Germany Reformation & Imperial Europe Tour

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13 Days




Day 1: Departure
Overnight flight to Munich

Day 2: Arrival
Arriving in Munich, we transfer to Augsburg with the remaider of the day free.

Day 3: Augsburg, Nuremburg
This morning, we travel north to the ancient city of Augsburg, the place where the Augsburg Confession was presented. Our morning drive will allow for time to rehearse this important document and digest the tremendous meaning it has as the basis for much of our doctrine today. It was also 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). Our lodging and dinner this evening will be in Nuremburg.

Day 4: Romantic Road, Rothenburg,Heidelburg, Worms, Frankfurt
Early this morning we travel the panoramic "Romantic Road" and visit the best preserved medieval town in all of Europe, Rothenburg. We see the quaint Rathaus (town hall) with its tower, have free time for coffe and shopping in the many delightful shops. You may choose to visit on your own the Kriminal-museum, housing all manner of Medieval instruments of torture. Next, 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 dinner and the evening in Frankfurt.

Day 5: Eisenach,  Erfurt  
This morning we travel to 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. A castle tour includes Luther's apartment, a chapel and lovely panoramic scenery. This afternoon we spend time in nearby Erfurt, where Luther attended the university. A highlight will be the Augustinian Monastery where he spent his early years as a monk. You will find it interesting and uplifting to hear how his studies brought him to his understanding of scripture. We end our day in Erfurt for dinner and overnight.

Day 6: Erfurt, Eisleben, Berlin
Leaving Erfurt we visit Eisleben which is noted among the most significant 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 Eisleben.  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.  Continuing on to Berlin, we enjoy a guided tour of this fascinating city including the Berlin Wall, Checkpoint Charlie, the Brandenburg Gate and many other sights. We stay in Berlin for dinner and two overnight stays.

Day 7: Wittenberg, Leipzig
We continue the Reformation Trail today with a visit to Wittenberg where Martin Luther lived and taught for 36 years. You will see the Castle 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 return to the beautiful city of Leipzig, Bach's city, and a visit to St. Thomas Church where Bach was choir master and organist.  We return to Berlin for dinner and overnight.

Day 8: Berlin - Dresden - Prague
This morning we depart Southwest for the border of Germany and the Czech Republic. Before arriving at the border we stop for free time in Dresden. One of Germany's most beautiful cities, Dresden was virtually destroyed during the night of 13/14 February 1945, when Allied Forces mounted a vast carpet-bombing raid on the city. We have free time in the city center where meticulous restoration work is in progress to return the city centre to its former glory. We have lunch and free time before traveling south to Prague. After hotel check-in and dinner, enjoy an independent evening walking tour of this beautiful city which is even more impressive by night; all of the buildings are illuminated and appear to be out of a movie set. Walk across the St. Charles Bridge for a view of the city from a unique angle. It is not surprising to learn that Prague was the major filming site for the movie, "Amadeus".

Day 9: Prague
This morning we take a nice introductory tour of Prague including the Old Town. This afternoon is at leisure for independent sightseeing and shopping before Dinner on your own. Following our dinner we enjoy an Evening River Cruise pointing out the famous sights along Prague's river front.     

Day 10: Prague - Budapest
We depart Prague this morning and travel south stopping in Bratislava on the way. We then arrive in at capital of Hungary; Budapest also named "Paris of the East", where the remainder of the day will be yours at leisure to explore the city or just relax in your hotel.  

Day 11: Budapest - Vienna
Situated on the opposite banks of the Danube River, the former cities of Buda and Pest are linked by a series of graceful bridges. Our morning sightseeing tour includes visit to Castle Hill area, Royal Palace to visit the Budapest History Museum, then the Fisherman's Bastion, a Medieval Castle whose walls were guarded by the guild of fishermen. In the afternoon we make our way west entering Austria to the Musical Capital of Vienna. Upon our arrival in Vienna we are transported into the heart of the Hofburg Dynasty.

Day 12:  Vienna
This morning following breakfast we visit one of Europe's most renowned cathedrals, St Stephens.  We then have a panoramic city tour viewing Vienna's most famous historic sights including the Ringstrabe, with its magnificent buildings, the State Opera House, Parliament, etc.  We then visit Hofburg Palace, residence of the Hapsburgs and home of the famous Spanish Riding School.  The highlight of touring today will be a visit to Schöenbrunn Palace and the royal apartments. We then have a final farewell dinner in a local Vienna restaurant.

Day 13: Depart for home
We have an early morning departure from Vienna arriving home the same day.

Pricing: Please call for price information.

Price Includes:
Tourist class and moderate first class accommodations, breakfast and dinner daily, luggage handling in hotels (1 piece per person), expert guide throughout, entrances and transportation as appear on itinerary, modern transportation.

Not Included:
Gratuities, meals not listed, airfare, optional travel insurance.
Special rates for airfare will be available 10-11 months prior to departure.

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