From Rapperswil, the Way of St. James leads over the newly built wooden footbridge across Lake Zurich. On the left is a view of Rapperswil from 1821, with a chapel, the so-called Heilighüsli. On the right picture you can see it as it presents itself today.
This pedestrian walkway was rebuilt in 2001 and inaugurated on April 6, 2001.
The wooden footbridge leads to Hurden. In the background you can already see the Etzel Pass.
The Pilgrim's Footbridge
From finds in the lake we know that there were already bridge constructions here in the Bronze Age and under the Romans. In the Middle Ages there was a ferry service here and in 1358 the construction of a wooden bridge was started, which was in use until 1878. In 1354 the dominion of Rapperswil had been acquired by the House of Habsburg-Austria by purchase. Duke Albrecht II ordered the reconstruction of the town on the lake, which was destroyed in the wake of the night of the Zurich murder in 1350. Albrecht's son, Duke Rudolf IV. ("the founder") ordered the construction of a wooden bridge over the lake in 1358 as the new lord of Rapperswil. With this he wanted to secure the trade route over the Gotthard as well as the pilgrim traffic to Einsiedeln. Before construction began, Rudolf sought advice from experts who measured the depth of the lake. The footbridge from Rapperswil to Hurden was not built in a straight line, but followed the shoals in irregular turns. Completed in 1360, the 1425 m long structure consisted of 188 yokes, which rested on 546 oak piles and were connected with oak beams. The actual footbridge was formed by fir boards, which were only loosely laid on top of each other so that the whole construction would not be torn apart in a storm. There were no railings, and the bridge was too narrow for carts. The town of Rapperswil experienced an economic boom as a result of the construction.
In 1878 the railroad line and road over the new stone (brick) lake dam of Rapperswil was opened, replacing the old wooden bridge.
After Pfäffikon the path goes steeply uphill. Via the 'Luegete' we reach the Etzel-Pass, partly via stairs and partly through romantic forest paths. During the ascent you can discover the peace and quiet of slowness and harmonize breath and step.
At the pass, the St. Meinrad chapel, which was built in 1697 and 1698, as well as the pilgrims' inn invite you to stay.
We stop for lunch at the restaurant St. Meinrad and enjoy the excellent cuisine of the house
Here we cross the river Sihl on the Tüfelsbrugg (devils bridge)
The first bridge was built by the hermit abbot Gero von Frohburg in 1117. It was replaced by a stone bridge in 1517. In the 17th century it was completely rebuilt, got the roof and was completed with a niche chapel for St. Nepomuk.
To the right of the bridge the
plaque commemorates the famous doctor who was born here in 1493.
In the niche chapel on the Teufelsbrücke stands the bridge saint Johannes Nepomuk.
See alo: Nepomuk collection Switzerland
After a hike across a romantic high moor, we walk on asphalt roads. On the way to the Galgenkäppeli they have priority.
Soon we look at the Sihlsee ...
... and we are approaching the stage destination Einsiedeln.
We stayed overnight at the Hotel Rot-Hut on the main square near the monastery.
The monastery only accepts male pilgrims, women can stay at the nearby Kloster Au.