The public section of Via Mariae or Mary’s Way, a spiritual path for tourists and pilgrims located at the foot of the Madarasi Hargita peak, will be restored by the end of this summer, Hungarian news portal Székelyhon reports.
The 8.3-kilometer section is a public road in Hargita/Harghita County, Romania, administered by the local authority of Szentegyháza/Vlăhița, which won a EUR 1 million grant from the Agency for Rural Investment Financing (AFIR) to rebuild this section back in 2017. The restoration work kicked off last year, and although weather conditions slowed down the process, the road and pilgrimage route will be ready for use this summer, the mayor of Szentegyháza, Csaba Lőrincz, told Székelyhon.
The company in charge of the restoration will pour asphalt on a 2-kilometer section starting from Szentegyháza, and the rest of the road will be paved with stones.
Farmers are already using a portion of the 8.3 kilometers of the 13A public road to move their agricultural machinery, easing traffic on more congested public roads.
Mary’s Way crosses several countries before it ends at the Virgin Mary shrine at Csíksomlyó/Șumuleu Ciuc. It is both a tourist and pilgrimage route, built by the nations of Central Europe in honor of the Virgin Mary and connecting her various shrines, essentially creating a traditional pilgrimage network between the different religious traditions of Central Europe, similar to El Camino.
Seen on a map, Mary’s Way forms a large cross on Central Europe (Austria, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, Poland, Croatia and Bosnia). The east-west line goes from Austria’s Mariazell on through Budapest, Máriapócs and Csíksomlyó/Șumuleu Ciuc (Harghita County, Transylvania); the north-south direction travels through Czestochowa, Esztergom, Budapest and Medjugorje.
Title image: Some parts of the 13A public road are already in use by locals. Image credit: Székelyhon