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way sign with shell

The stage leads over the Etzel Pass to the pilgrimage site Maria Einsiedeln.

The ascent to the pass takes place in three stages. In Lachen (410m) - soon after this signpost adorned with the scallop shell - the first ascent to St. James' Chapel begins. (415 - 504m)

The second ascent is from Schlipf to Bilsten (514- 698m). The third one from Schwändi (694m) via Oberschwändi (750m), Bannwald, Meinradsbrunnen (820m) to the top of the pass to St. Meinrad (950m). Then the path leads over the Tüfelsbrugg (838m) to Einsiedeln (906m).

From Lachen to Einsiedeln the pure hiking time is about 4.5 hours.

Chapel Sankt Johann and Messmerhaus

Above Lachen, at the end of a narrow hill, stands the chapel of St. John. It dates from the middle of the 15th century.

Today the chapel is very popular for weddings.

It is famous for its Gothic altars, which I have described on a separate page.

Shortly after the chapel on the way to St. Johanns­burg.


It goes briskly and almost level. Here we are in Schlipf and ...

scallop gate

... the pilgrims march through this gate with scallops.

Second ascent: partly on the road, but mainly in the forest, it goes uphill to Bilsten.


Bilsten, click on the signpost!


view of lake Zuerich

Now it goes evenly with a magnificent view of Lake Zurich.


From Schwändi the third ascent leads up into the Etzelwald to St. Meinrad.

The road is called:

View on Rapperswil

View over Rapperswil

Joining of the Way of St. James

The Way of St. James, which comes from Rapperswil - Pfäffikon, enters here.

St. Meinrad on Etzelpass

St. Meinrad on the Etzel Pass -
Time for lunch break

Pilgrim stamp: Etzelpass

In the Meinrad chapel Altar of the Meinrad Chapel

In the Meinrad Chapel

From the Etzelpass the road goes downhill (20% gradient) to Tüfelsbrugg.

Nepomuk on the Teufelsbruck

Tüfelsbrugg (devils bridge) with Nepomuk

First construction of a wooden bridge in 1117 under Abbot Gero of Frohburg

1517 construction of a stone bridge

In the 17th century complete new construction with roofing

1794 reinforcement of the existing structure and installation of the chapel niche with the statue of St. Nepomuk.

Various restorations between 1833 and 1992.


Soon after Tüfelsbrugg, a sign informs the pilgrim about an alternative path with less asphalt that leads to the monastery via the lido in Einsiedeln.


Click on the left note on the panel!

This time we decided to take the alternative route.


The Sihlsee is reached.

Pilger am Sihlsee

Pilgrim at the Sihlsee


The stage destination Einsiedeln comes into sight