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St. Bartholomew Pilgrimage

stbartholomae

The oldest high mountain pilgrimage in Europe
Almost 400 year old tradition

The St. Bartholomew Pilgrimage, also called the Almer Pilgrimage, is lead every year from Maria Alm in the Hochkönig region via the Steinernes Meer to the Bavarian Königssee. This year, the pilgrimage will take place on August 24, 2019. It dates back to the times of the plague around 400 years ago when countless people in the Pinzgau died. Each of those that was spared thanked the heavens for their survival in 1635 and became the first pilgrims.

Since this time, this pilgrimage – the oldest high mountain pilgrimage – takes place every year on the Saturday after August 24 (Feast of St. Bartholomew). Until 1688, the original destination was the church in Dürnberg, however this was changed after 71 died in a disaster on the Königssee. Today, the pilgrimage attracts up to 2,000 participants each year.

THE PILGRIMAGE

The St. Bartholomew Pilgrimage is not suited for the inexperienced – the pilgrimage includes around 9 hours of continuous hiking. Early in the morning at 4 am on August 24, 2019, participants will head up to the Riemannhaus on the Steinernes Meer. A festive mountain mass will take place here at 8 am.

The path then leads over a rocky plateau to the Kärlingerhaus on the Funtensee, where pilgrims can rest while the Almer local band plays music. The path continues via more than 30 hairpin curves on the legendary “Saugasse” down to the Hirschau peninsula in the Königssee and to St. Bartholomew’s pilgrimage church.

On the following day, there is the patron saint festival with traditional dance as well as festive mass in the field with Berchtesgaden miners and pilgrims in honor of the holy church patron St. Bartholomew. Music is provided by the local Maria Gern band. The traditional dance takes place at ca. 2:00 pm, and at ca. 5:00 pm is the departure for the wreath-laying ceremony on the Falkensteinerwand. Following this, there is a concert by the lake with the Maria Alm folk heritage band.

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