The Way of St. James through the founding cantons of Switzerland connects the two places of pilgrimage Einsiedeln and Flüeli-Ranft. The route is steeped in Christian pilgrimage tradition. Pilgrims will see many churches, chapels and wayside shrines along the route. These are an expression of a living Christian faith and invite to linger and meditate. First, the route leads over the Haggenegg pass to Schwyz and then to Brunnen on Lake Lucerne, then across the lake by ferryboat to Treib. From Treib, there are two optional routes along the left-hand banks of Lake Lucerne via Beckenried to Stans, and up to Flüeli-Ranft. To pilgrims who experience the Way of St. James as a Way of Conciliation, Flüeli-Ranft means a lot since Holy Brother Klaus (Nicolas) is known, not only in Switzerland, as promoter of peace and reconciliation. The last section leads along the banks of the lakes of Sarnen and of Lungern up to the Brünig pass, the boundary between Central Switzerland and the Bernese Oberland. The route runs through a pre-alpine setting, along rushing rivers, wild mountain torrents and quiet lakes, through pastureland in wide valleys, but also narrow defiles with steep slopes and rugged rocks, through woods and wooded precipices until up to alpine meadows and mountain passes giving access to other valleys. Pilgrims will be a bit challenged physically, but will gradually learn to take things more leisurely and will perceive nature in this spectacular scenery of mountains and lakes with all their senses. Along the route, they will meet with an industrious population moulded by alpine agriculture, a population that has maintained its independent nature cherishing own values and traditions, despite the influences from a strong tourism.
The short descriptions were compiled and checked in volunteer work by helpers and association members after travelling the route, and based on the state of knowledge at that time. The exactness of the contents, and in particular their accordance with the official St. James way-posting cannot be guaranteed, also not in the sense of a product liability, by the association “jakobsweg.ch” and the authors. In case of differences, pilgrims are asked to please follow in each case the official St. James markings, and to advise us of possible errors. Thank you.
Texts: Winfried Erbach, Joe Weber and Klaus Augustiny (manuscript reader). Translated from German by Hans Bamert Pictures: Wolfgang Hörler, Winfried Erbach, various others.