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Rorschach way shell symbol
Rorschach - Sankt Gallen Sankt Gallen Sankt Gallen - Herisau Herisau - St. Peterzell St. Peterzell - Wattwil Wattwil - Neuhaus Neuhaus - Rapperswil Rapperswil
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This is probably one of the most beautiful stages of the Way of St. James in Switzerland. It follows the ridges into Toggenburg. In Herisau we walk past the Ref. church to Schmiedgasse. There we branch off to the right and arrive at the "Neue and Alter Steig‟ down into the "Alti-Müli‟ district to the main road roundabout (with WC) and to Degersheimerstrasse. From there we then branch off into Schlossstrasse.

Start in Herisau

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Herisau, in front of the ref. church
Herisau, in front of the ref. church
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Schmiedgasse in Herisau
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neue und alte Steig
Neue und Alte Steig
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Bridge over the Glatt
Bridge over the Glatt

Ascent along the meadow path

Immediately after the bridge over the Glatt (approx. 700 m above sea level), the trail climbs steeply.

Panorama Herisau

Soon you have a beautiful view back to Herisau.

Böhl farm

We follow the well-marked, uphill trail and arrive at the Böhl farm.

Pilger am Wiesenweg

The route goes steadily uphill along very beautiful field and meadow paths.

at the edge of the forest

Over gentle mountain meadows and then through the forest, we climb in a southerly direction up to the hamlet of Nieschberg, about 200 m above sea level.


At this "Gipfellinde‟ (Summit lime tree) you have a beautiful view of Herisau and the distant Lake Constance. You can only guess at Lake Constance in the photo.


This was our first rest stop.


Continuing towards the south, the mountain trail leads us to the Hörnlipass.


We are crossing the Hörnlipass ...


... and come to the Vollhofstatt homestead.

We stay on the mountain trail, which turns slightly uphill in a westerly direction and leads us above Horschwendi over pastureland past farmhouses and forest edges to the Säntisblick.

at the ridge

The path continues uphill on a ridge and offers a wonderful view of Schwellbrunn.


Schwellbrunn, the highest community in the canton of Appenzell Ausser­rhoden, lies 972 m above sea level. and offers a fantastic view of the Alpstein and as far as Lake Constance.

Panorama of Schwellbrunn

Panorama of Schwellbrunn


The trail leads south past Schwellbrunn, through alpine meadows and up through the Risi forest to the Risi-Hirschen junction. Risi-Hirschen junction. From there we take the mountain road to the right up to the hill and continue westwards over the mountain chain to the "Sitz‟.


View of "Sitz‟ in the centre of the picture, the highest point of today's Way of St. James.

Where we are standing, however, it is still a bit higher because we had made a mistake at a turn-off.

Down the road is the restaurant Hirschen.

Ascent to the 'Sitz'

Ascent to the „Sitz"


We arrived at the vantage point "Sitz‟ (1083 m). Here at the Restaurant Alder we had a short rest.


From here you have a very nice panoramic view. The photo shows the view of Säntis, which is somewhat hidden in the clouds. The landlady assured us that it would be completely visible today. But we didn't want to wait that long.

Meadow path

From "Sitz‟ a footpath goes üover the sloping mountain meadow down to the mountain road at the Landscheidi inn. This path is also part of the "Rätselweg‟ (Riddle trail) of Schwellbrunn.

Dann geht es weiter über einen wunder­schönen Wiesenweg. Den wollte ich unbedingt im Foto festhalten.

Meadow path

Meadow path with a view


We cross the mountain road and climb southwards to the Höchi and from there along the chain of hills. From there we continue along the ridge of hills via Arnig and Lindschwendi down to the Chäseren inn.

First view of Peterzell

In the valley in front, Sankt Peterzell can be glimpsed.


From the hamlet of Ämisegg begins a somewhat steep descent ...

Descent to Peterzell

... which first crosses a meadow and then turns into a small road.

church of St. Peterzell

We descend the steps and the church of Sankt Peterzell is already in front of us.

Painted house in St. Peterzell

The village of Sankt Peterzell in the Neckertal (Neckervalley) has some very beautiful old Appenzeller houses. Here the "Red House‟ with the picturesque wooden fašade

church of St. Peterzell

The place name St. Peterzell goes back to a monastery-like institution. This was first mentioned in a document in 1178 as "cella sancti Petri‟. Originally, it was probably a hermit settlement. In 1214, St. Peterzell was designated as a monastery. In the 1220s, the institution only had the rank of a provostry and was subject to the Benedictine Abbey of Alt St. Johann as a priory. In 1227, the name was transferred to the village.

Two sections of the Way of St. James meet here, the Appenzell way and the Rorschach way.

interior view St. Peterzell

This is what the baroque church looks like.

High altar

The high altar with Peter and Paul.

Peterzell Madonna

I noticed this picture of the Virgin Mary ...

St. Ida Hl. Elisabeth von Thüringen

... and the statues of St. Ida (with the stag) and St. Elisabeth of Thüringen (with the roses).

Way of St. James sign right Way of St. James sign left