Pforte Monastery

Filiation: Morimond- Kamp

Foundation: 1132

Resolution: 1540

Pforte monastery was first founded in Schmölln in 1132 as a subsidiary of Walkenried Monastery. Hostilities from the Slavic pagan population necessitated the relocation to the Saale valley in 1137, which the monks cultivated significantly through viticulture and fruit-growing. The Borsdorf apple, the oldest German apple variety, is said to go back to the grey renette from Morimond, which gave the monastery farm its name.

The Cistercian monastic landscape of Pforte comprises a large inventory of cultural landscape elements that were created from the 12th century onwards and still characterise the landscape today. Founded in 1137 by monks from Walkenried on the Saale to the west of Naumburg, the location corresponds to the preferred natural conditions away from larger settlements. From the beginning, Pforte played an essential role in the high medieval political landscape of the region. The very early filiation to Silesia and as far as Latvia and Estonia is indicative of this.
The monastery complex includes a large number of sacred buildings, residential and farm buildings as well as a masterpiece of hydraulic engineering in the form of the “Little Saale”.
The impressive complex has largely retained its character despite later additions and functional changes. Pforte was one of the wealthiest and most influential monasteries in Europe before it was dissolved in 1540 and converted into a school by the Elector of Saxony in 1543.
The gatekeeper’s economic and town court system encompassed a large number of villages in the surrounding area, and stretched in its east-west expansion from Naumburg to Erfurt. Its location at the crossroads of important medieval trade routes allowed active participation in the European network.

The monastic landscape is characterised by viticulture and fruit-growing, which was intensified by Cistercian work. Particularly noteworthy is Pforte’s role in the cultivation and spread of the “Borsdorf apple” to the East and West.

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Photo: Marcell Varadi