BERLIN TO GENEVA
Luther's Germany, Zwingli's Zurich
and Calvin's Geneva
14 Days - April thru November
Day 1: Depart
Enjoy your overnight flight to Berlin with dinner en route.
Day 2: Berlin
Upon arrival this morning, we will be
met and taken on a tour of Berlin. View the remains of the
Wall, drive by Brandenburg Gate, famed Television Tower, Victory Column,
Emperor William Memorial Church, Parliament Buildings, Check-point
Charlie, Gestapo Headquarters and other sights before checking into our
lodging. The remainder of the day is free for you to explore on
your own and rest a bit before dinner.
Day 3: Pergamon
Today we go back in time to the
spectacular ruins of Ancient Babylon built by King Nebuchadnezzar, including
the Temple of Pergamon and the monumental Ishtar Gate. This
fascinating museum will give a new focus to God's decreed total
destruction of the most remarkable city ever built. This afternoon we
continue on to
our lodging for the next two nights in Halle.
Day 4: Wittenberg,
We begin today, the Reformation Trail
to Wittenberg where Luther lived and taught for 36 years. You will see
the Palace Church door 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. This afternoon we visit the beautiful city of Leipzig, Bach's
city, and a visit to St. Thomas Church where Bach was choir master and
Day 5: Eiselben.
Leaving Halle we visit Eisenben which
is noted among the most signifcant in Luther's history; he was born here
in 1483 and died here in 1546 and old manuscripts indicate that he felt
a special affinity to Eisenben. We will see the house of his birth
and death, St. Andrews Church where he preached his last sermon, the
Luther Monument, and St. Anne's Church with the famous Biblical scenes
hewn in stone and many other sites. Additional places of interest
will be found in nearby Erfurt, where Luther attended the university. A
highlight will be the Augustinian Monastery where he spent his early
years as a monk. We will overnight in Erfurt.
Day 6: Eisenach,
Our day begins in Eisenach,
birthplace of Johann Sebastian Bach. It was here at the formidable
Wartburg Castle that Luther, under "house arrest", translated the New
Testament into the German language in 1523. We then tour on through
scenic Thuringer Wald to view
the fortress of Coburg know as Veste, the place of Luther's imprisonment in 1530. Time permitting, you
may want to pay a visit to nearby Goetz Factory, where the world famous
Hummel figurines are made. Your day will end at a restful hotel near Wurzburg,
where a well deserved supper and lodging for the next two nights awaits.
Day 7: Heidelburg,
This morning 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.
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.
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 11: 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 12: 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 13: 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 14: Depart
Geneva for USA.
Arrival back in our home town is scheduled for mid-afternoon.