REFORMATION HISTORY TOUR 16 Day Package
VISITING THE LANDS OF THE REFORMATION & THE COUNTER-REFORMATION
This tour is available as an accredited study program. March through November
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VISITING THE LANDS OF THE REFORMATION & THE COUNTER-REFORMATION
This tour is available as an accredited study program. March through November
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Price Includes: All motor coach and land transportation, sightseeing, admissions, services of tour director and driver, lodging, meals as specified in tour itinerary, taxes, gratuities to bellhops and waiters at included meals.
Not Included: Cost of obtaining passports or visas, laundry, meals, beverages or sightseeing not included in the itinerary, travel insurance, gratuity to guide, driver, communication charges, & excess baggage fees. Port charges and gratuities to crew are not included on cruises.
Stroll along cobble-stone lanes of rustic villages, visit magnificent cathedrals and quaint churches. See inspiring vistas of beautiful Bavaria and Switzerland. Contemplate your Protestant heritage at the memorials of the great reformers, Luther, Zwingli, and Calvin. Learn firsthand of the extraordinary events that have shaped Christianity in Europe and North America. All of this and so much more await you on this trip of a lifetime! Added benefits are the Christian fellowship, excellent food, and comfortable lodging you will experience.
Day 1: Afternoon Flight
Depart for London's Heathrow Airport and begin your European adventure together.
Day 2: London / Buckingham, Westminster, Spurgeon
The tour guide and motorcoach will meet you at the airport and take you to the hotel where you can briefly freshen-up and receive tour instructions. You will then reboard the coach and head for Buckingham Palace to see the Changing of the Guard. Next on the agenda is famous Westminster Abbey, where the King James Bible was translated, followed in the afternoon by the Tower of London and (time permitting) Metropolitan Tabernacle, the church of Charles H. Spurgeon. You will then return to the hotel for supper and a much needed first night's rest in England.
Day 3: London / Wesley's, Bunhill, Leisure
This morning your journey will take you to Bunhill Fields Cemetery, where you can see the burial place of Susanna Wesley, Isaac Watts, John Bunyan, Daniel Defoe, and other eminent nonconformist Protestants. Just across the street you will be given a tour of John Wesley's chapel and house/museum. Then its off to St. Paul's Cathedral, the 17th century architectural masterpiece of Sir Christopher Wren. The afternoon will be spent in leisure time, if you wish. There is plenty to see: the British Museum, Madame Tussaud's Wax Works, Harrods, Kensington Park, and much more. For those desiring an additional excursion package, we suggest a trip to Windsor Castle followed by a dining out and night cruise on the beautiful Thames.
Day 4: Delfshaven / Amsterdam
After a hearty breakfast at your London hotel, you will wend your way along the Essex countryside to Harwich. There you will board a ferry and cross the North Sea bound for Rotterdam, the industrial center of the Netherlands. Your guide will take you from the busy city to nearby Delfshaven to visit the Oude Kirk (Old Church), where the English Pilgrims held their final worship service prior to their departure aboard the Speedwell, to join the Mayflower at Southampton, England. You will stand at the spot where Pastor John Robinson knelt with his people to pray for their safe passage to the New World. Then, time permitting, you will travel the delightful Dutch countryside for a view of what Holland is known for, windmills and cheese factories. Then it's on to Amsterdam for supper at your hotel.
Day 5: Amsterdam / Leiden
This morning will be devoted to the Pilgrims. You will visit St. Peter's Church in Leiden, where Pilgrim pastor John Robinson is buried. Just across the way is the ancient site of the "Church of the Green Door," the place where Robinson's congregation of over 300 would meet before some of them made their way across the Atlantic on the Mayflower. A block or two up the narrow lane is the Pilgrim Museum and Document Center where you will learn more about these courageous God-fearing people. Returning to Amsterdam, you will cap off the day with a tour of the Rijksmuseum (home of several Rembrandt paintings), followed by a late afternoon canal trip.
Day 6: Cologne / Mainz
Today will be a time of journeying the west European countryside along the picturesque Rhine River. Your guide will take you from Amsterdam to see the Cologne Cathedral, one of the finest examples in the world of late Gothic architecture. Another city along the Rhine you will visit is Mainz with its cathedral. The archbishopric of Mainz was a gift from the pope to Albrecht of Magdeburg who agreed to promote the selling of indulgences throughout Germany in order to rebuild St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. Luther's response to these "the Ninety-Five Theses" was the catalyst that started the Reformation. You will also tour the Gutenberg Museum where the first moveable type press and the famous Bible it produced are on display. This press and others like it helped spread the Reformation in printed word. Afterwards, you will travel to Heidelberg for a late supper and the first of two night's stay.
Day 7: Heidelberg / Worms
You will arise to the sunshine (we hope!) of a resplendent view: one of the most charming cities in all the world, Heidelberg, ancient capital of the Palatinate and home of Germany's oldest university. But more importantly, it was a stronghold of German Reformed Protestantism, 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. You will tour this castle, the Witches' Tower and Gardens, and then travel by motorcoach to Worms. It was here, during the imperial Diet in 1521, that Luther challenged the entire Roman Catholic establishment by his refusal to recant the great doctrines of Protestantism. It was here also that William Tyndale completed the printing of his English version of the New Testament (1525) which he had begun in Cologne. After seeing St. Peter's Church and the symbolic Luther Memorial near the town square, you will cruise the Rhine and Neckar Rivers back to Heidelberg to view the Illumination of the Castle . This is a re-enactment of the castle's destruction by French Catholics in 1689 and 1693, accompanied by a dazzling display of fireworks and German classical music.
Day 8: Eisenach / Erfurt / Coburg
After an early morning breakfast at your Heidelberg hotel, you will ride the autobahn to Eisenach. It was here at the Wartburg Castle that Luther, under house arrest, translated the New Testament into the German language in 1523. After touring the Wartburg, you will then travel east to Erfurt, where Luther attended its university, and see the Augustinian monastery where he spent his early years as a monk. The remainder of the afternoon will be spent traveling to Coburg to view another castle of Luther's imprisonment (1530). Time permitting, you may pay a visit to nearby Goetz Factory, where the world-famous Hummel figurines are made. Your day will end at a restful hotel near Würzburg, where a well-deserved supper awaits.
Day 9: Augsburg
This morning, one of the highlights of your trip will be a visit to the best preserved Medieval town in all of EuropeÿRothenburg. 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 Kätheÿ'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 the 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. Accommodations will be provided for you in Augsburg.
Day 10: Garmisch
Continuing further south today, you will journey, by way of Munich, to Oberammergau, site of the famous Passion Play, on your way to the Rococo-style Chapel in the Meadow and Ludwig II's most luxurious former residence, the Neuschwanstein Castle. Concluding the day will be a pleasurable stop at the renowned wood-carving shop, Almdorf Ammertal at Bad Bayersoien. Your guide will then bring you to Garmisch/Partenkirchen, the twin resort and Olympic sports village snuggled in a valley of the snow-capped Bavarian Alps. Here you will dine and sleep at one of two U.S. Armed Forces first class hotels while enjoying the refreshing mountain air.
Day 11: Garmisch / Lake Constance
After breakfast at either the General Patton or the Von Steuben Hotel, you will board the motorcoach for a brief trip to the little hamlet of Eibsee. You will then climb into a modern cable car that will take you 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! Then you must come back down to earth and make your way to another resort town on the border of Germany and Switzerland'Constance. Some historians suggest that it is here that the Reformation really got its start in 1415, with the execution of Bohemian reformer John Huss. You will see the house where he stayed, the Council Hall in which he faced his accusers, and the place, just outside the main town, where he was burned at the stake. You will spend the night in historic lovely Constance.
Day 12: The Black Forest / Switzerland / Rhine Falls
Something quite different today will engage your interest in nature: an excursion into the Black Forest and a stop at Triberg, home of the cuckoo clock. The forest gets its name from the heavy stands of fir on the upper slopes. Below are extensive clusters of oak and beech trees. Because of its dense foliage, the Black Forest was also a place of refuge for many Protestants fleeing the Catholic Inquisition. On the way to a new country on the tour, Switzerland, you will stop near Schaffhausen to view the Rhine Falls, the most powerful waterfall in Germany. This is definitely a "Kodak moment." You will then make your way to Zurich for supper and the first of two night's stay here.
Day 13: Zurich / Zwingli
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 in 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 pastored (the Grössmunster), 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. During the afternoon and evening, you will have the leisure time to experience the festive sights, sounds, and shopping of modern Zurich just across the Limmat River from the old town.
Day 14: Berne / Lausanne
Today you will take a leisurely drive from German to French-speaking Switzerland, and see along the way some of the most breath-taking scenes of nature in all the world the lakes and mountains of Switzerland. The first major stop is Berne, Switzerland's capital and wonderfully preserved medieval town. Berne was one of the earliest cantons to embrace the Protestant Reformation due mainly to the influence of Zwingli. You will experience a brief guided tour before proceeding on to Geneva by way of Lausanne. The drive will take you 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. Here you will spend the last two nights of the main part of the tour.
Day 15: Geneva / Knox / Calvin
Sightseeing in Geneva will be the grand finale to the Main Tour. Today you will enter St. Peter's Cathedral and see the pulpit where John Calvin preached and taught the doctrines that made him known throughout Protestantism. You will also see his Academy and Knox Chapel, named for the famous Scottish reformer who ministered to British exiles during the reign of "Bloody" Mary Tudor and returned to help establish the Presbyterian Church in his native country. Knox described Calvin's Academy as the most perfect school of Christ on earth since the days of the Apostles. You will also stroll by the Flower Clock and Gardens. Afterward, you will visit the impressive Reformation Monument, commemorating not only the Reformation in Geneva but throughout the world. And finally, you will learn more about Calvin and Geneva Protestantism at the Reformation Museum and University Library.
Day 16: Geneva / Return Flight
Those leaving for the States will fly out of Geneva this morning. For those continuing on, the morning is free for shopping and visiting more sites in Geneva. You may want to go by and see the European headquarters of the United Nations, or discover the magnificent lakeshore and famous 460 foot high jet water fountain, the symbol of Geneva; or visit the International Red Cross Museum. The remainder of the party heads to Milan, Italy by way of Mont Blanc Tunnel for the final leg of the tour.
SIX DAY EXTENSION IN ITALY
Perhaps the best words to use in briefly describing the relationship to the Reformation of many of the sites you will be seeing in Italy are preparation and opposition. For example, Milan is the place of Augustine's conversion in A.D. 386. Several doctrines of this church father were revived and given new meaning by the reformers. Many of the places you will see showcase the Italian Renaissance, which emphasized individual achievement and studies in classical literature, both factors in laying the foundation of the Reformation. The dazzling artistic achievements of Renaissance culture, however, hide the moral degradation of the institutional church exposed by the literature of Dante and the preaching of Savonarola. The epitome of opposition centers in Rome itself and the Vatican. Here the papacy launched its multi-faceted response to the Reformation, the devastating Counter-Reformation.
Day 17: Milan
After a good night's rest in your Milan Hotel, you will begin your adventure in romantic Italy by visiting Santa Maria delle Grazie. This Gothic-style church, originally constructed in 1490, and its adjoining monastery reflect the glory of Renaissance Milan. In the monastery you will see frescos that Leonardo da Vinci was commissioned to paint by his patron Ludovico Sforza. The most famous is the "Last Supper" which graces the far wall of the Refectory. Next you will see the huge Sforza family fortress. Constructed in 1450, the Castelle Sforzesco is the site of a fascinating museum of Renaissance collections. In the afternoon you will tour Milan's tribute to five centuries of construction, the magnificent Duomo (Cathedral). From the roof terraces, you may enjoy an exhilarating view of Milan. Then it's on to the much older Church of Saint Ambrose, followed by a tour of La Scala, the world's most famous opera house. An evening opera excursion will be in the works if it can be arranged.
Day 18: Florence
This morning you will travel from Milan to Florence, the birthplace of the Renaissance, and stop first at the Galleria dell'Academia to view Michelangelo's incomparable "David." Close by is the Convent/Museum of St. Mark, a former Dominican monastery which contains important frescoes by Angelico and the cells of the fiery 15th century pre-reformer Savonarola, once prior of St. Mark's. This afternoon you will view the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore and the Baptistery featuring Ghiberti's bronze "Gates of Paradise." You will also see the Bell Tower and Dante's house. Of course, you will not miss crossing the first bridge built across the Arno, the famous Ponte Vecchio.
Day 19: Florence / Pisa
Today you will continue your interesting tour of Florence, birthplace of Da Vinci and burial place of Michelangelo. You will see where he is buried along with Galileo at the Santa Croce Church. You will also stroll the Piazza Signoria (site of Savonarola's execution) and the Piazzale Michelangelo. In the afternoon, you will travel toward the west coast of Italy to Pisa to observe that "crazy" Tower and site of the famous Council of Pisa (1409), an attempt to end the Great Schism of the Catholic papacy. To round out the day, make your way by motorcoach to Italy's capital, the "eternal city" of Rome. Here, at the final destination of the tour, you will spend two nights and two days.
Day 20: Rome
There are so many ancient and modern marvels to see in this grand city! In the morning, you will go directly to the site most people want to see first: the great Colosseum, the place of Roman entertainment at the expense of many Christian lives. Situated close by is the Arch of Constantine, commemorating his defeat of Maxentius at the famous battle of Milvian Bridge in A.D. 312. You will also see the remains of the hub of ancient Roman life, the Forum, including Trajan's market and column, the Arch of Septimus Severus, the first emperor to forbid conversion to Christianity, and the Mamertine prison, traditional site of Peter's imprisonment. The Catacombs invite you "underground" to observe the ancient burial place of Christians, and later, you will visit the 4th century Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls, the traditional site of Paul's tomb. Time permitting, you will be able to see optional sites of the Scala Sancta, Spanish Steps, the Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon, Piazza Venezia and the monument to Victor Emmanuel.
Day 21: Rome
Most of this last day in Rome will actually be taken up with "the city within the city" the Vatican, ancient site of the papal residence and stunning works of art at every turn. You will visit the Basilica of St. Peter, the Sistine Chapel, and the Vatican museums and various galleries. The final stop will be Castel Sant'Angelo, the great fortress guarding the Vatican. Leisure time is yours until the flight from Rome this evening. Have a pleasant return home!
Day 22: Homeward
A morning fight will bring us home by mid-afternoon.
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