Velehrad - Rome, Routes of Humility and Enlightenment

Characteristics - Spinal Trail B:

  • route as an instrument t ocennect the nations of Central and Southern Europe
  • pilgrim destination: Rome (Italy) - Velehrad (Czech Republic)
  • scope of Stage I: Italy, Austria, Slovenia, Germany
  • key pilgrimage route in the north - south, north - Rome connection
  • the theme "Walk out of your door following the trail of Saints Cyril and Methodius to Rome" will be very strong, providing motivation for the nations of Central and Eastern Europe
  • in total, it involves more than 2,400 kilometres of routes

The main route of Saints Cyril and Methodius from Velehrad to Rome (or in the opposite direction) will come in 3 options. They will follow the old, mostly Roman, pilgrimage, trade, or military routes. The easternmost route between Rome, or Venice and Velehrad generally follows the ancient trade route called the Amber Road, which passes through the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Austria, Hungary, Slovenia, and Italy. The central route, which largely follows the ancient migration route of the Slavs called Via Slavorum, goes from the Czech Republic across Austria and its most important pilgrimage site Mariazell to Italy. The route’s western option between Velehrad (Prague) and Rome follows the trail of Saints Cyril and Methodius across Germany (Austria) on the Via Claudia Augusta and goes through the Alps into Italy.

Saint Clement‘s Church in Rome is the place where the remains of Pope Clement I, discovered by Saints Cyril and Methodius in Crimea and brought to Rome in 867, were laid to rest. The tomb of Saint Cyril, which is a pilgrimage site for many Slavs, is also located here. Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore is also of great importance for the Slavic people – it is the place where Pope Hadrian II, in the presence of Cyril and Methodius, laid Slavic liturgical books on the main altar and permitted their use in liturgy.

The entire journey from Velehrad to Rome is surrounded by beautiful nature. The heritage of Saints Cyril and Methodius also comes in the form of a series of mountain chapels, which can be found for example in Slovenia, some of them at the height of 1,600 metres above sea level.