The Schwabenweg (Swabian Path) begins in Constance. It runs off the main roads on hiking trails and side roads through the canton of Thurgau.
On the way with the parish
My parish Birmensdorf-Aesch-Uitikon organised the pilgrimage. Our pilgrimage began in Constance at the Rhine Gate. This city gate, built around 1200 to protect the former medieval Rhine bridge, is an impressive starting point. Of the original 27 fortified towers, only three remain: the Rhine Gate Tower, the Powder Tower and the Schnetztor. At the Rhine Gate, we encountered St. Nepomuk, a baroque sculpture of him standing guard.
The path first led us to the cathedral. On the south side of the cathedral we stood in front of the signpost of the Way of St. James to Santiago and to our first stage destination in Märstetten.
Across the old town of Constance, the Way of St. James, now signposted as the Swabian Path, leads past many interesting houses.
In the middle of the pedestrian zone in Rosgartenstrasse in the Gothic guild house of butchers is the Rosgarten Museum. There we find a relief from the year 1510 with a depiction of the chicken miracle.
Past the Hus Museum (the reformer was executed during the Council of Constance), the path leads through the Schnetztor across the Swiss border towards Kreuzlingen.
Through a beautiful ravine, the path leads constantly uphill to the hill 'Bernrain'. In the pilgrimage chappel of the holy cross there we held devotions, sang Tezé songs and heard the legend of the rascal 'Schappeler'.
After this break we walked silently through the forest, still slightly uphill. Near the village of Ellighausen we could enjoy a beautiful view of the Alps.
In a romantic ravine we crossed the Chämebach and hiked on, always following the signs 'Schwabenweg' (Swabian path).
Shortly after the small village 'Wald' with its half-timbered houses we could already see Märstetten in the distance, in the middle the massive tower of the Jakobskirche (St. James church). The beautiful timber-framed house on the left side of the picture is just before Märstetten, directly on the Way of St James.
But it took quite a while until we reached the church. We admired the Gothic fresco with the representation of the Last Judgement, which unfortunately is only fragmentarily preserved.
There is a pilgrims' hostel for 10 people in Märstetten, on Hubstrasse 2 in the former midwives' house (Hebammenhaus).