This DVD features two half-hour documentaries and ten previews. Pilgrimages are as old as mankind.

LENGTH: 90 Minutes
MSRP: $24.95
CATALOG #: 20246
UPC #: 6-4603202469-2
ISBN #: 1-56839-144-7
PRODUCER: Telescreen Distribution & Licensing

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Download from – Kalwaria Zebryzydowska
Download from – Scherpenheuvel

The mystical and spiritual nature of a pilgrimage holds an eternal, mythic appeal to the imagination of many people. Every year millions of pilgrims of all nationalities, young and old, set out on these voyages of the soul. The twelve documentaries in the Pilgrimages of Europe collection are experiential journeys to some of the most sacred routes and holy places throughout Christian Europe. Each half-hour documentary, richly filmed, looks at the spiritual, cultural and historical background of an important pilgrimage sites throughout Europe. However, the people, the pilgrims themselves, are at the heart of these stories – their purposes and desires, their motivations, and the great sense of the holy and the sacred which they find on their journeys of faith

In the 17th century, Jerusalem fell into the hands of the Turks. The European aristocracy could no longer journey on pilgrimages to the Holy Land. They were forced to find an alternative. The Polish nobleman Zebrzydowski decided to have a replica of Calgary built on his estate. In the southern hills of Poland eight chapels appeared with a church and a monastery at the center. It was the work of a lifetime, enlarged and improved by his son and later, by his grandson. The holy site was entrusted to the care of the Bernardine order. Today, throughout the year, pilgrims flock to Kalwaria Zebrzydowska from the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and of course Poland itself. They walk the ancient Way of the Cross, stepping into the many chapels along the way to sing and pray.


The history of Scherpenheuvel, the Belgium place of pilgrimage, begins with an age-old legend. Around the year 1500 a shepherd found a statuette of Mary in an old oak tree on the Scherpe Heuvel (pointed hill) between the villages of Aarschot and Diest. When he tried to pick up the statuette he stopped as if petrified. He could not move. His worried master found him a few hours later, frozen in place, with the statuette in his hand. The master took it from the shepherd’s hands and placed it back in the tree. Only then could the man move again. Ever since then Scherpenheuvel has been an important pilgrimage site. Today, it is perhaps best known for its traditional annual walk, a walk of atonement during which the pilgrims travel on foot, beginning their journey in Antwerp. Some 35 miles long, it is often called “The Great Trek.”

Trailer: Scherpenheuvel

Awards »
Dove Family-Approved


“This film includes many pilgrimages across Europe besides Amsterdam. Those included are Belgium, Bosnia, France, Germany, Ireland, Poland, Portugal, Scotland, and Spain. The history surrounding each of the pilgrimages is very interesting. The narration and translation of each country is good.” – Dove Foundation

“The videos are wonderfully done and I was most impressed with each of them. Several were destinations of which I personally knew nothing and most enjoyed the learning experience. Of particular interest and of most value for my intended use was the emphasis on ‘pilgrimage’ …most impressive and effective. I find in particular the focus on individual pilgrims making the journey to the various sites very moving and helpful.

“These are the finest set of pilgrimage videos I have encountered in my long career in the pilgrimage profession. Government tourist offices produced many of the others I have reviewed and they could learn much from the style of your videos. The length of these videos (20 – 30 minutes) is perfect for our leaders presenting to their prospective pilgrims at meetings. I recommend this series wholeheartedly to our pilgrimage leaders and our pilgrims as well.” – Bob Faucett, Director of Religious Tours, Unitours

“This is a nice, tidy videotape, and, if the others in the series follow this format and achieve the same quality standard, it would be a wonderful addition to libraries with collections of travel tapes or those interested in religious topics, that is, libraries of seminaries and Catholic colleges and universities. Travel agencies and tourism organizations, as well as collections in individual Catholic churches, might also be interested in acquiring it, as might universities with religious area studies programs.

“Going on pilgrimage is a growing area of interest lately in the worldwide travel business. It’s not simply for adherents of a particular religion. True, only Muslims are allowed to go to Mecca, but these European odysseys are not restricted to Roman Catholics alone. They are of interest to, and open to, many others. This tape gives an excellent look at what this particular pilgrimage entails; if the others do as well, this will be a valuable series. The photography is professional and the tape just long enough to introduce the site, whet the appetite (whether for the armchair or the actual traveler), and learn a few key facts. Recommended. “- Educational Media Reviews Online

“Pilgrimages of Europe is a new and outstanding series from Janson Media, which is comprised of superbly, produced documentaries showcasing twelve specific pilgrimages hallowed by generations of Christians throughout the expanse of Western Europe. The filming is wonderfully enhanced with the testaments of contemporary pilgrims traveling the sometimes centuries old routes and who find themselves able to stand upon holy ground and pray at revered shrines. This series is truly memorable, informative, and enthusiastically recommended.”-Video Librarian