Clear lakes, beech forests, rare animals such as ospreys and kingfishers: in the wild nature of the Mecklenburg Lake District, body and mind quickly come to rest - perfect for a pilgrimage weekend.


A pilgrimage is only for people with a lot of time? Not true. The Mecklenburg Lake District Pilgrimage Trail is especially recommended for those who make up their minds at short notice and for anyone who would like to try out this spiritual type of hiking for a few days. The start is in Friedland, the destination is Mirow. In between are 120 varied kilometers through forests, across meadows, past lakes and old sacred buildings, which can be walked either via an eastern or western route.

Some stages are particularly suitable for weekend pilgrimages - because they are easily accessible by public transport - such as the two-day tour (36 kilometers) from the former royal seat of Neustrelitz to Mirow, idyllically situated on the Müritz-Havel waterway.

Saturday: Power places to pause

After an uncomplicated journey (from the main station in Berlin about an hour by regional express or via the fast IC connection from Dresden), the pilgrim emblem, the yellow shell with wave on a blue background, shows you the way from Neustrelitz. There, it's worth taking a stroll through the streets of the listed city center with the Kulturquartier Mecklenburg-Strelitz. Then it's past the harbor, a small church and the Zierker See lake. Other large and small bodies of water follow. The entire beauty of the Mecklenburg Kleinseenplatte unfolds its charm here. After about 22 kilometers, you'll reach your destination for the day, Wesenberg, with the castle of the same name, the historic marketplace and St. Mary's Church, in front of whose entrance stands a gnarled linden tree that is more than 620 years old - a place of power away from the big city and everyday life. And a wonderful spot to put your feet up now. Tip: In addition to guesthouses and hotels, parsonages and residents along the pilgrimage route also offer accommodations.

Sunday: Nature and silence are good for the soul

The next day, you can let your thoughts run free as you walk through the meditative pine forests from Wesenberg to Mirow. The end point is the castle island with its ensemble of castle, 3-queens palace and Johanniter church. There, by the way, you will also get your pilgrim's stamp. You can return to Neustrelitz on the Kleinseenbahn, from where trains run hourly to Berlin.

Alternative desired?

Another two-day hike (33 kilometers) starts in Neubrandenburg and runs along the densely forested shore of Lake Tollens. There are several natural swimming spots there. A good two hours' walk later, you'll reach the pretty half-timbered village of Alt Rehse with its church, manor house and park. After an overnight stop in Prillwitz on the Lieps shallow water lake, you'll make the pilgrimage to Hohenzieritz, 3.5 kilometers away. The castle, once the summer residence of the Strelitz dukes (memorial of Queen Luise), impresses with northern Germany's oldest landscape park. The rest of the way runs mainly through forest. Everywhere there are pretty places to linger and pause. Just let go and become one with nature, because then even such short time-outs have a long-term effect!

Cover photo: The Mecklenburg Lake District Pilgrimage Trail roams the region for 240 kilometers © Christin Druehl

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