Via Porta pilgrimage route

Via Porta pilgrimage route

The Via Porta ecumenical pilgrimage route was opened in 2010. It connects the former Cistercian monastery of Volkenroda in Thuringia, which was revived by an ecumenically open Protestant community after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, with the Cistercian abbey of Waldsassen in Bavaria.

Waldsassen was founded almost 900 years ago by monks from Volkenroda. The two monasteries therefore share a common history. They were also the source of the initiative and the idea to create this new pilgrimage route.

"Via Porta" means "path of the open door" or "path that opens doors" and thus thematizes Cistercian hospitality and open access to the countryside.

The over 300 km long route of the Via Porta takes you through landscapes and settlement areas such as the Thuringian Forest or the Fichtelgebirge. The route passes through the federal states of Thuringia and Bavaria as well as a short section through the Czech Republic.

The trail can be hiked in 17 stages. It passes through several nature parks and biosphere reserves as well as the Hainich National Park. Three times it crosses the Green Belt, the former death strip, now a valuable habitat for rare animals and plants.

Stage 2 leads from Weberstedt to Behringen. The pilgrim hikes through the gateway to the Hainich on the Feensteig and Waagebalkenweg trails to Thiemsburg Castle and on to Craulaer Kreuz. From there, the route follows the Rennstieg to Behringen.

Pilgrim cross

A total of over 300 km in 17 stages, stage 2 leads from Weberstedt through the national park to Behringen (19 km)

Difficulty level
medium, long ascent to the Alter Berg (494m), the highest point in the Hainich