Where we are
The pilgrim route Via Mariae, also known as Maria’s Way, has been a connecting Western and Eastern Europe since catholic Roman time. The route passes through seven countries: Austria, Hungary, Slovakia, Poland, Croatia, Bosnia before it finally ends in Sumuleu Ciuc in Rumania. Sumuleu Ciuc is situated in what, the by locals called “the evergreen land”, of Harghita county. It is a tree-covered mountain landscape with over 2000 mineral water springs.
Since most of Harghita’s inhabitants live in rural areas they are dependent on a rural economy ecology. In the county’s main economy regards wood, local food, handicraft and agriculture. The many mineral water springs are utilized for therapeutic purposes attracting both locals and tourists. Via Maria offers sustainable eco-tourism through enhancing own natural and cultural heritage.
Via Maria aims to be accessible by underlining that all kind of visitors are welcome, no matter age or abelites. This states the vision of the route – connecting the countries which Via Maria passes through –to tie historical, cultural and religious differences together. The route symbolizes diversity, bridging religion and people as well as East and West, just like it tangibly aims to create a network for neighboring countries. By approaching sustainable pilgrimages as a way to connect people it further creates social inclusion.
Via Maria has two Rural Heritage Hub, the main one is situated in Harghita County Council. The Harghita County Council is a suiting meeting spot for local stakeholders, fully equipped with all necessities and skilled staff. The venue facilitates its own art gallery which offers opportunities for local events.
The intention is that some meetings will be hosted at the well-known pilgrim site Csíksomlyó/Sumuleau-Ciuc. The facility will be at the headquarter of the Via Maria Association the Jakab Antal Study House which offers everything from accommodation and conference rooms to a chapel.