have a lunch at Gaststaette “Kubschuetzer Eck”. Keep in mind that Monday is their closing day, so I would suggest, if you are walking on a Monday, that you walk all the way to Bautzen. In Bautzen I slept in Jakobszimmer, which is on the Toepferstrasse 23a, about 5 to 10 minutes walk from the Bautzen Information Centre (Bautzen Informationszentrum). Alternatively, you can stay with Family (Familie) Mitzscherling: 03591 - 30 33 05 or with Family Pohl, Drachestrasse 6. E-mail them at email@example.com and ask for their phone number; enquire if they have a shower and what is the price of the accommodation.
Do not forget to get your stamp at Bautzen. I got mine at Jakobszimmer.
Bautzen offers a large choice of restaurants. If you wish to try the local Sorben dishes then I recommend Restaurant Wjelbik located at Kornstrasse 7.
As you leave Bautzen, keep your eyes open for the Trail signposts. First, you’ll cross the Spree bridge (the Friedensbrucke) and walk along the Seidanerstrasse, which turns into Saltzenforsterstrasse. This part of the trail is not very pleasant because you are walking on the asphalt road, but do not give up and continue on. The best section of the trail starts at the Millennial Monument (Milleniumsdenkmal) accompanied by inscription INRI and continue via the Monastery (Kloster) St Marienstern to Kamenz. You have several choices of accommodation. You can either stay overnight at Kloster 035796 - 994 31/44 or at Alte Herberge von Wetenca 0351 - 312 56 05/0174 - 241 13 64. Although Der Oekumenische Pilgerweg does not mention showers at either of the places, it would be worth asking about the possibility of taking a shower. If there is none available, I would suggest that you take your break at Kloster, where you can have a lunch and look around. You are welcome to lunch at the Kloster Gaststaette, which is open daily between 11.00 and 21.00. Do not forget to get your stamp at Kloster!
After a break you can either walk to Nebelschuetz situated about 6 km from Kloster: 03578 - 31 04 40/30 43 97 and/or all the way to Kamenz. The overall distance between Bautzen and Kamenz is about 31 km. If you decided to walk to Kamenz, contact Frau Kuhnert (from the Zimmer-Vermietung): 03578 - 30 20 24 (Wallstrasse 18, Kamenz Altstadt). You can ask the someone at the gift shop at Kloster if they can make a phone call on your behalf. Keep in mind that Wallstrasse, which is located in the Old City, and is about 3 km to 4 km away from the new city.
Do not forget to get your stamp at Kamenz! During the week you can get your stamp at the Kamenz City Hall (Rathaus), while on Saturday you’ll get your stamp at the Priest House (Pfarrhaus): ask for Priest Jorg Naumann and give him my best regards. He showed me round the Catholic Church, which is well worth visiting. There is another person who was very kind to me, Eckerhard Schonherr, the owner of a goldsmith’s shop situated near the City Hall. He showed me the city and accompanied me to the Koenigsbrucke Weg. If you do visit him, give him my warmest regards also.
You begin by walking along the Koenigsbrucker Weg and then on your left you’ll see a signpost pointing to Hutberg. It is certainly worth the effort of climbing to Hutberg; when you reach the top, keep your eyes open for the Trail signposts!
You can either stay overnight at Koenigsbruck Evangelische-Lutheranische Kirchengemeinde: 035795 - 462 02/469 05 and/or if you wish to continue after a break in Koenigsbruck to the Gaststaette “Zum alten Bauernhof” in Tauscha (which is 8 km from Koenigsbruck): 035240 - 725 40 (AB/Fax)/0172 - 608 50 43 (Cellular/Mobil). There are several restaurants in Koenigsbruck. I lunched at the Italian restaurant, which is at the corner of Market Square and I can recommended it. There is also a restaurant at Tauscha. The trail from Koenigsbruck to Tauscha is very, very pleasant; it goes through the woods. It is worth visiting the church at Tauscha, which was built in about the 16th century and has a beautiful 18th century painting done by an artist from a Meissen china/porcelain factory. To visit the church, ask assistance from Mr Gansmueller from Gaststaette “Zum alten Bauernhof”.
The trail from Tauscha to Schoenfeld is well marked and easy walking. In Schoenfeld you can have a cup of tea or coffee at the Gaststaette and then continue to Grossenhain. Do not forget to get your stamp at the Evangelische-Methodistische Gemeinde. Although Gemeinde has no shower it has a guest room where you can rest for 2 to 3 hours, and have your lunch before continuing your walk all the way to Glaubitz.
This is exactly what I did. In Glaubitz you need to look for the Werner’s Family house, which is located at Schullgasse and not Schullstrasse. Be careful, because Glaubitz has both a Shullgasse and a Schullstrasse - and there is a Gaststaette on the Shullstrasse! The Schullgasse is a very narrow alley and can easily be missed on a dark evening.
I suggest that you follow a slightly different trail from Glaubitz via Riesa to Strehla. First, walk along the Flossgraben towards the River Elbe (1.2 km), then along the Elbe to the Bundesstrasse B169 bridge across the Elbe (which is about 5.5 km). Cross the bridge and continue in the direction to Strehla (see the large yellow shields). You walk through Riesa, cross another bridge and can then see signposts of the Cycle Path and of the red dots. Follow this path and it will bring you via Oppitzsch to Strehla. This trail might be slightly longer than a trail via Gohlis, but it is very pleasant and well marked.
Keep in mind that the restaurants in Strehla are closed on Mondays but there is a butcher’s shop (Fleischerei) located on the Market Square that remains open.
You can get your stamp at Jugendscheune der Evangelische-Lutheranische Kirchengemeinde. As for accommodation, you can either stay in Jugendscheune (located near Market Square): 035264 - 907 97 or at Jugendherberge Strehla: 035264 - 920 30.
From Strehla the Trail goes via a moderately steep hill called Liebschuetzer Berg to Dahlen. Keep your eyes open for the Trail signposts after leaving Lampertswalde. The trail goes through the fields and from then on it is not well marked.
I suggest you stay overnight at Linden Pension, located near the Market Square 034361 – 559 64 and dine at the local Pizzeria (the only dining place open during my walk).
Then continue from Dahlen via Wurzen to Nepperwitz and stay overnight at Evangelische Jugendbegegnugshaus: 03425 - 81 52 72 or alternatively go on to Doegnitz and stay overnight at the Doegnitz Inn (Gasthof): 03425 - 81 05 97.
Do not forget to get your stamp at the Wurzen Evangelische-Lutheranische Kirchengemeinde.
Important Tip: After getting your stamp ask directions to the An der Muldestrasse. Then follow this path to the small bridge over the Kanal, where you can either walk along the Kanal or cross the field and walk along the Mulde to a bridge crossing the river.
After reaching Nepperwitz you have three options – staying overnight at Nepperwitz or at Doegnitz (about 1 km from Nepperwitz), or continuing all the way to Machern.
If you decided to continue to Machern, keep your eyes open for the trail signposts near Nepperwitz. If you somehow miss them, do not despair! You can walk to Doegnitz along the asphalt road, then turn left and walk through the woods to Stein. From Stein go about 300- 500 m along the B107 back to the Trail and the B107 intersection. The route around that intersection is not well marked, but continue to walk straight on. Keep in mind that from the intersection to the Gaestehaus und Pension “Zum Wagner Hof” in Machern is about 3.5- 4 km! Tel: 034292 - 785 48. The Gaestehaus und Pension open from Monday to Friday from 17.00; on Saturdays from 14.00 and on Sundays from 10.00.
I highly recommend that you visit Machern Schlosspark!
If you have stayed overnight at Machern, walk along the main street back to Plagwitzer Weg and then follow this road towards the golf course and from there to the woods. If you are coming from Nepperwitz/Doegnitz, on your right you’ll see the shield Plagwitzer Weg. This section of the trail from Machern to Sellerhausen in Leipzig is well marked and easy walking, but after Sellerhausen there are no more signposts. Walk straight on to Leipzig City Centre and get your next stamp at the Nikolai Church, which is in Leipzig Old City. You can also get a cup of coffee at the church.
I strongly recommend visiting Leipzig Old City. Although this part of the city is fairly small you’ll get a good impression of how Leipzig looked in the past.
There are a variety of types accommodations in Leipzig. See Der Oekumenische Pilgerweg for further information. In addition, there are several new places to stay in Leipzig - Back-Packer-Hostels: Central Globetrotter; 41 Kurt Schumacherstrasse; Tel: 0341 - 149 89 60; Sleepy Lion: 3 Kaethe Kollwitzstrasse; Tel: 0341 - 993 94 80
There are also plenty of restaurants, inns etc. in the city.
On leaving the city, keep your eyes open for signposts to Rosental from where the Trail continues along the river Luppe to Kleinliebenau. The path along the river Luppe is very pleasant and easy to walk. At the camping site (Campingplatz) Kleinliebenau you can have lunch near a small lake and then say your farewell to the State of Saxony.
You now enter the State of Saxony-Anhalt; the nearby village of Horburg used to accommodate pilgrims along the trail. At the Samaritan hospice (Samariterherberge) you can ask the official to phone your next accommodation at Merseburg (ask for Priest Michael Lehmann: 03461 - 35 28 10/0170 - 933 16 14 (Cellular)). The Trail between Horburg and Merseburg is well marked and easy walking. Usually pilgrims stay overnight at Neumarkt Church (Neumarktkirche), however, there is no shower! Since I walked in the winter and the temperature was below zero, the Neumarkt Church was unsuitable for an overnight stay. Priest Michael Lehmann arranged for me to stay at the Pension of Modern Art (“Pension der besonderen ART”) at a special discount rate (€30.00 including breakfast). I am very grateful to Priest Lehmann for his kind assistance. I strongly recommend that you dine at the nearby restaurant Kartoffelhaus No 1, which is about 5 minutes walk from the pension.
The castle and cathedral in Merseburg and the castle’s museum are worth visiting. They give a walker/pilgrim an amazing architectural view of the castle and cathedral built in the early 11th century. You can ask an official at cathedral to phone your next sleeping quarter in Freyburg (Fiedelak’s Family: 034464 - 70 80).
Do not forget to get your stamp at the Priest house in Merseburg!
From the sleeping quarters in Merseburg the Trail goes through the city to Tierpark and from there along the bicycle path in the direction of Zscherben. However, you need to keep your eyes open for the Pilgrim’s signposts! From Zscherben via Frankleben to Rossbach South (Rossbach-Sued) the trail is well marked and easy walking. You can have lunch at a small restaurant in Rossbach-Sued and from there continue on to Pettstadt. The Trail from Pettstadt to the woods at Alte Goehle is about 5 km and goes along the concrete pavement. This section of the trail is very boring and dull, but you need to continue. The last section of the Trail goes through the woods to Freyburg. This is the best part and I can assure you that you’ll enjoy walking along it. However, keep your eyes open for the signposts after you have crossed the bridge over the motorway. If you are not too tired, you can take an alternative path after crossing the bridge. Turn left and walk along the vineyards to the Castle Neuenburg (Schloss Neuenburg). From there you have a unique view of the tower and the castle. Turn left and walk through the gates to the castle, and continue walking until you reach the steps, which will lead you down to the bridge. Cross the bridge and, about 500 metre further on, on the left, you’ll find you next place to stay: Karossierebau Fiedelak. At Karossierebau you’ll get your next stamp. Ask Mr Fiedelak to contact Rolf Roeder in Lissdorf and inform him that you are coming. I highly recommend that you visit Rolf and Elke Roeder on your way to Eckatsberga. They are both very helpful and wonderful people. I dined at their house, and heard Rolf’s stories about other pilgrims and read the letters from some of the pilgrims.
Freyburg has a number of local inns near to your accommodation.
The castle in Freyburg dominates this small city and gives you a clear picture of how, in Medieval times, the local barons tended to dominate the life of their vassals. If you need cash, then you’ll find a cash machine in the city. Freyburg has preserved its medieval appearance but now has many modern amenities.
The trail from Freyburg to Naumburg goes along the River Unstrut. Nearby, at the meeting of the rivers Saale and Unstrut, you’ll find an amazing twelve paintings with biblical motives. It is worth looking at them. As I walked in the winter, the ferry service that usually takes pilgrims across the river was closed. As a result, I had to walk along the river to the car bridge (about 2 km from the ferry site), cross the bridge and walk along the asphalt road to Naumburg (1 km). From here continue straight on, and about 30 minutes after entering the outskirts of the city you’ll reach its centre. Go straight on to the Cathedral of St Peter and St Paul where you’ll get your next stamp. Here you can visit the cathedral, which was built in the early 12th century; notice the beautifully carved figures at the choir room.
The trail from Naumburg to Rossbach is well marked and easy walking. You can have your lunch at Gaststaette “Zur Hupe” in Rossbach, which is situated by the railway crossing. Cross the railway and from then on the trail begins to ascend, gradually becoming steeper and steeper. Keep going and after about 1.5-2 km, you’ll reach a plateau from where you will have a lovely view of Rossbach and its surroundings. From Rossbach to Lissdorf the trail is well marked and goes through villages, from one church to another. As I suggested earlier, I highly recommend visiting Rolf and Elke Roeder, and from Lissdorf the Trail is about 2-2.5 km away from Eckatsberga where you can stay overnight.
Do not forget to get your stamps at Lissdorf and Eckatsberga and ask Priest Ploetner-Walter to use her phone and ring the Family Polzin in Buttelstedt to let them know that you will be coming.
From Eckatsberga you’ll have to continue walking all the way to Buttelstedt (about 30 km) because there is no available accommodation along the Trail. Keep in mind that the trail between Eckatsberga and Rudersdorf is well marked, but, after you cross the main road in Rudersdorf the signposts disappear. You begin crossing a huge field; keep to the left, otherwise you’ll find yourself in Buttstaedt. I suggest having lunch at Gaststaette in Oberreissen. Between Oberreissen and Buttelstedt the trail is again well marked.
In the past pilgrims stayed overnight at the Priest House in Rudersdorf and the Pub (“Die Kneipe”) in Schwerstedt, however, both places are no longer offer lodgings. As a result, you have to walk the last 30 km from Eckatsberga to Erfurt in one day. Or, if it is not a Monday, which is closing day in Thuringia, you can visit the concentration camp at Buchenwald.
Several kilometres before Hottelstedt, the State of Saxony-Anhalt ends and you enter the State of Thuringia with its capital Erfurt. The overall trail is well marked. The only exception is about 1.5 km from Kerpsleben to Marienhof. This section is not well marked but you have to go straight on and then turn to the left, walking below the motorway to the road intersection. Get your stamp at the Augustine Monastery (Evangelische Augustinerkloster) in Erfurt; Tel: 0361 - 57 66 00. If you do not wish to stay overnight at Erfurt, you can go to the hospice (Herberge des CVJM) where you can take a shower, located at Gerberstrasse 14a. Keep in mind, however, that the hospice is open from Monday to Friday between 8.00 and 16.00. Tel: 0361 - 26 46 50. You can also stay overnight in the Augustine Monastery, Herberge des CVJM or Jugendhaus St. Sebastian. Tel: 0361 - 653 10 12. Lutherpark is no longer accommodates pilgrims.
Useful telephone numbers:
1. Gaststaette Hochsteinbaude 035826 - 601 16
2. Jugendscheune Melaune 035827 - 703 54
Silke and Denis Kirchhoff 035827 - 734 13
3. Farm (Bauernhof) Wujanz in Nechern 035876 - 416 54
Anke Wujanz 035876 - 467 24
4. Jakobszimmer in der Evangelische-Lutheranische
Kirchengemeinde St. Petri in Bautzen 03591 - 48 08 71/72
5. Family (Familie) Mitzscherling in Bautzen 03591 - 30 33 05
6. Familie Pohl in Bautzen E-mail them
7. Monastery (Kloster) St Marienstern 035796 - 994 31/44
8. Alte Herberge von Wetenca in Duerrwicknitz 0351 - 312 56 05
Cornelia Bedrich (Cellular/Mobil) 0174 - 241 13 64
9. Heldhaus in Nebelschütz 03578 - 31 04 40
Mrs (Frau) Reinecke 03578 - 30 43 97
10. Room’s rental office (Zimmer-Vermietung) in Kamenz
Frau Kuhnert 03578 - 30 20 24
11. Evengelische-Lutheranische Kirchengemeinde in Koenigsbruck
Priest (Pfarrer) Andreas Schotterbeck 035795 - 462 02
Sexton (Kuester) Werner Lindner 035795 - 469 05
12.Gaststaette “Zum alten Bauernhof” in Tauscha 035240 - 725 40 (AB/Fax)
Mr (Herr) Gansmueller (Cellular/Mobil) 0172 - 608 50 43
13. Familie Werner in Glaubitz 035265 - 551 18
035265 - 554 50
14. Jugendscheune der Evangelische-Lutheranische Kirchengemeinde in Strehla
Pfarrer Urs Ebenauer 035264 - 907 97
15. Jugendherberge Strehla Petra and Wofgang Mueller 035264 - 920 30
16. Linden Pension in Dahlen 034361 - 559 64
17. Jugendherberge Dahlen 034361 - 550 02
18. Evangelische Jugendbegegnugshaus in Nepperwitz
Gerd Pettrich 03425 - 81 52 72
19. Johanna Barten Grocery and Inn (Lebensmittel Shop und Gasthof)
in Doegnitz 03425 - 81 05 97
20. Guesthouse (Gasthaus) and Pension “Zum Wagner Hof”
in Machern 034292 - 785 48
21. Pension of Modern Art (“Pension der besonderen ART”) 03461 - 24 86 11
22. Karosseriebau Fiedelak 034464 - 70 80
23. Familie Roeder 034467 - 20
Priests Ploetner-Walter 034467 - 202 68
24. Familie Polzin 036451 - 611 04
25. Hospice (Herberge CVJM) 0361 - 26 46 50