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Stage 06 Hildegard von Bingen Pilgrimage Trail: Schlossböckelheim - Braunweiler

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  • Impressionen - Klosterkirche Sponheim
    Impressionen - Klosterkirche Sponheim
    Photo: Naheland-Touristik GmbH/T. Volz
m 350 300 250 200 150 100 16 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 km Klosterkirche Sponheim 37 Hildegard-Tafel: … Macht Schutzhütte Sponheim Wanderparkplatz am Weintor

Schloßböckelheim - Waldböckelheim - Burgsponheim - Sponheim - Braunweiler

Jutta of Sponheim played an important role in Hildegard of Bingen’s life: she was a relative of Hildegard and Hildegard’s teacher and confidante from 1106 or at the latest from 1112 until her death.

Distance 16.4 km
4:35 h
374 m
251 m
301 m
142 m

Jutta of Sponheim is said to have been born at Sponheim Castle, the ancestral seat of the Counts of Sponheim. Today’s castle ruins are supported by the approximately 130-metre-long tip of a mountain spur, which the Ellerbach stream flows around on the south and east side. Hildegard was brought to Jutta at eight years of age.

In the 12th century, the Sponheim family founded the Sponheim Monastery.  This also commemorates the humanist and abbot Johannes Trithemius (1462-1516), who repeatedly referred to Hildegard of Bingen, whom he revered, in his historical writings and contributed significantly to her fame. A total of six information boards accompanies the trail to Braunweiler, a small wine-growing village in the southern foothills of the Soonwald-Nahe Nature Park.

The easy tour through vineyards, forests and small valleys leads through a landscape that seems untouched by the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Hildegard of Bingen Pilgrimage Trail

Hildegard of Bingen, abbess, poet, theologian, naturalist and healer lived in what is now the Nahe holiday region throughout her life.

The 137-kilometre Hildegard of Bingen Pilgrimage Trail passes various stations in the life of this probably most famous personality of the Middle Ages. The trail starts in Idar-Oberstein and continues via Niederhosenbach, the family seat and possible birthplace of Hildegard of Bingen, to Bad Sobernheim. Not far from here is the Disibodenberg monastery ruins, where Hildegard spent almost 40 significant years of her life. The Pilgrimage Trail ultimately ends in Bingen am Rhein. Here, the Rupertsberg vaulted cellar still bears witness to Hildegard of Bingen’s last place of work: in 1150, the saint founded the Rupertsberg monastery, which was the place of her work for 29 years. The last stops on this ecumenical pilgrimage trail are the Hildegard shrine in the pilgrimage church of St. Hildegard Rüdesheim-Ebingen and the Abbey of St. Hildegard Ebingen.

59 information and meditation boards along the entire route provide information about Hildegard as a person, her work and life in the Middle Ages. Hikers approach the spiritual side of Hildegard of Bingen through meditation boards that follow Hildegard of Bingen’s visionary images from her main work of “Scivias - Know the Ways” and give stimulus for meditation. The boards are written in both German and English.

The pilgrim’s passport can be stamped at Naheland-Touristik GmbH, tourist information offices, catering and accommodation establishments, various way stations and finally at St. Hildegard’s Abbey in Eibingen.

Brief résumé of St. Hildegard of Bingen

1098: Birth Hildegard of Bingen, presumably in Niederhosenbach near Herrstein

1112: enters the Disibodenberg monastery near Bad Sobernheim, together with Jutta of Sponheim

1136: Hildegard of Bingen becomes, after the death of Jutta of Sponheim, the second Magistra in the Disibodenberg monastery

around 1150: founds her own female monastery in Bingen am Rhein

1165: Foundation of a second female convent in Eibingen, today’s pilgrimage church of St. Hildegard Rüdesheim-Eibingen

17 September 1179: Hildegard of Bingen dies in Bingen am Rhein

10 May 2012: Canonisation of Hildegard of Bingen by Pope Benedict XVI

7 October 2012: Elevation to Doctor of the Church


Author’s recommendation

Sponheim Monastery Church: Every 1st Sunday of the month from April to October there is a public guided tour of the Sponheim Monastery grounds.

Start: 3.00 pm Meeting point: In front of the main entrance to the monastery church - More Information


Profile picture of Naheland-Touristik GmbH
Naheland-Touristik GmbH
Update: December 21, 2022
Highest point
301 m
Lowest point
142 m
Best time of year

Track types

Asphalt 4.59%Dirt road 28.64%Forested/wild trail 42.66%Path 0.98%Road 20.70%Unknown 2.40%
0.8 km
Dirt road
4.7 km
Forested/wild trail
7 km
0.2 km
3.4 km
0.4 km
Show elevation profile

Safety information

Hiking Boots recommended!

Tips and hints

Naheland-Touristik GmbH

Bahnhofstraße 37, D-55606 Kirn

Telefon: +49 (0) 6752/137610

Fax: +49 (0) 6752/137620,


Local Adress

Verbandsgemeindeverwaltung  Rüdesheim / Nahe

Nahestraße 63, D-55593 Rüdesheim

Telefon: +49 (0)671/371-100

Fax: +49 (0)671/371-800,  


55596 Schloßböckelheim, Nahetalstraße/Zum Mühlberg (142 m)
49.808712, 7.743526
49°48'31.4"N 7°44'36.7"E
32U 409596 5518120
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55595 Braunweiler, Hegewaldstraße/Spabrücker Weg

Turn-by-turn directions

The path extends from the hill of Schlossböckelheim to Waldböckelheim, which lies about 2 kilometres into the valley. In Waldböckelheim, a board on the old tithe barn reminds us that Hildegard was also consecrated to God as a “tithe”, i.e. as a tenth child (Board 38). Two meditation boards show the first two visions of the third book of the Liber Scivias. To view the first vision, which deals with the cosmic drama (Board 37), a short climb up the 19th-century Protestant church, which stands far away on a prominent hill, is necessary. The second meditation board on Hildegard’s Plan of the City of God can be admired at St. Bartholomew’s Catholic Church (Board 39); a Hildegard relic is also found here.

The Hildegard Path then clearly moves away from Bad Kreuznach, the largest town in the Nahe Valley, further north into the Soonwald. The reason for this route is that we want to move toward the historical Hildegard villages, which here have a lot to do with their teacher Jutta von Sponheim and her family of the Counts of Sponheim, who ruled the whole region until the 15th century.

After a hike of about 2 kilometres, we arrive at Sponheim Castle. Here, a visit to the castle ruins invites you to take a break and remember the history of Jutta and Hildegard. Thus, we know from Hildegard’s vita that she was brought to Jutta when she was eight years old, in order to be “offered to God for spiritual life” at the same time; but contrary to earlier assumptions, Hildegard did not come to the Disibodenberg, where they both only entered at 14 and 20 years old, but probably here to Sponheim Castle. Here you will also find an information board on Jutta of Sponheim (Board 40), Hildegard’s teacher, who was influenced by the strict ascetic reform movement of her time. The meditation board on Hildegard’s vision of the Tower of the Counsel (Board 41), inspired the poem of the day.

After visiting the castle, the trail leads along Burgsponheim’s main street to Erbacher Hof where we can store our luggage or also spend the night. After lunch, there is the option of hiking the Burgsponheim Count’s Circuit, which also leads to Sponheim, or going directly to Sponheim, which is visible from afar with its significant monastery church. 

Sponheim Monastery is also important to the Hildegard Way because it is the only surviving building from her lifetime, the 12th century.

Sponheim Monastery also commemorates the humanist and abbot Johannes Trithemius (1462-1516), who presided over Sponheim Monastery from 1483-1505 and who repeatedly referred to Hildegard of Bingen, whom he revered, in his historical writings and contributed significantly to her fame, even though his historically incorrect statements, such as about her alleged birthplace at Böckelheim Castle, were adopted unquestioningly until the beginning of more recent research into Hildegard in the 20th century.

For the pilgrims there is now also the meditation board on the “Pillar of the Word of God” to contemplate (Board 42). For those who would like to stay a little longer, a meditative walk through the labyrinth newly built at the monastery church is recommended, and for those who would like to take part in one of the concerts organised there by the Förderverein Klosterkirche e.V., take advantage of this opportunity! For fit pilgrimage hikers, the trail now continues on a hike through the forest to Braunweiler, about 3 kilometres away. In the late evening, it may be advisable to simply take the route, as there is no more Hildegard board until the overnight accommodation in Braunweiler.

The text of the day by Chung Hyun Kyung is recommended for reading. This world-renowned Korean theologian, who writes in simple clear words, and approaches “Sister Hildegard” not only from a Christian feminist perspective, but also from her practice as a Buddhist monk.


all notes on protected areas

Public transport


Norheim train station. The village is located on the Mainz - Saarbrücken line and is easily accessible by regional train (vlexx).

Continue with the regional bus 251 to Schlossböckelheim. All timetable information can be found in the RNN timetable information at

Getting there

A61 in the east, junction Bad Kreuznach, B41 to Waldböckelheim, continue on L108 to Schloßböckelheim.

A62 in the west, junction Birkenfeld, B41 to Waldböckelheim, continue on L108 to Schloßböckelheim.


49.808712, 7.743526
49°48'31.4"N 7°44'36.7"E
32U 409596 5518120
Show on Map
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

Book recommendation by the author

Pilgerbuch, Dr. Annette Esser, Ess publishers, Bad Kreuznach -  

Author’s map recommendations

“Hildegard of Bingen - Pilgrimage Trail” flyer with general map -


Hiking footwear recommended!

Our tips for carefree hiking fun:

Hiking is the perfect sport. With the right clothes and shoes, it's twice as much fun. Functional clothing, poles and breathable backpacks are good choices when hiking. But good footwear is indispensable. Sturdy jogging or leisure shoes are at best only suitable for short distances on flat paths. For longer walks, we recommend sturdy hiking boots with non-slip soles. Also remember to take sunscreen and a drink. A litre of water is best.

Questions and answers

Question from Roswitha Werner · September 05, 2019 · Community
kann diese Etappe mit dem Fahrrad durchgeführt werden
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Andrea Knecht
August 25, 2018 · Community
Wunderbar v.a. durch die Kirche von sponheim. Die lohnt sich auf jeden fall! War eines unserer highlight v.a auch durch den geigespieler. In waldböckelheim hatten leider alle Kirchen zu und nur in der Bäckerei war ein übergrosser seltsamer Stempel zu bekommen. Die Etappe war recht leicht zu gehen was wir nach dem vorhergehenden Anstrengungen sehr begrüssten.die Ausblicke von Burg sponheim toll. Schade dass der Turm nicht mehr begehbar ist. Die angegebene schlüsselverwalterin wusste auch nichts vom hildegardweg. Damit war sie nicht die einzige. Immer wieder erstaunen auch wenn wir nach Stempel fragten. An pilgeressen und Unterkunft wie Jakobsweg braucht man gar nicht zu denken.
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Photos from others

16.4 km
4:35 h
374 m
251 m
Highest point
301 m
Lowest point
142 m
Public-transport-friendly Multi-stage route Scenic Refreshment stops available Cultural/historical interest


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