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A 10-day pilgrimage in Lower Saxony – Sigwardsweg

MichaelKlodtka

A 10-day pilgrimage in Lower Saxony – Sigwardsweg

Hiking Collection by Angelina Kuhlmann

10

Tours

48:05 h

112 mi

6,000 ft

There is something that has united all world religions for many centuries – the pilgrimage. Millions of people walk well-known pilgrimage routes, such as the Way of St. James, every year. However, you don’t necessarily have to travel to Spain to embark on a pilgrimage. Northern Germany also has a pilgrimage trail which helps you to discover yourself, whether you are a believer or not – the Sigwardsweg.

Over a distance of 180 kilometres (111 miles), the Sigwardsweg takes you in the footsteps of Bishop Sigward of Minden through the former diocese of Minden. You walk through rich cultural landscapes and past unique churches with the wooded, green countryside as your constant companion. You climb small mountains, hike through the protected nature of the Schaumburg Land and cross moors and fields as you follow the official red sign of the Sigwardsweg.

On each of the ten stages, your goal is to find sacred places where you can find peace and answers to questions that come up during your pilgrimage. Sigward von Minden points you in the right direction with his wise words: "I am who I was, but was not who I am".

The Sigwardsweg leads you through a region that has drastically changed over the past centuries. Sigward led the diocese of Minden from 1120 to 1140. After his death, he was buried in a church in the village of Idensen in Lower Saxony. In the centuries after his death, Catholic congregations moved closer and closer to Protestantism, and some dissolved. Many historic buildings from the period still stand today. Some communities carry the spiritual legacy of this time of upheaval into the present day.

On 10 spiritual stages, the Sigwardsweg takes you on a circular Tour from the cathedral city of Minden in North Rhine-Westphalia to Idense village in Lower Saxony. From Idensen, you continue towards Schinna, the northernmost point of the trail, pass Petershagen town and return to Minden. The start and endpoint are conveniently the same, so arriving and departing is easy. Minden also has a lot of long-stay parking spaces, as well as a railway station.

As the Tours end in towns and villages with public transport connections, you can easily choose to hike the stages individually rather than in one go. The quickest way to find train and bus connections is here (in German language): vbn.de.

There are 24 pilgrimage stations along your hike that welcome you, inspire you, and impart a lot of wisdom. You can pick up a pilgrim’s passport from the pilgrim’s office in Minden cathedral treasury at the beginning of your hike and collect stamps along the way. I’ve included information about where to find the stamps in the Tour descriptions.

On the Sigwardsweg, exciting acquaintances and conversations about life await as you hike mindfully through the wonderful nature along the pilgrimage path. The Siwardsweg is not only a path for pilgrims, but also for enthusiastic history lovers and nature lovers who are interested in exploring the south of Lower Saxony.

On The Map

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Tours & Highlights

  • Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

    Etappe 1: Von Minden nach Porta Westfalica – Sigwardsweg

    Intermediate
    04:04
    8.92 mi
    2.2 mph
    950 ft
    850 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The starting point of your pilgrimage is the Minden Cathedral. The historic diocese of Minden and the founding of the city began here a good 800 years ago. In the pilgrim's office on Sigwardsweg, which you can find in the cathedral treasury building, you can equip yourself with a pilgrim pass and the

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  • Difficult
    05:41
    12.4 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,425 ft
    1,450 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    With the impressions of the first day in your head, you will first conquer the Porta Kanzel on the morning of the second stage. The ascent leads you to the lookout point, from which you can completely overlook the Kaiser Wilhelm monument and the Porta. You are now in the Weser Mountains and follow the

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  • Intermediate
    03:19
    7.27 mi
    2.2 mph
    925 ft
    700 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Even if Bückeburg itself is worth a stay of several days, you will be drawn to the pilgrimage again on the third day. In the hustle and bustle of the city, lace up your hiking boots and leave them on the Sigwardsweg towards Obernkirchen. The third stage is only 11 kilometers long, but your goal today

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  • Difficult
    07:38
    17.7 mi
    2.3 mph
    1,125 ft
    1,175 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The fourth stage will be demanding in several respects: Today, almost 28 kilometers through the Weserbergland Schaumburg-Hameln nature park and the Bückeberg lie ahead of you. The motto of the path “I am who I was, but wasn't who I am” is omnipresent today. Where am I from, where am I going and who am

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  • Intermediate
    03:34
    8.64 mi
    2.4 mph
    125 ft
    350 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    To a meeting with Bishop Sigward: This is the motto of the fifth stage of the Sigward path. You can take it easy today and open all your senses to the nature around you. For example, on the almost 14 kilometers of the route section you cross the Haster forest and can take a break at the Mittelland Canal

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  • Difficult
    05:55
    13.8 mi
    2.3 mph
    750 ft
    725 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    The first ten kilometers of the sixth stage of the Sigwardsweg run undisturbed along the Steinhuder Meer nature reserve. The only place along the way is Düdinghausen. The sixth stage is characterized by calm and mindfulness. Fittingly, the destination is the venerable Loccum monastery, in whose pilgrim

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  • Intermediate
    04:32
    11.0 mi
    2.4 mph
    200 ft
    250 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    The first kilometers through the Loccumer Heide are pure nature: the area through which the Sigwardsweg leads today is only rarely inhabited. It goes back towards the Weser and the wild and romantic Stolzenau nature reserve with its small lakes.

    

    Today you will find the oldest church in the north of the

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  • Difficult
    05:38
    13.8 mi
    2.5 mph
    150 ft
    150 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Monastery stories, cozy resting places and a baroque organ: all of this awaits you on the eighth stage of the Sigwardsweg. Only three kilometers above Stolzenau, the 22-kilometer section leads you through a field landscape to Schinna Monastery.

    

    The abbey, the western and southern wings of the convent

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  • Intermediate
    03:36
    8.83 mi
    2.5 mph
    100 ft
    75 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    You have been on the pilgrimage route in Lower Saxony for eight days. The mixture of hiking sections just for you and meeting the people at the pilgrimage stations is also what makes today's stage. The starting point is the windmill in Großenheerse, where you have either already spent the night or which

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  • Intermediate
    04:07
    9.89 mi
    2.4 mph
    300 ft
    300 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    It is like always when you are on your way: Once you have reached your destination, your view of things has changed a little again. Luckily. On the last stage of the Sigwardsweg pilgrimage route, you have the opportunity to reflect on the past few days. “I am who I was, but I wasn't who I am,” Bishop

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    10
  • Distance
    112 mi
  • Duration
    48:05 h
  • Elevation
    6,000 ft

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A 10-day pilgrimage in Lower Saxony – Sigwardsweg

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