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01. Etappe Hildegard von Bingen Pilgerwanderweg: Idar-Oberstein - Herrstein

· 2 reviews · Pilgrim trail · Nahe
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  • Felsenkirche Idar-Oberstein
    / Felsenkirche Idar-Oberstein
    Photo: Urlaubsregion Naheland
  • Fachwerk in Herrstein
    / Fachwerk in Herrstein
    Photo: Zöllner, EdelSteinLand / VG Herrstein-Rhaunen
  • / Kupferbergwerk Fischbach
    Photo: phormat/E. Dubois, EdelSteinLand
m 500 400 300 200 18 16 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 km 02 Hildegard-Tafel: Steinkunde 03 Hildegard-Tafel: Der Leuchtende 01 Hildegard-Tafel: Die Seherin 04 Hildegard-Tafel: … Mittelalter
The 1st stage of the Hildegard von Bingen Pilgrims' Trail is very demanding and characterised by a varied route with a steep gradient.

ATTENTION REDIRECTION: Due to rock stabilisation work above the Felsenkirche, the path along the Felsenkirche is closed until further notice! A diversion is signposted. The diversion runs through the pedestrian zone in the direction of 'Platz auf der Idar' and from there along Schlossstraße and Felsenkirchstraße uphill towards Oberstein Castle.


Idar-Oberstein - Herrstein

The area around Idar-Oberstein stands for a craftsmanship that is unparalleled worldwide. This part of the trail is dedicated to Hildegard's stonecraft.

Distance 18.9 km
6:07 h
851 m
798 m
The 1st stage of the Hildegard von Bingen pilgrimage trail is very demanding. For around 19 kilometres, the trail follows narrow paths, past rocks, through woodland and includes a section that leads steeply down stairs. We therefore recommend splitting up the first stage and spending the night in Fischbach halfway through.  Please read the descriptions of stages 01a and 01b.

Idar-Oberstein is internationally considered a gemstone city. Various museums there invite you to explore the gemstones that have been mined and processed here for centuries. The first information board on the Hildegardweg is dedicated to Hildegard's lithology (Board 2: Stones, German Mineral Museum). However, the visionary and naturopathic abbess did not write about stones per se, but about the healing effect of stones on people.Hildegard von Bingen pilgrimage trailIn her fourth book of her Physica she describes the effect of 26 (precious) stones. After the legendary Felsenkirche and the spectacular rock formations at the beginning, the nature-oriented path offers beautiful quiet brook valleys, old forests and, when crossing the mountain ranges, magnificent views. Hildegard von Bingen, abbess, poet, theologian, naturalist and healer, lived all her life in the Nahe holiday region.

The 137 kilometre long Hildegard von Bingen Pilgrim's Trail leads past various stages in the life of one of the most famous figures of the Middle Ages. The trail starts in Idar-Oberstein and continues via Niederhosenbach, the family seat and possible birthplace of Hildegard von Bingen, to Bad Sobernheim. Not far from here is the Disibodenberg monastery ruin, where Hildegard spent almost 40 significant years of her life. The pilgrims' trail finally ends in Bingen am Rhein. Here, the Rupertsberg vaulted cellar still bears witness to Hildegard von 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.

The pilgrimage trail is divided into 10 stages. The stages range from 5 to 21 kilometres. 59 information and meditation panels along the entire route provide information about the person of Hildegard, her work and life in the Middle Ages. Hikers approach the spiritual side of Hildegard von Bingen through meditation panels which follow Hildegard von Bingen's visionary pictures from her main work "Scivias - Know the Ways" and give impulses for meditation. The boards are written in both German and English.The pilgrim's pass can be stamped at the accommodation facilities, other route stations and finally at St. Hildegard Abbey in Eibingen.


Short vita of St. Hildegard of Bingen

1098: Birth of Hildegard von Bingen, probably in Niederhosenbach near Herrstein

1112: Admission to the Disibodenberg monastery near Bad Sobernheim, together with Jutta von Sponheim

1136: Hildegard von Bingen becomes the second magistra in the Disibodenberg monastery after the death of Jutta von Sponheim around

1150: foundation of a convent in Bingen on the Rhinefrom

1150: Hildegard writes her visionary medical & musical works. She travels along the Rhine, Moselle, Main and Neckar rivers and preaches in public places.

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

17 September 1179: Hildegard von Bingen dies in Bingen on the Rhine  

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

7 October 2012: Survey of church teachers

Author’s recommendation

In Fischbach, a footpath takes you to the historic copper mine, the largest man-made widening of Europe in the Middle Ages. It is worth a visit!
Highest point
472 m
Lowest point
233 m
Best time of year

Safety information

This first section of the Hildegard von Bingen Pilgrims' Trail is very demanding and characterised by a varied route with a steep gradient. For around 21 kilometres, the path leads along narrow paths, past rocks, through woodland and also includes a section that leads steeply down stairs. It is possible to divide the first stage and spend the night in Fischbach halfway through. 

Tips and hints

Naheland-Touristik GmbH, Bahnhofstraße 37, D-55606 Kirn, Telefon: +49 (0) 6752/137610, Fax: +49 (0) 6752/137620,, 

Vor Ort:

Tourist-Information EdelSteinLand, Büro Idar-Oberstein, Hauptstraße 419, D-55743 Idar-Oberstein, Telefon: +49 (0) 6781/64-871, Fax: +49 (0) 6781/64-878, 

Tourist-Information EdelSteinLand, Büro Herrstein, Brühlstr. 16, D-55756 Herrstein, Telefon: +49 (0) 6785/79-1400, Fax: +49 (0)6785/79-81400,,


55743 Idar-Oberstein, Hauptstraße 436 at the German Mineral Museum - signposted from the station (257 m)
49.700366, 7.323396
49°42'01.3"N 7°19'24.2"E
32U 379100 5506666


55759 Herrstein, Ecke Hauptstraße/Uhrturmgasse

Turn-by-turn directions

The Hildegardweg is already signposted from Idar-Oberstein railway station in the direction of Oberstein's old town and market square. Here you can visit one of the numerous cafés and restaurants or the Mineral Museum Idar-Oberstein. From Oberstein's market square there are 216 steps up to the Felsenkirche. 

ATTENTION REDIRECTION: Due to rock securing work above the Felsenkirche, the path along the Felsenkirche is closed until further notice! A diversion is signposted. The diversion runs through the pedestrian zone in the direction of 'Platz auf der Idar' and from there along Schlossstraße and Felsenkirchstraße uphill in the direction of Oberstein Castle. 

The Felsenkirche is the sacred landmark of Idar-Oberstein. It was built about 60 metres high in the rocks in 1482-1484 as atonement for a fratricide. On the footpath to the Felsenkirche is the first of around 26 meditation panels entitled "The Seer".  Over a few hairpin bends and through dense forest we then reach the castle complexes of Oberstein Castle and Bosselstein Castle high above the old town of Oberstein. From here we follow the parallel path of the dream loop "Nahe-Felsen-Weg".Our effort of the ascent is rewarded with a fantastic view of the town centre and the wooded heights of the "Prussian Mountains". At the "Schlossweiher", only a few hundred metres away, a barbecue hut and several benches and tables invite us to take a short or even longer break. From the 5th kilometre the trail follows the Saar-Hunsrück Climb, which runs in the same direction. On a near-natural passage with beautiful quiet brook valleys, old forests and crossing mountain ranges with magnificent views, the Hildegard von Bingen reaches PIlgerwanderweg after a slight descent to Fischbach in the Fischbach valley of the same name.

After Fischbach it is worth making a detour along the marked access path to the historic copper mine. At the end of the stage we reach the medieval town of Herrstein with its numerous half-timbered houses and romantic alleys.

This stage, which is dictated by the landscape, is the longest and, with several ascents, the steepest route and is more suitable for experienced hikers. For those who cannot or do not want to take up this sporting challenge, it is advisable to cycle at least part of the route or to divide this stage into two days (stages 1a and 1b).


all notes on protected areas

Public transport


By train to Idar-Oberstein. The city is located on the route Mainz - Saarbrücken and can be easily reached with the regional express and the regional train (vlexx). 850 meters on foot (approx. 10 min.) from the station via the Nahe-Center and the main street (pedestrian zone) to the German Mineral Museum.

Getting there

A61 exit Bad Kreuznach, direction B41 Idar-Oberstein exit "Tourist-Information", follow the municipal parking guidance system

A62 to Birkenfeld exit, continue towards Birkenfeld B41 to Idar-Oberstein exit "Festhallenknoten", follow the municipal parking guidance system


Car park "Altstadt" and car park "Stadttheater", car parks "Festhallenknoten" and "Austraße


49.700366, 7.323396
49°42'01.3"N 7°19'24.2"E
32U 379100 5506666
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

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Hiking boots recommended!

Our tips for carefree hiking pleasure:

Hiking is the perfect sport. With the right clothing and the right shoes, it is twice as much fun. Functional clothing, poles and breathable rucksacks are comfortable when hiking. But good shoes are indispensable. Sturdy jogging or leisure shoes are only suitable for short distances on level paths at best. For longer distances we recommend sturdy hiking boots with non-slip soles. Also remember to bring sun protection and a drink. One litre of water is ideal.

Related Offers

from €276.00

5 Days
Available until December 31, 2021

Wandern und Meditieren Sie auf den Spuren Hildegard von Bingens! Wir bieten Programme für fünf, sechs oder zehn Tage mit und ohne Gepäcktransfer an.

Provider:  Naheland-Touristik GmbH | Source:  Urlaubsregion Naheland

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Isolde Bilsdorfer
August 20, 2018 · Community
Für die Wegbeschilderung, den gepflegten Zustand der Pfade und Wege, sowie für die wunderschöne, stille Waldgebiete vergeben wir gerne 5 Sterne für die 1. Etappe des Hildegard von Bingen Pilgerweges. Allerdings muss ich sagen, dass die zum Teil sehr steilen Abstiege mehr als grenzwertig, wenn nicht sogar gefährlich sind bei dieser großen Trockenheit. Man hat so gut wie keinen Griff mehr unter den Wanderschuhen. Wir waren 5 erfahrene Fernpilger mit guten Schuhen und dennoch hatten wir 2 Stürze, zum Glück ohne Folgen. Also bitte aufpassen auf den Abstiegspfaden.
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Blick zurück auf Idar-Oberstein
Photo: Isolde Bilsdorfer, Community

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Blick zurück auf Idar-Oberstein

18.9 km
6:07 h
851 m
798 m
Public-transport-friendly Multi-stage route Scenic Refreshment stops available Cultural/historical interest Geological highlights


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