The Via Dolorosa (Latin: Painful Road) in Jerusalem is supposed to be the road Jesus walked when he carried his cross to Golgotha.
In mid-15th Century the Order of the Franciscans established the practice to walk along the Via Dolorosa, following the footsteps of Jesus. Along the way there were several stations – halting points, where the pilgrims would meditate a certain moment of this way, like, for example, Station VI: "Veronica wipes the face of Jesus".
The Franciscans then spread the idea of the "Stations of the Cross" by building outdoor shrines all over Europe. In 1686 they were also granted the right to build stations within churches and by the middle of the 19th Century all catholic churches could build stations of their own. In Germany there are usually 14 stations along the way.
The Way of the Cross in this panorama is located in Freiburg on a hill called the "Lorettoberg". There are 14 stations on this way too. The station you can see directly is station IV: "Jesus begegnet seiner betrübten Mutter" – "Jesus meets his aggrieved mother".
On top of the Lorettoberg there is a little church. In 1644 a battle of the Thirty Years’ War
took place right on this hill and in 1744 the French King Louis XV observed the bombardment of Freiburg from the place in front of the church.