The Bergisch Way of St. James

In Europe the Ways of St. James, marked by a scallop, are pilgrim routes to the grave of St. James the Apostle in Santiago de Compostela in Galicia. One section crosses the Bergisch Land. The “Bergisch Way of St. James” leads from the monastery church in Beyenburg via Lennep, past the Eschbach valley dam, on to Wermelskirchen and Altenberg Cathedral in Odenthal. It then proceeds via Cologne and Aachen.

As early as 1129 Eberhard, one of the Counts of Graf and the man who gave the Bergish Land its name, set off on a pilgrimage along this way to Spain.

In 1987 the Council of Europe published a declaration in Santiago de Compostela, the pilgrims’ final destination, emphasising the highly symbolic value of the Way of St. James in the creation of Europe. It not only possesses a religious significance but, much more, it serves to illustrate the transfer of ideas, art and culture between religions and nations. As a European cultural route it is intended to break down distances, boundaries and language barriers.