Europe has some of the world’s most sacred pilgrimage sites that provide an intense spiritual experience for the people who visit them every year. Often overshadowed by the giant pilgrimage sites such as Vatican City, Lourdes in France and Fatima in Portugal, these pilgrimage destinations are still extremely popular and visited by many people every year.
Camino de Santiago, Spain
Running through Northern Spain, this is one of Spain’s oldest pilgrimage routes and culminates at the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, the burial place of St. James. Transported by boat from Jerusalem to Spain, the site has been a constant pilgrimage site since the middle ages.
Armagh, Northern Ireland
Chosen by St. Patrick as the place to establish the church in Ireland in the 5th century, Armagh was its ecclesiastical capital. A large number of educational institutions were also established in Armagh, as St. Patrick decreed only those educated in Armagh were equipped to spread the gospel.
Another point of interest is that Armagh is the seat of both Catholic and Anglican archbishops, and it is one of Ireland’s most venerated cities.
Einsiedeln’s Benedictine Abbey has long been one of Switzerland’s most important pilgrimage sites and the Baroque church receives over 100,000 pilgrims every year. The abbey hosts the Diorama Bethlehem, with its 450 hand carved figures making it the world’s largest nativity scene, and a giant circular painting known as Panorama Crucifixion of Christ.
Over a million pilgrims visit this Bavarian pilgrimage site venerating the Virgin Mary every year, and have done so for over 500 years, for the Chapel of Grace (build around 700AD) and the Black Madonna. In 1489, a miracle took place here, with a drowned child being revived. There are plenty of other points of interest at this pilgrimage town, including a candlelight procession taking place from May to October between St Anna’s to Chapel Square.
Medugorje, Bosnia & Herzegovina
Since 1981 alone, six children have seen apparitions of the Virgin Mary, leading to over a million pilgrims visiting this town every year. Some of these pilgrims have encountered visions whilst here in the sky, including crosses and hearts close to the sun.
Czestochowa’s Jasna Gora Monastery has a shrine to the Black Madonna which sees over 4 million pilgrims every year. Not only is the shrine a symbol of the Polish people’s determination to keep their heritage, but the Black Madonna has granted a number of miracles over the years. One of the most notable miracles includes the statue being stuck by a sword in a Hussite attack and subsequently bleeding in 1430.
At ITS Travel, we’re passionate about helping you reach the world’s best pilgrimage sites. For more information about our European pilgrimages, don’t hesitate to call 0161 839 1111 or contact us online today.