The Maria Almer pilgrimage - better known as the Bartholomä pilgrimage - is one of the oldest high mountain pilgrimages in Europe. The walking time is around nine hours and is a demanding challenge. The history of the Alm pilgrimage dates back to 1635, when legend has it that it was initiated by the people of Saalfelden in gratitude for a number of survived plague epidemics. Originally, the Hirschau peninsula with the St. Bartholomä chapel was a stopover on the pilgrimage. The actual destination at that time was Bad Dürrnberg near Hallein.
In 1688, 71 people drowned in Lake Königssee when one of the boats that took the pilgrims across the lake capsized. Since this tragedy, the Alm pilgrimage officially ends in St. Bartholomä. In memory of the dead, a wreath is hung every year on the Falkensteiner Wand, which falls steeply into the lake. In the politically troubled time after the First World War, the custom fell into oblivion. On the initiative of the Almer Musikkapelle, the first post-war pilgrimage took place in 1951, which is still organised by the Pinzgauer Trachtenmusikkapelle Maria Alm today.
In recent years, the "Barthlmä-Going" has gained massively in popularity. In good weather, up to 2,500 participants are on the mountain.