Walk a pilgrim’s route in the Netherlands? Come to Limburg!
There are many reasons to go on pilgrimage: to contemplate the meaning of life, learn about yourself, heal, find peace of mind, pay tribute, meet like-minded people or simply for the experience. Pilgrimages are growing more popular as people seek spirituality in a materialistic world. Is offline the new luxury? Find out on a pilgrim’s route in Limburg!
Limburg is a popular place for walking and hiking. With its extensive network of footpaths, even (aspiring) pilgrims will always find a trail that suits their purposes. Whatever you might be seeking on your pilgrimage, we can show you the best route to follow in Limburg. Enjoy the journey!
Way of St James
The most famous pilgrim’s route is the Way of St James or, in Dutch, the Jacobspad. Both refer to the Camino de Santiago, the pilgrims’ route (camino) that leads to Santiago de Compostela in Spain, site of the shrine of the apostle St James the Great. The Camino has been immensely popular since the Middle Ages. It in fact consists of a network of routes that start in every corner of Europe, including the Netherlands. Almost all of the Dutch routes pass through Limburg.
One convenient way to join up with the Camino in Limburg is to walk the Pilgrims Way (LAW7). The final ten stages cross Limburg, passing a number of minor pilgrimage sites. Although the route is inspired by pilgrimages, it does not necessarily consist of ancient pilgrim’s routes. If your aim is to literally follow in the footsteps of Medieval pilgrims on the ‘real’ Way of St James, then consult the booklet Jacobspad, Historische Pelgrimswegen naar Santiago tussen Rijn en Maas, deel 3 (available only in Dutch).
Before starting off on the Camino, you might want to practise by walking a pilgrim’s route in Limburg. Find inspiration by watching the Dutch documentary series ‘Mijn Pelgrimspad‘ (‘My Pilgrimage’), broadcast weekly by KRO-NCRV. For more information about the Way of St James, see the Dutch chapter of the Confraternity of Saint James.
Although the Way of St James is the most popular pilgrim’s route in the Netherlands, Limburg has other inspiring pilgrimages to offer. Take a look at the routes and calendar of events of the Pilgrim's Routes and Footpaths Foundation (SPV) in Limburg, or book a walking weekend with Pilgrim in Limburg.
Did you know that there’s a place in Limburg called ‘Little Lourdes’ (Klein Lourdes)? The village of Tienray is the site of a Marian shrine to which pilgrims from far and wide flocked as an alternative to the real shrine to Our Lady of Lourdes in France. They were granted the same indulgences and miracles were said to have occurred there. It is one of the few ‘Lourdes grottoes’ situated inside a church.
In addition to the Marian shrine, pilgrims can also visit the Church of Our Lady Consoler of the Afflicted and attend Mass if they like. The church is renowned for possessing a relic of Saint Bernadette of Lourdes. You can also walk this pilgrimage to Little Lourdes.
Are you on pilgrimage in Limburg? Share your best photos on social media using #inLimburg.