32 ViaSurprise
32 ViaSurprise
32 ViaSurprise
32 ViaSurprise

Hiking

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ViaSurprise

Stage 5, Zwingen–Mariastein

Route report
57 photos

WL_032_05_068_Mariastein_Kloster_R_F_M.jpg
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ViaSurprise

Through the village of Blauen, famed for its award-winning historic appearance, an old pilgrims' path leads past the Metzerlenkreuz and Rotberg Castle to the Benedictine abbey at Mariastein, the second-most important pilgrimage site in Switzerland.
Zwingen was originally a farming community, but later developed into an industrial town. Many buildings are now under landmark protection, a memory of times gone by. The hiking trail begins at the railway station and passes Zwingen Castle shortly thereafter. First mentioned in official records in 1312, it is situated on two rock shelves and was completely surrounded by water. The actual castle stands on the main island: the palace with the residential building and the roofed castle keep. The round tower is the oldest part of the castle. After crossing the Birs River and passing a residential neighbourhood, you follow a gravel road through the forest and across pastures. In the village of Blauen, Via Surprise and Via Jura split and go in separate directions. By now you have been hiking for about an hour.

Continue past the church and leave Blauen village behind. The route continues along a lovely tree-lined road to Blauenweide, a nature protection area with old tree populations. After the forest you pass Bergmattenhof and then the road turns into a somewhat steeper path. The highest point is reached at Mätzerlechrüz. Path and forest road keep alternating on the way down to the junction between stages 5 and 6. While the last stage of Via Surprise turns to the right heading toward Dornach, the route described here continues to Mariastein. In the spring, you can smell the wild garlic that grows on the side of the road.

A few minutes later, after passing the youth hostel which is housed in a castle, you follow along the walls of the abbey’s gardens and soon reach the entrance to Mariastein Abbey. It is the second-most important place of pilgrimage in Switzerland behind Einsiedeln Abbey. The Maria im Stein chapel of grace, which is located in a cave 59 steps below the church, was built in the 15th century. Since then it has attracted countless pilgrims who come here to worship the smiling Madonna.
Through the village of Blauen, famed for its award-winning historic appearance, an old pilgrims' path leads past the Metzerlenkreuz and Rotberg Castle to the Benedictine abbey at Mariastein, the second-most important pilgrimage site in Switzerland.
Zwingen was originally a farming community, but later developed into an industrial town. Many buildings are now under landmark protection, a memory of times gone by. The hiking trail begins at the railway station and passes Zwingen Castle shortly thereafter. First mentioned in official records in 1312, it is situated on two rock shelves and was completely surrounded by water. The actual castle stands on the main island: the palace with the residential building and the roofed castle keep. The round tower is the oldest part of the castle. After crossing the Birs River and passing a residential neighbourhood, you follow a gravel road through the forest and across pastures. In the village of Blauen, Via Surprise and Via Jura split and go in separate directions. By now you have been hiking for about an hour.

Continue past the church and leave Blauen village behind. The route continues along a lovely tree-lined road to Blauenweide, a nature protection area with old tree populations. After the forest you pass Bergmattenhof and then the road turns into a somewhat steeper path. The highest point is reached at Mätzerlechrüz. Path and forest road keep alternating on the way down to the junction between stages 5 and 6. While the last stage of Via Surprise turns to the right heading toward Dornach, the route described here continues to Mariastein. In the spring, you can smell the wild garlic that grows on the side of the road.

A few minutes later, after passing the youth hostel which is housed in a castle, you follow along the walls of the abbey’s gardens and soon reach the entrance to Mariastein Abbey. It is the second-most important place of pilgrimage in Switzerland behind Einsiedeln Abbey. The Maria im Stein chapel of grace, which is located in a cave 59 steps below the church, was built in the 15th century. Since then it has attracted countless pilgrims who come here to worship the smiling Madonna.
11 km
540 m | 380 m
3 h 25 min
easy (hiking trail) | medium

Arrival | return travel

Arrival / return travel Zwingen
SBB Timetable Show stop and route on map
Arrival / return travel Mariastein, Klosterplatz
SBB Timetable Show stop and route on map

Contact

Signpost management
Signposting is managed by the cantonal hiking trail organisation on behalf of the canton.
Solothurner Wanderwege
4503 Solothurn
info@solothurner-wanderwege.ch
www.solothurner-wanderwege.ch

Services

Accommodation

Jugendherberge Mariastein
Jugendherberge Mariastein
Mariastein
Pausee BnB
Pausee BnB
Flüh
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Places

Mariastein
Mariastein
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Signalization

Signalization
For hiking, follow the logo indicated on the yellow signposts. Take a printout of our web map on your hike for safety's sake.
Signalization