The European Commission had declared the pilgrimage route Via Sancti Martini, connecting Szombathely and Tours a European Cultural Route in 2005.
The objective of this route is to present the stations of Saint Martin's life and the most notable relics of the Saint's cult.
A goal of the City of Szombathely is to develop the European Saint Martin Cultural Route in the neighboring countries Szombathely and to include into the cultural route as many settlements connected to Saint Martin as possible.
The Southern Route would lead through Slovenia and Italy to France. The first segment of this route was inaugurated in September of 2006. This hiking route leads from Szombathely to Domonkosfa (Domanjsevci) in Slovenia.
The Northern Route construction began in 2007, with the support of the Visegrad Fund. The segment called Via Moravia connected 41 Hungarian, Slovak and Moravian settlements to the route.
The continuation of this route in the Czech Republic, called Via Bohemia, which connected 12 more settlements to the Route from Znojmo as far as Nicov on the Czech-German border. The present brochure aims at presenting the treasures thses settlements pride themselves in having and that can all be linked to Saint Martin.
Saint Martin was born in Szombathely, called Savaria in those distant times. He was distinguished from the rest of the Roman soldiers by his goodness, his compassion and care for the ill and the poor. He is said to have given half of his cloak to a freezing pauper at the gates of Amiens. In his dream Jesus told him that the pauper he had thus helped was himself, Jesus. Under the spell of this vision, Saint Martin converted to Christianity, gave up his military career and started off on a missionary trail. On his arrival to his home town, he baptized his own mother. Later he founded a convent in Poitiers, France. In 371 the Christian community of Tours elected him to be their bishop. He tried to hide away from this position in the chicken barn, but he was betrayed by a the sounds of the geese there. Hence he is often represented by a goose. As a bishop, he became very popular due to his humanity, and his capabilities of an orator. He died in Cannes, in 397. He is respected in the entire Christian world, with more than three thousand settlements and churches nearing his name.
We are hereby inviting all of you, who respect Saint Martin, to follow this route of pilgrimage and visit the city to which he himself returned.
No matter where you live, if you follow any segment of the route of Saint Martin's Pilgrimage, you will receive a certificate issued by the City of Szombathely, stating that you have done so.
What do you have to do to receive this Certificate?
To visit ten of the places in the list of the Pilgrims' Book. You can make your own selection of those 10 places.
You should make the 10th station Saint Martin's birthplace, the then Savaria.
The checklist at the end of the booklet must be filled in individually. As proof we accept any stamp containing the name of the place, any photograph, or any "evidence" that can prove that you were there.
Please, send the check-list, with your name and address to the address below:
(Via Moravia - Via Bohemia - VSM - deutsch)