From Ulm we walk over several hills parallel to the Danube.
Scallops show the way.
We come to Grimmelfingen with its church of St. Jacques.
There in the vestibule near the gothic entrance portal there is the first pilgrim's stamp.
Via Einsingen we go to Erbach. On a hill, which has to be climbed first, lies the castle Erbach.
The Renaissance palace came into the possession of the Paumgarten family in 1534/35, an important and wealthy Augsburg patrician family, related to the Fuggers by marriage. Hans Georg von Paumgarten had the present palace built on the foundation walls of an older castle complex.
Since 1620 the castle has been in the private possession of the Imperial Barons of Ulm zu Erbach, who received it as a fiefdom from Emperor Ferdinand II.
A mighty defensive wall, reinforced by a moat, surrounds Erbach Castle. The path leads over a drawbridge through the gate building into the castle courtyard, where stables and servants' quarters are located on both sides.
The main building - it is bordered at the corners by round towers - is enclosed by two parallel gabled roofs with stepped gables. They form the impressive double-gabled facade of the Renaissance building. The gatehouse of the castle is the remnant of an enormous high medieval keep.
Right next to the castle is the Martins church.
The interior of the wide hall church surprises with splendid late rococo. Stucco work in subtle colours decorates arches, door, window and fresco frames.
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The organ with the two galleries. We stop for a break and marvel.
What is there to discover. For example St. John Nepomuk.
Franz Martin Kuen, one of the main masters of Swabian rococo painting, created a highlight of his late work in the Erbach church: 20 frescos cover the vaulting surfaces of the church interior.
This fresco depicts James and Andreas.
The main altar is decorated with a Mary on the crescent moon surrounded by angels (Ulm school, around 1490).
The other very beautiful path on a ridge above the Danube leads to a Maria-Hilf-Chapel ...
...with a Maria Hilf picture.
For comparison right (on Smartphone below): the original by Lucas Cranach in Innsbruck.
And already the stage destination Oberdischingen is in sight. Our first path leads to the classicistic parish church.
Franz Ludwig Reichsgraf Schenk von Castell (1736-1821) had the church "Zum heiligsten Namen Jesu" built. It is called the "Swabian Pantheon" because of its appearance.
His castle also stood here, of which "only" the magnificent chancellery building (opposite the church) remains.
Inside the church, the altarpiece stands out. It consists of seven Gothic stone reliefs from the rood screen of the monastery church Blaubeuren.
The Kapellenbergstrasse leads uphill to the Cursillo House, the seat of the Swabian St. James Society with a pilgrims' hostel.
The Jakobus in front of the Cursillo house looks more tired than I am.
Here in the Cursillo House St. James we had a fine meal and stayed overnight.