The approx. 300km ecumenical pilgrimage route uses the historical trail that the Cistercian monks followed in 1133 when leaving the main abbey in Volkenroda, Thuringia, to go to the affiliated abbey in Waldsassen, Bavaria.
The Via Porta ecumenical pilgrimage route – spiritual meditation on a route between two abbeys. The Via Porta starts in Volkenroda at the abbey of the Protestant 'Brotherhood of Jesus' with its famous glass 'Christ Pavilion' and goes all the way to the Catholic Cistercian abbey in Waldsassen. Here, the famous abbey basilica, the abbey library with its exquisite wood carvings and the remarkable Pilgrimage Church of the Holy Trinity with its three towers are well worth seeing and are testimony to the deeply rooted religious faith of our ancestors. This fascinating route linking the two abbeys passes through the scenic countryside of Hainach National Park to the Thiemsburg National Park Centre, the Thuringian Forest with the Rennsteig walking trail, the Franconian Forest, the Fichtelgebirge mountains and the northern part of Upper Palatinate. You'll also experience the unique landscape of the Stiftland region: churches, chapels and wayside shrines, rosaries and crucifixes that invite reflection and prayer. The grave of Therese Neumann in Konnersreuth is a site of pilgrimage for many believers. Of course you can also walk the pilgrimage route the other way from Waldsassen to Volkenroda. Those who have energy for a further 300 or so kilometres can continue their pilgrimage on a connecting route, also following in the footsteps of the Cistercian monks, from Volkenroda to Loccum Abbey in Lower Saxony near Lake Steinhude.