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Via Sacra – Holy treasures on pilgrimage and trading routes

Via Sacra – Holy treasures on pilgrimage and trading routes

The Via Sacra "Sacred Road" runs along roughly 550 km of centuries-old pilgrimage and trade routes in the border triangle region of Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic. The route links some of Europe's most important religious sites and art treasures and is a relatively new tourist route through a region of great European cultural importance.

is a relatively new tourist route through a region of great European cultural importance. Taking in religious architecture and treasures, abbeys, art, legends, milestones and notable figures from European history, it is a popular route for tourists and pilgrims and for cultural encounters.

The name of the route tells you everything you need to know

Travel through time and the heart of Europe on the Via Sacra Route. Breathe in the cultural and religious history of Upper Lusatia, Lower Silesia and Northern Bohemia and allow ancient masterpieces to cast their spell on you. The route can be explored along two circular routes (one through Saxony and one through Silesia and Bohemia) or from one central point in a star formation without having to change hotel.

Reconnect with yourself and your environment

The route comprises almost 20 contemplative sites and forms; a unique link between these sacred treasures. The Lent cloth in Zittau dating from the Late Middle Ages is one such treasure and others include imposing churches and old abbeys still in use today such as the village church in Cunewalde. With over 2,632 seats, it is the largest evangelical church in Germany. Chapels and other religious sites will take you further into this pious world.

Discovery, wonder and contemplation

The Via Sacra Route promises a subtle adventure full of amazing surprises, emotional experiences and moments of tranquil reflection. Go on a journey where time has no meaning. Some places seem to have a special spirit all of their own – a genius loci. Walking along the Via Sacra, pilgrims will find out that Germany – and indeed Europe – continues well past Dresden.

Via Sacra

Length: approximately 550 km (German side)

Theme: borderless travel, sacred art, culture

Bautzen: cathedral, castle
Cunewalde: village church
Görlitz: the Holy Grave (Heiliges Grab)
Ostritz: St. Marienthal Cistercian Abbey (Zisterzienserinnenkloster Marienthal)
Oybin: abbey, Oybin Castle Open-air Museum
Panschwitz-Kuckau: St. Marienstern Cistercian Abbey (Zisterzienserabtei Marienstern)
St. Peter and Paul Church (Kirche St. Peter und Paul)
Zittau: Lent cloths, Fleischerbastei fortress


How did the inhabitants of Zittau experience the century of the Reformation? What did they believe? What did their world look like? The numerous epitaphs from Zittau's churches that have survived provide surprisingly multifaceted information in answer to these questions. They have recently been restored and are now focal points of the major Zittau exhibition on the Reformation in Upper Lusatia. In addition to the two lenten veils of 1472 and 1573, the epitaph exhibition is a further highlight among Zittau's valuable cultural treasures which draw interest near and far.

One point of note in Zittau is the extremely rich and newly-restored collection of epitaphs dating from the 16th and 17th centuries. Epitaphs were commissioned by individuals and families in order to perpetuate their memory for posterity. Most of them are very artistically designed and consist of an inscription and a drawing or image, often depicting the family. The epitaphs afford a very impressive glimpse into the way people lived at the time of the Reformation; they testify in an intimate and moving way to belief and hope, to fate and to the hardships people of that time faced. While in many cities none or only very few of these memorials have been preserved, in Zittau over 80 of these works of art are still in existence today. This valuable epitaph collection is being presented in the Franciscan monastery Church of St. Peter and Paul, which has been restored for this purpose.

Further information:

Upcoming dates:

30.07.2017 - 07.01.2018


Kulturhistorisches Museum Franziskanerkloster - Kleines Zittauer Fastentuch
Klosterstraße 3
02763 Zittau
Fon: +49 (0) 3583 554790
Fax: +49 (0) 3583 55479210


Städtische Museen Zittau
Fon: + 49 (0) 3583 554790
Fax: + 49 (0) 3583 55479210

All information on prices, dates and opening times are subject to change without notice.


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