In 2005 the Austrian part of the Way of St. James leading from Göttweig Abbey to Melk Abbey was opened there.
Since the Middle Ages, Christians have been taking this pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela to the shrine of the apostle St. James the Great . The starting point of the Austrian part of the Way of St. James is the Hainburger Pforte (Hainburger Gate). From there the Way runs upstream following the tracks of the Roman-built Danube-Limes frontier – from Vienna, via Linz and Innsbruck to Feldkirch. From Vienna to Santiago de Compostela a distance of 3.200 km has to be travelled. The pilgrimage route between Göttweig and Melk is around 44 km long and can be managed in about 12 hours.
Many magnificent abbeys, monasteries and churches can be admired along the way, the two most famous being the Benedictine Abbeys of Melk and Göttweig. They are situated at a distance of two easy days walking from each other.
These two Benedictine Abbeys situated at the beginning and the end of the Wachau – World Cultural Heritage since 2000 – are among the most important stops of the Austrian part of the Way of St. James. Further major points of interest along the Austrian Way of St. James are the pilgrimage church Maria Langegg, the castle ruin of Aggstein as well as the hammer mill and the Charterhouse in Aggsbach.
An initiative of the Waldzell Institute was responsible for the revitalisation of the Austrian segment. This initiative is in line with the trend for spiritual hiking which could be observed in recent years and has led to the vitalization of various pilgrimage routes. Along the Austrian route segment special stations provide information about the entire Way of St. James.
“A pilgrimage is defined by its destination, but the journey itself is the objective”
Experience the route from the southern Waldviertel – from Melk to Persenbeug, with a host of information about this segment including places to spend the night or to stop for refreshment.