Waldsassen is located in a region that is particularly rich in forests. Its first residents were Cistercian monks. The monastery was dissolved when the Protestant Palatinate gained possession of the abbey. The Cistercians returned, however, when Bavaria took control of the Oberpfalz region in the 17C. After secularisation the abbey was once more closed in 1803. Modern Waldsassen owes its economic prosperity to the glass and ceramic industry.