Via Porta

Via Porta

In 2011 the project "Via Porta - Cultural Landscape Potentials, Environment and Spirituality: Impulses for Environmental Communication. A project in the landscape area "Ecumenical Pilgrimage from Volkenroda in Thuringia to Waldsassen in Bavaria" was launched; carried out by the Centre for Garden Art and Landscape Architecture and funded by the German Federal Environmental Foundation (DBU).

The Via Porta ecumenical pilgrimage was opened in 2010. It connects the former Thuringian Cistercian monastery Volkenroda, ich was revived by an ecumenical Protestant community after the "Wende" in 1989, with the Cistercian abbey Waldsassen in Bavaria. Waldsassen was founded about 900 years ago by monks from Volkenroda. So both monasteries are united by a common history.

The more than 300 km long stretch of the Via Porta leads through landscape and settlement areas such as the Thuringian Forest or the Fichtelgebirge. The route passes through the German states of Thuringia and Bavaria and, on a short stretch, through the Czech Republic.

The project opens up the diverse potentials and landscape areas along the Via Porta scientifically in order to develop an informative offer for hikes. Among the main topics are:

  • Cultural landscape
  • Nature and environment
  • Sacred landscape
  • Past and present

As one result of the project, VIA PORTA digital is now available as an interactive e-book. The individual stages can be downloaded here in PDF format:


Several workshops were held on the project with various stakeholders on networking, information gathering and the development of Via Porta digital, for which publications are also available:

  • Workshops
    • Hansjörg Küster und Joachim Wolschke-Bulmahn (Hg.), Zu den Qualitäten klösterlicher Kulturlandschaften. Geschichte, Kultur, Umwelt und Spiritualität
      CGL-Studies, Band 20, Akademische Verlagsgemeinschaft München, München, 2014

    • Workshop Via Porta - Umwelt, Spiritualität, Tourismus, gefördert von der Deutschen Bundesstiftung Umwelt
      16.-17. Oktober 2013, Kloster Volkenroda (Download brochure)

    • Workshop Zu den Qualitäten klösterlicher Kulturlandschaften. Geschichte, Kultur, Umwelt und Spiritualität, gefördert von der Klosterkammer Hannover
      10.-12. April 2012, Wöltingerode (Download brochure)