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Tourismusgemeinschaft Inn-Salzach e. V.
Kapellplatz 2a
84503 Altötting

Benedict Trail
In the footsteps of His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI

Feast of Corpus Christi Procession, Copyright Tourismusgemeinschaft Inn Salzach

Some people might think of pilgrimages as a thing of the past. But lots of people – of all ages and from all kinds of backgrounds – do still go on pilgrimages. Some walk hundreds of arduous miles on the St. James' Way to Santiago de Compostela in Spain; others choose Altötting in Bavaria as their goal. The Benedict Trail is a unique cultural trail opened in honor of Pope Benedict XVI in August 2005. It is set in the beautiful foothills of the Upper Bavarian Alps, between two mountain rivers, the Inn and the Salzach. This fascinating circular pilgrimage trail and cycle route links the places where Pope Benedict spent his childhood and youth: from Altötting via Marktl, Burghausen, Tittmoning and Traunstein, back to Altötting. This new 225km trail through Bavaria is the perfect opportunity for pilgrims to follow in the footsteps of Pope Benedict XVI.

Pope Benedict XVI at the Chapel of the Miraculous Image in Altötting, Copyright Tourismusgemeinschaft Inn Salzach

The route starts in the pilgrimage town of Altötting, at the "papal lime tree" planted by Pope Benedict's predecessor, Pope John Paul II, in 1980. It continues to Marktl, where Joseph Ratzinger was born on April 16, 1927, then to Tittmoning, where he lived from 1929 to 1932. Aschau am Inn was his home from 1932 to 1937, and it was here that he took his first communion. In Au am Inn is the baroque church and abbey where Pope Benedict took music lessons with the Franciscan nuns. This ancient cultural region has a rich history dating back to Celtic, Roman and ancient Bavarian times. It was also one of the early centers of Christianity in the northern Alpine region. The churches, abbeys and historical towns in the region between the Inn and the Salzach are filled with cultural treasures and exquisite works of art.

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Basic information

  • Length
  • Themes
    nature, culture, Pope Benedict XVI.

Highlights in brief

  • Altötting
    pilgrimage town, ancient Madonna miracle
  • Marktl
    birthplace of Pope Benedict XVI.
  • Burghausen
    old quarter, the longest castle in Europe
  • Traunstein
    parish church, ordination as priest
  • Seeon-Seebruck
    former Benedictine abbey
  • Wasserburg am Inn
  • Mühldorf am Inn
    star-shaped cycle route
  • Waging
    on Bavaria's warmest lake, Bavarian Museum
  • Amerang
    castle, Museum of Aristocratic History
  • Chieming
    on Lake Chiemsee