Photo: Marcell Varadi

Date of foundation: 1132 (order number 60 according to Janauschek)
Date of dissolution: 1540
Filiation / mother monastery: Morimond-Kamp / Walkenried Monastery
Daughter monasteries: Altzelle Monastery, Stolpe Monastery, Leubus Monastery and two other monasteries

Pforte Monastery was first founded in 1132 as a daughter of Walkenried Monastery in Schmölln. Hostilities from the Slavic-pagan population made it necessary to relocate to the Saale valley in 1137, which was cultivated by the monks mainly through viticulture and fruit growing. The Borsdorfer apple, the oldest German apple variety, is said to have its origins in the Morimond gray renette, which was given the name of the monastery farm.

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The cultural landscape

The Cistercian monastery landscape of Pforte comprises a large number of cultural landscape elements that were created from the 12th century onwards and still characterize 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. Pforte played an important role in the region’s high medieval political landscape from the very beginning. The very early filiation to Silesia and as far as Latvia and Estonia is groundbreaking.

The monastery complex includes a large number of sacred buildings, residential and farm buildings as well as the “Kleine Saale”, a masterpiece of hydraulic engineering.

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 abolished in 1540 and converted into a school by the Elector of Saxony in 1543.

The Pförtner economic and town courtyard system encompassed a large number of villages in the surrounding area and extended from Naumburg to Erfurt in its east-west expansion. Its location at the crossroads of important medieval trade routes allowed active participation in the European network. The monastery landscape is characterized by wine and fruit growing, which was intensified by Cistercian work. Pforte’s role in cultivating and spreading the “Borsdorf apple” to the East and West is particularly noteworthy.

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