Mary’s Pilgrimage Route is part of the international cultural pilgrimage route of the same name connecting Częstochowa (Poland) – Levoča (Slovakia) – Mariazell (Austria) – Ptujska Gora and Svete gore above Bistrica ob Sotli (Slovenia) – Marija Bistrica (Croatia).
The 409-kilometre route in the eastern part of Slovenia connects 30 places of worship dedicated to Saint Mary, including the most important pilgrimage sites, such as Ptujska Gora and Svete gore above Bistrica ob Sotli. The route is fully marked with the markings, direction signboards and information panels. It is intended for pilgrims, hikers, nature and cultural heritage enthusiasts, and anyone who wants to discover new and interesting places.
In Slovenia, there are two branches of Mary’s Pilgrimage Route leading from Mariazell, Austria, to Marija Bistrica, Croatia.
The western branch starts on the Austrian-Slovenian border at Trate and includes all Saint Mary’s churches in Zgornja Velka, Jareninski Dol, Gorca at Malečnik, Vurberk, Podlehnik, Ptujska Gora all the way to the foothills of Donačka gora, where it continues towards Croatia in three sub-branches.
The first and longest sub-branch passes the churches at Ložno, Ljubično, Sladka Gora, Šmarje pri Jelšah, Završe pri Grobelnem, Botričnica, Kalobje, Dobje pri Planini, Zagorje, Kozje, Podsreda and Svete gore above Bistrica ob Sotli.
The second sub-branch follows the Croatian border, passing the churches at Tržišče at Rogaška Slatina, Slake at Podčetrtek and Olimje
The above sub-branches meet at Bistrica ob Sotli, from where the route continues towards Croatia’s Marija Bistrica.
The third and shortest sections of the route are from Brezje above Žetale to the Slovenian-Croatian border at Gruškovje or further on to Zgornji Leskovec. Here the route also continues towards Croatia’s Marija Bistrica.
The eastern branch of the Saint Mary’s pilgrimage route begins on the Slovenian-Austrian border at Gornja Radgona and continues to the Slovenian-Croatian border at Zavrč, or to the border crossing at Zgornji Leskovec. The route leads past the Saint Mary’s churches at Negova, Polenšak and Zavrč and continues towards Croatia as far as Marija Bistrica.
There are 45 checkpoints along the Pilgrimage Route, from which a stamp of the route is available.
More information can be found at: www.marijina-romarska-pot.si or www.kozjanski-park.si.