PILGRIM’S WAY FALKÖPING – GUDHEM
13.2 km on the Pilgrim’s Way between Falköping and Varnhem Walking the Pilgrim’s Way between Falköping and Gudhem brings spectacular views and the beautiful natural landscape of Mösseberg. Gudhem has a medieval ruined abbey with an interesting past.
Distance: 13.2 km
Terrain: Urban, paths, roads
Waymarked: St Olof’s cross
Walking through Falköping
The walk begins at St Olof’s church. The oldest part of today’s church was built in quarried limestone in the early twelfth century. This makes St Olof’s church the oldest church in the Falköping area. The church’s importance can be seen from its impressive size. It is dedicated to King and Saint Olaf in Nidaros (the medieval name of Trondheim in Norway), making it a natural start to the Pilgrim’s Way. On the route through the town, you will pass the Falbygden Museum with an exhibition on local ancient history, not to mention dripping ice, the oldest domesticated dog in the Nordic countries, the young “Raspberry Girl” sacrificed in a bog, and the story of the gold collar from Ålleberg.
The first part of the trail then continues on streets through the town of Falköping before making its way up the slopes of Mösseberg via broad paths and on over the mountain. Mösseberg offers fantastic countryside, outdoor activities and amazing views over the city and the surrounding landscape. There is also a viewing tower, a lake for swimming, playgrounds, a ski slope and a wildlife park.
Photographer: Sebastian Streith
The Pilgrim’s Way brings you down from the mountain via a couple of kilometres of winding paths and the last five kilometres on the road, ending with a gentle downhill slope to Gudhem church and ruined convent. A 1 km detour to Cesarstugan in Östra Tunhem is well worth it for an excellent meal or coffee and cake. This former farmhouse also has an attractive exhibition with scenes from the past and wax mannequins depicting life in rural Sweden in the 1930s and 1940s.
The Cistercian convent at Gudhem was an abbey founded in the 1160s. It enjoys a beautiful setting with views over the lake, Hornborgasjön. The ruins contain the 13th-century grave of Queen Katarina. Katarina donated much of her fortune to the convent, enabling the nuns to continue their work. Today there is a museum here with an abbey garden, the ruined abbey itself and Gudhem parish church.
Photographer: Margareta Boman
Bus back to Falköping
To get back to Falköping again, walk back to road 184 and the bus stop Kabelstationen, Falköping. The timetable for bus 203 is available at www.vasttrafik.se
Facts about the trail
St Olof’s cross
Start and finish:
Starts at St Olof’s church, Falköping and ends at Gudhem Abbey from where you can catch a bus back to Falköping, or the other way round.
Falköping lies between lakes Vänern and Vättern about 120 km from Gothenburg. Falköping has a train and bus station with good connections.
If you are coming by car, there are several car parks in the centre of Falköping near St Olof’s church. Many of them are for a limited period where you will need to display a parking disc. You can buy parking discs from Tourist Information or from shops in the town centre.
If you want to start your walk from near the bus and railway station, there are several car parks to choose from there, including long-stay parking.
Information about the Pilgrim’s Way, printer-friendly pdf format.