Palatinate Route of St. James: Pilgrims hike to Otterbach Saturday, bike to Landstuhl Sunday

by Petra Lessoing
86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

The St. James Association Rheinland-Pfalz-Saarland will sponsor a pilgrimage hike from Wartenberg-Rohrbach to Otterbach Saturday to officially inaugurate the final stage of St. James Way (Jakobsweg) leading from Worms to Metz, France. This part of the monastery route is 11 kilometers long. Interested participants will meet at 9:30 a.m. at the Protestant church in Rohrbach.

Leisurely hiking on historical pilgrimage routes combines nature and meditation, it satisfies the individual’s desire for tradition and nativeness. Members of the local St. James Association said that this might be the reason lately for many people to become pilgrims on the Route of St. James for a certain time.

One part of the wide network of historical pilgrimage routes goes through the Pfalz. There is evidence that routes did lead through the Pfalz to the relics of St. James in Santiago de Compostela. Only medieval routes can be searched for and revived.
The scallop symbol of the Route of St. James in yellow on blue is a Europe-wide directive. The scallop symbol identifies the ways leading to the main route in Spain. In the union community of Otterberg, the way leads from Otterberg through the Otter Valley, passing the Catholic church, to Erfenbach.

“Pilgrims of the Saturday hike will stop at the Otterberg Abbey Church and at the information boards along the route,” said Patricia Bethke from the Otterbach Tourist Information office. “They will get explanations and learn about the scallop symbol in the ground in front of the Abbey Church.”

Ending point of the pilgrimage hike is the Catholic church in Otterbach at around
2 p.m. Harald Westrich, the mayor of the Otterbach Union community, will welcome the guests, who can enjoy pea soup with frankfurter as well as coffee and cake.
Those who are interested can take part in a free guided tour of the church.
Starting at 5 p.m., a bus shuttle will take back the pilgrims in small groups to Wartenberg-Rohrbach.

The next stage of the monastery route will continue after the chaplain’s blessing at 9:30 a.m. Sunday at the Catholic church, Mariä Himmelfahrt, Kirchenstrasse 2 in Otterbach.

“This pilgrimage will be 23 kilometers long and is set up for bicyclists,” said Bethke. “It will take about three hours and go from Otterbach to Rodenbach, Ramstein-Miesenbach and end at the Silbersee lake in Landstuhl.”

Those who would like to obtain the new regional pilgrimage pass of the St. James Association Rheinland-Pfalz, should ask for it by visiting www.jakobusgesellschaft/Pilgern/Pilgerpass/Formular.

For more information on the Palatinate ways to St. James, visit the Tourist Pavilion in Otterbach, Konrad-Adenauer-Strasse 19, or visit www.