8 Pilgrimage Sites of Christian Importance

From Hertford, England to Toulouse, France, a variety of cities throughout Europe were important to the Christian faith because they were home to pilgrimage sites, where adherents would travel to worship, pray, and come close to the relics associated with their faith.

1.    St Albans (England): Throughout Europe, St Albans in Hertford, England was quite famous during the Middle Ages. A great deal of royal pilgrims paid a visit to the church, including an array of English kings and queens. The shrine served of great importance to the likes of Henry III, Edward I, Edward II, and Richard II. Over time, the shrine was demolished, but the broken pieces were painstakingly put back together with about 2,000 fragments included in the process.

2.    St Andrews (Scotland): In later years, this site in Fife became a center of pilgrimage due to its history as a royal burgh and serving as the seat of the most ancient university in Scotland. A Welsh bishop by the name of Cadoc, who completed many pilgrimages, is associated with this location. He is noted as traveling seven times to Rome, three times to Jerusalem, and once to St Andrews.

3.    St Anne d’ Auray (Brittany): In one of the holiest cities of the Bretons, St Anne d’ Auray served as a center of pilgrimage, which attracted pilgrims who made a journey for worship on July 26th, taking place at Pentecost.

4.    Sainte-Braume (France): This site in Toulouse is the location of a well-known pilgrimage that is connected to relics of St Mary Magdalene. Pilgrims still continue to visit the site despite a great deal of skepticism and mounting historical details that suggests the tombs found here are not genuine. Worshippers still visit the shrine and dedicate it to St Mary Magdalene.

5.    Savona (Italy): Pilgrims traveled to Genoa, Italy to Savona, where many believe that the oldest sanctuary dedicated to the Blessed Virgin throughout Italy exists. It is said that even Constantine made a pilgrimage to the site. Pius VII crowned a statue there on May 10th, 1815 with King Victor Emmanuel and the royal family of Savoy in attendance.

6.    Tours (France): Indre-et-Loire is the site where pilgrims come to worship the tomb of St. Martin, which was quite the popular destination for those that made journeys before the Revolution.

7.    Turin (Italy): The unique relic of the Holy Winding-Sheet or Shroud is located in Piedmont, Italy, where an impression that highlights the body of Jesus Christ has been detected. Whether or not, an artist is behind this striking relic is unknown. Nonetheless, it serves as a remarkable, traditional view of Christ.

8.    Arcachon (France): Come to Gironde, France to the shrines of the Blessed Virgin to set your eyes on an alabaster statue that dates back to the 13th century. In 1870, Pius IX granted the statue the honor of coronation, which eventually increased the number of people who choose to journey to the site.