This panoramic round trip leads past eleven chapels in Appenzell and the surrounding area.
Side roads as well as forest and meadow paths will take you to the various historic places of worship. Many chapels have been renovated. They still contain valuable works of art made by local craftsmen and artists, such as decorative paintings or altars by woodcarvers. Some chapels are open daily, others only on request or on certain days.
From the train station in Appenzell, walk through the busy Hauptgasse (main street) past the Kreuzkapelle and straight on to the St. Anthony's Chapel. No other chapel building in Appenzell Innerrhoden is so rich in architecturally original baroque interior decoration.
After walking back a short distance in the direction you came from, the path branches off to the left opposite the grammar school and leads via the Sandgrube to the former mint. After crossing the Kaubach stream, you will pass the Trinity Chapel, which belongs to the parish of Appenzell. In a wide curve, the path now leads to the Sitter Stream, the lowest point of the hike. After crossing the beautifully covered wooden bridge, you will reach the small Chapel of St. Verena via Lank. On the north side of this simple chapel, the only atonement cross in the region that has been preserved is stuck diagonally into the ground, 60cm high and hewn from sandstone - a unique specimen.
After a short climb and crossing Haslenstrasse, you reach the St. Karl Borromeo Chapel near Steig. This chapel is one of the most historically significant chapels in the parish of Appenzell.
The chapel trail now leads up a hill and curves through a short section of forest around the castle hill, up to Clanx Castle, probably the most beautiful vantage point of the entire round trip. Following the signposts in the direction of Studen/Sammelplatz, you reach the beautifully situated Lehnkapelle Chapel, which delights the participants of the Stoss pilgrimage with its bell ringing. Now it is not far to the Sammelplatz, where you will have to follow the signs to Guggerloch/Steinegg and after a short stretch in the forest, you will arrive at the romantic forest Chapel of St. Ottilia in Guggerloch. In the firm belief in the power of water to heal eye ailments, many believers still draw water from the well near the chapel. They wet their eyes and also fill it into containers they have brought along for home use. The belief is that St. Ottilia, the patron of eyesight, will help with ailments related to the eyes.
Above this chapel, you will again see the Alpstein massif in all its splendour, and with this view, you now descend via meadow paths to Steinegg. There you will find the Chäsmoos Chapel «Maria Hilf» with a valuable wooden crucifix and an excellent sculpture of the Virgin Mary. Before continuing along the Sitter back to Appenzell, you must not miss the St. Magdalena Chapel in Steinegg, located at the crossroads. It has been there since 1550, and the ceiling paintings inside were made by the famous Johannes Hugentobler, who, among other things, is to thank for the colourful facades on the houses along the Hauptgasse (main street) in Appenzell. After crossing the Sitter Stream again, you will soon see the St. Anna Chapel, which is considered the most beautiful rococo chapel in Innerrhoden.
The hiking trail now continues over train tracks along the Sitter Stream to Appenzell. After the Brauereiplatz and from the right on a small hill near the indoor swimming pool you will see the final chapel, Lourdes Chapel. Popular for May devotions, it is one of the largest chapel buildings in Appenzell next to the St. Anthony Chapel. Cross the river and pass the cemetery to return to the pretty main street and then back to the train station.
|Schönenbüel-Kapelle, St. Barbara
|Chäsmoos-Kapelle «Maria Hilf»
Places along the route
Appenzell – Lank – Steig – Burg Clanx – Lehn – Studen – Sammelplatz – Guggerloch – Steinegg – Appenzell.
The Appenzell Chapel Way is also a local SwitzerlandMobility route and signposted with No. 990.
Tip: About half of the chapels along the trail are open and accessible every day. The others are either always closed or open on specific high Sundays. It's best to bring a torch or your mobile phone so that you can use it to make the dim interior of the chapels visible.
Type of hiking tourTheme hiking
Starting point / EndAppenzell / Appenzell
Options to eat along the way
- multiple in Appenzell