day) Luther's Germany, Zwingli's Zurich
and Calvin's Geneva
April thru November
Day 1: Depart
Enjoy your overnight flight to Frankfurt with dinner en route.
Day 2: Heidelburg,
Upon arrival in Germany, we travel on to one of the most charming cities in all of
the world - Heidelberg, ancient capital of the Palatinate and home of
Germany's oldest university. But most importantly, it was a stronghold
of German Reformed Protestants beginning in 1560. One of the great
confessional statements of the Reformation, the Heidelberg Catechism was
produced here in 1563. Heidelberg Castle, a most impressive historic
landmark of Germany, stands majestically overlooking the Neckar River.
The structure, now largely in ruins, preserves numerous examples of
Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque German architecture. Our next stop is
in Worms. It was here, during the
Imperial Diet in 1521, that Martin Luther challenged the entire
Roman Catholic establishment by his refusal to recant the great
doctrines of Protestantism. It was also here that
William Tyndale completed the printing of his English version of the New
Testament in 1525 which he had begun in Cologne. After seeing St.
Peter's Church and the symbolic Luther memorial near the town square, we
will return to our lodging for the evening in Wurzburg.
Rothenburg on the Tauber, Augsburg
This morning, one of the highlights of your trip will be a visit to the
best preserved Medieval town in all of Europe, Rothenburg. What a
delightful day you will have visiting the quaint Rathaus (town hall)
with its tower, the Kriminal-museum, housing all manner of Medieval
instruments of torture and especially for the ladies, one of the most
fascinating Christmas stores you will ever see - Kathe's (pronounced
Katie's). After lunch you will travel south to the ancient city of
Augsburg. It was here in 1518 at St. Anne's Church that Luther met the
papal legate, Cardinal Cajetan, who demanded that Luther submit to the
pope. Augsburg was also the site of another Imperial Diet (1530) at
which Protestants presented their confession, the foremost doctrinal
statement of the Lutheran church. In the town hall the Peace of Augsburg
was signed in 1555 ending for a time the religious wars in Germany
between the Catholics and the Protestants. Overnight in Augsburg for the
next two nights.
Day 4: Charming
Continuing further south today, we stop at Oberammergau, site of the
famous Passion Play and magificently painted houses, on your way to the
Rococo-style Chapel in the Meadow and Ludwig II's most luxurious former
residence, the Neuschwanstein Castle. This afternoon's adventure takes
us to the little hamlet of Eibsee where we climb into a modern cable car
that will take us to the summit of the tallest mountain in Germany, the
Zugspitze. Here it snows year round, so you will need a sweater, but the
panoramic view will warm your heart. It is absolutely spectacular!
Traveling westward brings us to a resort town on the border of Germany
and Switzerland, Constance. Some historians suggest that it is here that
the Reformation actually got it's start in 1415, with the execution of
Bohemian reformer John Huss. You will see the house in which he faced
his accusers and the place just outside the main town where he was
burned at the stake. On the way to a new country on the tour,
Switzerland, you will stop near Schaffhausen to view the Rhine Falls,
the most powerful waterfalls in Germany. This is definitely a
"Kodak moment". Overnight in Zurich.
Day 6: Zwingli's
Zurich, Lake Lucerne
Zurich is definitely a combination of the old and the new. It is divided
(as are many European cities) into the modern cosmopolitan district and
the Auld Stadt (old city). Most of the time during your stay will be
spent seeing the sights connected with Ulrich Zwingli. It was in Zurich
where the Reformed branch of the Reformation got its start under his
leadership beginning in 1520. Today you will see his monument, the
church where he was pastor (the Grossmunster), and the Guild Hall and
Museum in which you will find artifacts and works of art associated with
the Reformation. Zurich is also the origin of the Swiss Brethren
Anabaptist Movement. It had its start in the home of Felix Manz in 1525.
Its location is a few blocks from Zwingli's church. This afternoon
we travel on to lovely Lucerne for a
fjord-like lake cruise and free time in the
historic cobblestone shopping district to
shop for watches.
Day 7: Lucerne,
Enjoy a brief walking tour of historic Lucerne displaying Medieval
heritage every step of the way. See the impressive city walls, the
famous covered wooden bridge, ornate patrician houses lining cobbled
streets, and Thorwaldsen's masterful Lion Monument.
Next we travel on to Interlaken, a Bernese Oberland
resort beautifully situated between two lakes and beneath the towering
Jungfrau. If the weather is right our motorcoach will wind it's way to
the mountain village of Grindenwald where we have free time to walk the
trails with spectacular mountain and glacier vistas. Free time
will be allowed to explore through the woodcarving shops of Brienz
before we continue on to our lodging for the evening in Berne.
Day 8: Berne,
Chillon Castle, Geneva
Berne, Switzerland's capital, is a wonderfully preserved Medieval town
and one of the earliest cantons to embrace the Protestant Reformation
due mainly to the influence of Zwingli. Sightseeing with a local expert
starts at the popular BEAR PIT and then focuses on the monumental
Federal Palace and the beautifully preserved medieval Old Town. Witness
the hourly parade of painted figures at the Clock Tower and take your
pictures of ornate, flower-adorned fountains. The next highlight today
will be a visit to the much photographed Chillon Castle,
the 12th-century water fortress near
Montreaux. We continue our tour along the upper ridge of placid
Lake Leman (Lake Geneva). There will be stops along the way to freshen
up and take in this extraordinarily beautiful site. Finally you will
come to the south end of this magnificent lake and encounter the city
known to Protestants as the "Town of Calvin" - Geneva.
Overnight two nights in Geneva.
Day 9: Geneva
The grand finale of our tour will be the historic city of Geneva. We
begin sightseeing at St. Peter's Cathedral, where John Calvin taught the
doctrine that made him famous throughout the Protestant faith. Other
Reformation sites of interest include Calvin's Academy, the Reformation
Monument and the Reformation Museum. We'll also take a walk by the
Flower Clock and Gardens before returning to our hotel for dinner and
Day 10: Depart
Geneva for USA.
Arrival back in our home town is scheduled for mid-afternoon.