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Price Includes: Very nice 3 1/2 & 4 star hotels, breakfast daily, 10 dinners, professional tour guide, modern transportation, sightseeing as listed.
Not Included: Airfare, fuel charges, air taxes, travel/cancellation insurance, lunches, 2 dinners, minimum gratuities to driver and guide ($11 per person per touring day will be added to final invoice).
From a Priest to a Protestant
Tour sights are colorful with historic charm that cannot be found anywhere else. A large portion of our understanding of scripture was formed in this picturesque setting. Be challenged by the faith and courage of our church fathers on this wonderful tour vacation.
Day 1: Depart USA
Overnight flight to Europe.
Day 2: Calvin’s Geneva
We arrive in Switzerland, the city known to Protestants as the "Town of Calvin" - 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. The remainder of the day you are free to explore at your leisure. We overnight in Geneva. (D)
Day 3: Geneva, Chillon Castle, Berne, Interlaken
This morning, we follow beautiful Lake Geneva eastward to the much photographed Chillon Castle, the 12th-century water fortress near Montreaux. Our next stop is in Berne, Switzerland's capital. Here you will find 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. We continue our tour to the charming mountainside community of Interlaken for dinner and overnight. (B)
Day 4: Grindelwald, Lucerne, Zurich
This morning we have a visit to the village of Grindelwald, also known as the “Glacier Village.” Weather permitting, you may choose an optional travel up and up via cog railway to the spectacular peak of the Jungfraujoch. The view from 11.000 feet will take your breath away. Please note: The cost of the Mountain Excursion is not included in the price because this tour is based on weather conditions. The cost for the cog railway is $185 per person currently. If the weather does not allow this tour we depart for Lucerne and enjoy a tour of this charming city to see the impressive city walls, the famous covered wooden bridge and Thorwaldsen’s masterful Lion Monument. Our lodging this evening will be in the Zurich area. (B, D)
Day 5: Zurich, Strasbourg
This morning we tour Zurich, the most prominent Swiss city. This is Ulrich Zwingli’s city. It was here in the Old City that Felix Manz was martyred in the Limmat River. We’ll visit the Grossmunster Church and its statue of Ulrich Zwingli, one of the most important Reformers. Following free time for lunch, coffee and chocolates, we will travel on to Constance, made famous by reformer John Hus, and then into the picturesque Black Forest region of Germany. Dinner and lodging this evening will be in Strasbourg, France. (B, D)
Day 6: Strasbourg, Rhine Cruise, Mannheim
Enjoy a tour of Strasbourg, referred to as the “City of Hope” and “Refuge of the Righteous” by the Anabaptists. This is where John Calvin wrote his famous books on systematic theology and where Martin Bucer, another Reformation leader, helped bring in the Reformation. We will have a stroll around the city centre to view the Cathedral of Strasbourg, St. Thomas's Church, and charming “La Petite France” quarter. From here, we travel northward to the Rhine River and relax on a delightful and picturesque cruise from St. Goarshausen, past magnificent castles and the famous Loreley Rock to charming Rudesheim. Our lodging next two evenings will be in nearby Mannhein, Germany. (B)
Day 7: Arrive Frankfurt, Worms, Mannheim
Arrive in Frankfurt this morning and begin sightseeing in nearby 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 stop in nearby Mainz for commentary and a picture of the Gutenberg Monument dedicated the German printing of the Bible. Our lodging this evening will be in Manheim. (B, D)
Day 8: Eisenach
Following breakfast, we drive to Eisenach: “Almost all of my relatives live in Eisenach, and I’m known to them there and well-respected; no other city knows me better”, as Luther said. We explore his city on a walking tour highlighting St. George’s Church where St. Elisabeth was married and J.S. Bach baptized; Luther House where Luther lived as a student with the Cotta family from 1498-1501, and the Luther exhibition documenting his life and theologies and the Bach Museum, the birth house of the famous composer Johann Sebastian Bach. Although he was born 200 years later than Luther he is the composer who influenced the protestant music the most. The next stop takes us to the magnificent Wartburg Castle to tour the Palas (Great Hall), Art exhibition, the Elisabeth Hallway, and the Luther Room where “Junker Jorg (The Knight George) translated the New Testament into German. Overnight Eisenach. (B,D)
Day 9: Buchenwald
This morning we visit Erfurt, the spiritual home of Martin Luther. It was here that Luther obtained a degree in 1502 and a doctorate in the faculty of philosophy in 1505 and where he took the decisive step to turn to theology and the monastic life when he was caught in a violent thunderstorm nearby and took a vow to become a monk. Our walking tour begins in the historical section of the city including St. Mary’s Cathedral, where Luther was ordained as a priest, the Augustinian Monastery with a permanent exhibit depicting Luther’s life as a monk in Erfurt, and to the Church of St. Severus, where Luther preached his sermons. The city tour also includes the Fish Market, Town Hall and Merchant’s Bridge. We visit the concentration camp Buchenwald and its permanent exhibition and the ground. Our lodging this evening will be in Erfurt. Check-in to the hotel for overnight and dinner. (B,D)
Day 10: Eisleben, Halle, Naumburg, Erfurt
Our journey continues in the footsteps of the Martin Luther in nearby Eisleben; here we visit Luther’s birth house where he was born in 1483, and where he died in 1546, St. Peter’s Church where Luther was baptized and St. Andrews Church where Luther preached his last four sermons and where his body was laid in state. Next stop is Halle: its most famous son Georg Friedrich Händel was born here in 1685 and only left the city when he was 17. His birth house nowadays houses a museum. You stroll through the historical Old City which is one of largest in Germany and view and visit the Market Square with the Händel Monument, the Market Church with the death mask of Martin Luther and the Dome where Händel used to work as organist for one year before he left to London. Then we visit Naumburg: the late Romanesque and Early Gothic Cathedral of SS. Peter and Paul is one of Europe’s finest cathedrals. The twelve figures of founders, masterpieces by some anonymous Naumburg masters, are world-famed. The best known pair is Uta and Ekkehard. Overnight in Erfurt. (B,D)
Day 11: Leipzig, Torgau, Wittenberg
After breakfast we enjoy a scenic drive to visit the majestic city of Leipzig. We visit the Thomaskirche (St. Thomas Church) where Luther preached and Johann Sebastian Bach performed and directed the famous St. Thomas Boys choir. The next stop is Torgau: the city was the Saxonian residential city and political center of the Reformation in the 16th century. Martin Luther sanctified the Castle Church as the first Protestant church. The tombstone of Katharina von Bora, Martin Luther’s wife, can be found in St. Mary’s church. The only existing memorial for her is located in her last residence. Our lodging this evening will be in Wittenberg. Check-in to the hotel for overnight and dinner. The October tour will overnight in Leipzig instead of Wittenberg. (B,D)
Day 12: Wittenberg
For the October tour only we will transfer from Leipzig to Wittenberg so that we can take part in the activities of the Reformation Day. We also attend a Castle Church worship which will be shown on screens outside of the church as well. For all other tours enjoy a full day in Wittenberg. This is where Martin Luther lived and taught for 36 years. You will see the Castle Church door area where Luther posted his 95 Theses, giving birth to the Reformation. This beautiful church is also the burial site of Luther. We see the university where Luther taught and the Luther House which is the greatest museum of Reformation History in the world with a detailed history display of his life and accomplishments, historical documents and an outstanding collection of period paintings of his life and family members. The July tour will overnight in Wittenberg while the October tour will transfer to Berlin for overnight stay. (B,D)
Day 13: Berlin
We travel northeast to Berlin where we can enjoy a inspirational guided tour of this fascinating city including the Berlin Wall, Checkpoint Charlie, the Brandenburg Gate and many other sights. The highlight today will be a visit to the fabulous Pergamon Museum. One of the most popular attractions in Berlin, the Pergamon Museum is world famous for its archaeological holdings. The monumental highlights are truly breathtaking to behold, including the Ishtar Gate of Babylon from 6th century BC and the 2nd century BC Pergamon Altar. Also notable in this collection is the façade of the throne hall of King Nebuchadnezzar with artifacts from the earliest history of the written word, and an excellent collection of Islamic Art. There will be free time this afternoon for shopping and sightseeing on your own. Check-in to the hotel for overnight and dinner. (B,D)
Note: During the current stage of renovations in the Pergamon Museum, the hall containing the Pergamon Altar will be closed to the public for five years, due for reopening in 2019. The South Wing featuring the Market Gate of Miletus, the Ishtar Gate and Processional Way from Babylon, as well as the Museum of Islamic Art, remains unaffected and will be open to the public during this time.
Day 14: Departure
We transfer to Berlin Airport and return flight. (B)