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Sauerland Seelenorte

Living silence

Sauerland soul places - these are rocks and quarries, churches and mountain tops, mighty trees and underground grottos, lakes and valleys. 43 places, spread over the Sauerland hiking villages, were chosen because they are particularly impressive and have a special meaning for the people in their surroundings. Not only today, but also in former times. They touch people emotionally, mentally and spiritually. They evoke strong resonances. They are places to which people wander and where they can switch off. Come to themselves. Enjoy the peace and quiet. Being inspired. Gain new insights. Even if each soul place tells its own story, there is one quality that connects them all: Living silence.


Together - being alone

Land of a thousand mountains, yes, but where does one mountain end and the other begin? Most of the time the hiker is presented with this picture: from the crest, the horizon line runs up to the top and down on the other side, only to rise again to the next peak. The crests are lined up like pearls on a string. Only one stands out. I approach it on a hiking trail from the west. Impressive he seems not because of his height, 658 meters, but because he stands alone. The Wilzenberg builds up before me as a cone with a flattened tip. Without it leaning against another ridge. It stands for itself. That instills respect.

The 'holy mountain' of the Sauerland. A place of pilgrimage in nature, built on the site of two fortified castles from the 2nd century BC and the 9th-10th century AD.

Even a former factory yard can be a place of souls. The outdoor area of the DampfLandLeute museum reminds us of the great times of water power and steam power and of a headstrong entrepreneur.

SteamLandPowerPlace Museum

Anarchy and humility

Nothing here matches. And it fits really well. Sounds contradictory? That's exactly the point. Contradictions. In the character of the man who shaped this place; in the spirit of each person with his different voices; as a challenge that we sometimes despair of.

Cyril's path

Death and rebirth

A cemetery, in the middle of the woods. In the morning of 19 January 2007 the tree corpses piled up to ten meters high. They lay criss-crossed on top of each other. Killed by someone they called 'the Magnificent' in German. His name is Cyril in Greek. The winter storm swept through Europe with wind speeds of up to 225 kilometres per hour. It also devastated huge areas of forest in the Sauerland. Areas with spruce trees were hit hardest: They grow fast but take root only shallowly in the ground. Cyril had an easy job.

Stefan Knippertz

"The Cyril trail, it's a chaotic coexistence. That's how it appears at first glance, but if you look closely, everything is ordered. Everyone finds his place here, whether animal or plant"

Chapel from 1637 with fragmentary preserved wall painting on the pass between the Kückelheimer Höhe and the Steltenberg.

St. Rochus Chapel


The year was 1637 and the country was in the midst of a war that was to last thirty years. Farms were plundered by marauding soldiers, villages were set on fire, many people were killed. What the war spared was carried off by an uncanny disease that has remained deeply engraved in Europe's memory as a trauma: the plague. Entire regions were depopulated. At some point the great dying reached the Sauerland. It is said to have started in Medebach and then it struck Eslohe. In a legend text it says: "The plague raced on and choked the village with greedy mouth. It could not be frightened away, not by praying and blessing, not by drinking schnapps from large crenellated jugs and by smoking cow dung. "Tore the tools from the strongest man's hand and killed the infant at its mother's breast."

Stone Age Man


Earth, stone and wood. Nothing else. So simple. And at the same time this image strikes me with archaic force. The dark rock block lies on a pedestal, infinitely heavy, unassailable, as if fallen from eternity. Where does it come from? How did it get here? Which giants could move it? Why did it land here, in this clearing? He is surrounded by eight tree trunks, without their bark, bright, smooth and naked, they too are massive. Pillars of the forest. The monster woods, resting horizontally on them, limit the enigmatic structure upwards.

Monumental sculpture by the artist Nils-Udo in the middle of the extensive forests of the Rothaar ridge on the forest sculpture path from Schmallenberg to Bad Berleburg.

The tree of life (Thuja) on the Wormbach churchyard was hit by a bomb in 1945, which destroyed the upper part of the tree. But life went on and instead of one, today even three tops point to the sky.

Wormbach church and churchyard

Living death

If you want to go to the church, you have to cross the cemetery. And the cemetery is very lively. Its surrounding wall with its crevices and niches is a biotope for moss and wall breakers, spotted fern and stonewort. 300-year-old lime trees stand in a circle like devoutly. A fire salamander crawls in slow motion to its place in the sun, which sends the first warming rays. It extends the wooden crosses, which stand in finely circled rows, by long shadows. Now, at sunrise, it is obvious that all the graves are facing east. They are not located on a field of God outside the village, but right next to the church. The dead and the living are neighbours. Simple elegance on the graves: Once a priest finished the beauty contest to see which farmer had the thickest gravestone and ordered simple wooden crosses. Everyone, rich or poor, has to line up. Before death all are equal.

Wormbach Summer Concerts


The Wormbach Summer Concerts are part of Schmallenberg's permanent cultural inventory. They have been taking place in the Romanesque church in Wormbach for 42 years now under the direction of Ulrich Schauerte. With the 10 evening events in the summer months of July and August, the concert series has become an attraction for music lovers far beyond Schmallenberg and South Westphalia.

  • Time: From 28.06 to 30.08.2020 always Sundays at 20:00
  • Registration: Registration is not required
  • Meeting place: St. Peter and Paul, Schmallenberg-Wormbach, Alt Wormbach 4
  • Costs: Free admission, we are happy about a donation for the church
  • Contact: Wormbach Summer Concerts, Ulrich Schauerte, 02972 7218,,


Moss-covered rock in the middle of a deciduous forest, about which the Bödefelder Hollensage tells.

The Hollen were forest creatures that would have dug deep into the rock. They were friendly to friendly people, helpful in times of need. They especially loved the Bödefeld children, who liked to play near the rock. Their self-forgetful play moved them, and they loved to join them. In the evening, when the little ones had to return to the village, they gave them small, beautiful, shiny stones as presents. For the children, they were nothing but gifts that delighted their hearts. But their parents saw: This is pure gold! The greed of the adults was awakened. They wanted more. At the high rock in the forest they searched for the hiding place of the treasure to steal it. As punishment the Hollen blocked all entrances and turned their house into a huge rock. They were never seen again.

Klaus-Peter Kappest

"Here I experience primal nature. In this cathedral of the forest, I feel closer to the primal power of nature and God."

Hiking tour

from 189,-€ p.p.

The emergence of the Sauerland Seelenorte

More information about the project

The Sauerland Seelenorte are part of the project "Sauerland. Inspiration" project. The aim was to take into account the increasingly important needs of hikers for reduction, encounters and inspiration as well as people's search for meaning and spiritual experience. Spiritual or powerful places with a special aura (vistas, places at springs, at the edge of the landscape, in chapels, churches and mosques) were identified and presented in a new light.

More information about the project

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