Pilgrimage Trail on the Via Imperii

The pilgrimage follows the old imperial road that travels through Leipzig, Borna, Altenburg, Zwickau and to Nürnberg. This historical trade route once led to Jerusalem, Rome and Santiago de Compostela. We invite you to travel along the historical trail as well and marvel at the beautiful landscape and impressive churches along the way. 



Pähnitz – Windischleuba – Altenburg – Ehrenberg – Mockern – Lehndorf – Maltis – Gößnitz - Ponitz

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The Via Imperii begins in Northern Altenburg County

The path begins in Leipzig and travels down to the Northern Region of Altenburg. First stop along the way is the recreational area Pahna. Passing the lake and traveling through the forest you then reach the small village of Pähnitz.



Situated between ponds that are homes to waterfowels is Windischleuba. This village has lots of half-timbered houses and is known for its moated castle, which currently houses a youth hostel.

Treben and Gerstenberg

A bit off of the direct pilgrimage trail is the the village church of Treben. The church was built in the pre-Reformation style building with a baroque tower. The church in Gerstenberg, which is also near by, is dedicated to St. Michael. Both of the impressive buildings are beautiful and a must see!


A cultural highlight of the trail is the playing card town of Altenburg. The city was influenced by the reign of emperor Barbarossa and Altenburg became a main town in the region. The huge castle grounds of the impressive Castle houses an intriging Church and was built on a rock of porphyry is situated near the Old Town. Inside the nearby St. Bartholomew Church is a well-preserved late Gothic carved altar on display. The unfinished Romanesque crypt dates back to the 12th century. On the market place is the Brother's Church which is a significant building with an organ built by Wilhelm Sauer. The Brother's church was was named after the Franciscan Monestary which formerly was situated there until 1901 when it was replaced by the Friar’s church in 1905. Inside the church visitors will find all information about pilgrimage throughout the Altenburg County

The Pilgrimage Trail goes to Paditz

The pilgrimage trail goes past the Big Pond of Altenburg and towards Paditz. Afterwards you are lead to the church Stünzhain the path follows the Castle Ehrenberg in direction of Lehnitsch. Shortly before entering the village, the trail branches off and is tree-lined with cherry trees, which guide you to Mockern. In Mockern is a charming church dedicated to St. George. 


In Saara is a church with two beautiful ridge turrets and a spectacular clockshow. The ceiling of the church is covered with gorgeous paintings and is dedicated to St. Christophorus, who is supposed to have carried travellers and baby Jesus trough a river.


Church of Zürchau

Definitly worth visiting is the late Gothic church, dedicated to St. Nikolaus in Zürchau. It consists of a narrow nave, a square tower and an adjoining choir. The baroque interior shows remains of a winged altar.

Church of Maltis

A medieval style church can be found in Maltis. The precious interior dates back to the baroque period. The church in Bornshain shows various eras of art, starting from late Romanesque era.


The pilgrimage trail carries on to Gößnitz, with a late Gothic style church. Its octagonal tower however, is from the baroque period. Also in the city is the beautiful half-timbered residence of the city's dean.


The final stop of the pilgrimage trail within the county of Altenburg is Ponitz. It's church has a stunning interior with very well-preserved tombstones and epitaphs, which display the patronage of royalty from the castle. The gallery, the pulpit, and an organ by Johann Gottfried Silbermann are all ornate and worth a peak. 

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