Pilgrimage on the Annenpfad around the Heiligengrabe monastery


Along the Annenpfad

Saint Anna was one of the most popular saints in the late Middle Ages. According to legend she is Maria's mother and thus Jesus' grandmother.

Labyrinth an der Kirche in Bölzke, Annenpfad

She was the patron saint of guilds, tradespeople, women and mothers, miners and menials, and who people struck by the plague and lame people prayed to for help and relief. A skirt of Saint Anna was supposedly kept in Alt Krüssow which made the place a place of pilgrimage quickly.

Apparently threescores upon threescores (1 threescore equals 60 items) of crutches, which were donated as thanks to the miraculous relic, were kept at the pilgrim's church. Although places of pilgrimage lost their significance following the Reformation, the elaborate churches with their valuable decor remained.

You can marvel at the carved altars and the images of Saint Anna at the St Nikolai church in Pritzwalk, the museum at the Kloster Stift zum Heiligengrabe as well as at the Stadtmuseum Berlin. The idea for a pilgrim's path that connects the pilgrimage churches in Heiligengrabe, Alt Krüssow and Bölzke was realized in 2011 when the Annenpfad was created. Inside and around the church of the village Bölzke an exhibit illustrates the phenomenon that is pilgrimage that is present in all cultures on earth.

Every year on Maundy Thursday the annual “Anpilgern” (the opening of the pilgrimage season) takes place along the 22 km long Annenpfad.


The route is the goal - pilgrim's path Annenpfad

Wallfahrtskirche Alt KrüssowFoto: Arbeitskreis Annenpfad

Referring to the medieval pilgrimage to Alt Krüssow, the pilgrim's path was named Annenpfad. The 22 km long path leads on forest and field tracks through the serene, vast landscape. It encourages self-discovery and to feel closer to God while you walk through the nature. You'll find benches along the way to rest or meditate.

Starting point is the Kloster Stift zum Heiligengrabe, the only completely preserved Cistercian convent in Brandenburg. It was founded in 1287 and is the home to a Protestant community of women today. Religious attractions as well as architectural beauty impress visitors. The Convent church, Heiliggrab Chapel, a museum which illustrates the convent's long history, the medieval cloister and the Baroque Damenplatz create an impressive ensemble.

The next part of the route leads to the village church Bölzke which was built as a simple half-timbered building with little towers in 1825. The pulpit altar from 1757 signed by Master Groth was carried over from the previous building. The church was restored in 2011 and now includes an exhibition on pilgrimage. Info boards, a meditative labyrinth, and a nook with books offer further possibilities of engaging with the topic. Passing Kemnitz, the path further leads to the former pilgrim's church St Anna in Alt Krüssow.

The pilgrim's church is an important, late-Gothic hall church with a richly decorated step gable on its East side. Aside from Heiligengrabe and Bad Wilsnack, this church was another major destination for pilgrims in Prignitz.