Europe’s Forgotten Pilgrim Routes

In three parts, the series Europe’s Forgotten Pilgrim Routes explores three fascinating historical pilgrimage routes and discovers four countries. Each route opens up its own universe and presents the viewer with a new perspective on Europe’s beauty.

These pilgrimage routes have existed for centuries and yet are still unknown to most. In the Middle Ages, they once led thousands of pilgrims across Europe to holy sites; today they invite you to wander through unique, often untouched nature and discover hidden cultural treasures along the way.

The series takes viewers on the Pilgrim’s Way through the romantic gardens and countryside of southern England, crosses the spectacular Swiss Alps to Italy on the Via Francigena – as the Romans and Napoleon once did – and explores the real France – “la France profonde” – on the Mont-Saint-Michel Way.

Pilgrimaging on historic paths is today experiencing a renaissance. Old pilgrimage routes are being redeveloped and more and more – especially young – people are choosing to walk them. These pilgrim routes, once long fallen into oblivion, now invite you on a voyage of discovery. And it is here, on these “old” paths, that there is so much “new” to discover: unfamiliar landscapes and forward-thinking locals helping to shape their environment sustainably.

Italy: The “Via Francigena” to Rome
For centuries, pilgrims have set off on the Via Francigena in the hopes of reaching the tombs of the apostles Peter and Paul in Rome. The ancient pilgrimage route leads through the imposing Alps to the Great St Bernard Pass and from there cross-country through Italy: along the Aosta Valley and the endless rice fields of the Po Valley, over the mountains of the Apennines, and the rolling hills of Tuscany to Lazio – en route, modern pilgrims discover Italy’s majestic and diverse landscapes, as well as traces of bygone eras.

England: The “Pilgrim’s Way” to Canterbury
In the Middle Ages, the horrifying murder of Archbishop Thomas Becket of Canterbury led thousands of pilgrims to the south of England. Centuries later, the long-forgotten Pilgrims’ Way is now enjoying a revival. The Pilgrim´s Way leads east to west cross-country from Winchester to Canterbury through the counties of Hampshire, Surrey and Kent. Along the way, modern pilgrims discover traces of the past and the pristine beauty of the land.

France: The “Mont-Saint-Michel Way”
In honour of the Archangel Michael, thousands of medieval Christians once set off on pilgrimages to the famous mountain monastery of the Mont-Saint-Michel in the Atlantic Ocean. Today it continues to enchant millions of visitors each year. But the pilgrimage route from Rouen to the mountain abbey seems to have been forgotten: it leads through the depths of Normandy into rural France. Modern pilgrims can expect a fascinating voyage of discovery along historic paths.

Written & directed by Mareike Müller

Italy:
Camera Knut Schmitz bvk, Michael Reichert
Editor Marcel Ozan Riedel bfs
Creative Producer Izzy Hughes-Morgan
Associate Producers: Nele Huff, Elena Tietze, Lucia Vannucchi
Production Assistants: Marisol Glasserman, Stefanie Kaiser, Giulia Dickmans

England:
Creative Producer Izzy Hughes-Morgan
Camera Michael Reichert
Editor Marcel Ozan Riedel bfs
Production Assistant Aurelia Pisana
Production Coordination Izzy Hughes-Morgan

France:
Camera Knut Schmitz
Editor Annette Muff bfs
Associate Producer Catherine Fuhg
Production Assistants Francesca Schweiger, Christina Stark
Production Coordination Izzy Hughes-Morgan

Sound & Drone Operator Sven Klöpper
Composer Tim Stanzel
Graphics Neil Reynolds

Head of Production Ko Miklik
Executive Producer Antje Boehmert
Commissioning Editor SWR Ute Hoffarth

Produced by DOCDAYS Productions in co-production with SWR in collaboration with arte.
Distribution Autentic

Length: 3×52/3×43 Min
Year of Production: 2021

In three parts, the series Europe’s Forgotten Pilgrim Routes explores three fascinating historical pilgrimage routes and discovers four countries. Each route opens up its own universe and presents the viewer with a new perspective on Europe’s beauty.

These pilgrimage routes have existed for centuries and yet are still unknown to most. In the Middle Ages, they once led thousands of pilgrims across Europe to holy sites; today they invite you to wander through unique, often untouched nature and discover hidden cultural treasures along the way.

The series takes viewers on the Pilgrim’s Way through the romantic gardens and countryside of southern England, crosses the spectacular Swiss Alps to Italy on the Via Francigena – as the Romans and Napoleon once did – and explores the real France – “la France profonde” – on the Mont-Saint-Michel Way.

Pilgrimaging on historic paths is today experiencing a renaissance. Old pilgrimage routes are being redeveloped and more and more – especially young – people are choosing to walk them. These pilgrim routes, once long fallen into oblivion, now invite you on a voyage of discovery. And it is here, on these “old” paths, that there is so much “new” to discover: unfamiliar landscapes and forward-thinking locals helping to shape their environment sustainably.

Written & directed by Mareike Müller

Italy:
Camera Knut Schmitz bvk, Michael Reichert
Editor Marcel Ozan Riedel bfs
Creative Producer Izzy Hughes-Morgan
Associate Producers: Nele Huff, Elena Tietze, Lucia Vannucchi
Production Assistants: Marisol Glasserman, Stefanie Kaiser, Giulia Dickmans

England:
Creative Producer Izzy Hughes-Morgan
Camera Michael Reichert
Editor Marcel Ozan Riedel bfs
Production Assistant Aurelia Pisana
Production Coordination Izzy Hughes-Morgan

France:
Camera Knut Schmitz
Editor Annette Muff bfs
Associate Producer Catherine Fuhg
Production Assistants Francesca Schweiger, Christina Stark
Production Coordination Izzy Hughes-Morgan

Sound & Drone Operator Sven Klöpper
Composer Tim Stanzel
Graphics Neil Reynolds

Head of Production Ko Miklik
Executive Producer Antje Boehmert
Commissioning Editor SWR Ute Hoffarth

Produced by DOCDAYS Productions in co-production with SWR in collaboration with arte.
Distribution Autentic

Length: 3×52/3×43 Min
Year of Production: 2021