Protestant & Anabaptist
Church History

10 Days - Germany & Switzerland

March thru November | Customize this tour for your group.




Enjoy your overnight flight to Frankfurt with dinner en route.

You will arive in Frankfurt and travel by motor coach to 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 doctrines of Protestantism. It was also here that William Tyndale completed the printing of his English version of the New Testament in 1525. After seeing St. Peter's Church and the symbolic Luther memorial near the town square, you will 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. You will tour the castle, the Witches' Tower and Gardens. Overnight Wurzburg (2 nights)

After an early morning breakfast, 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 the university and see the Augustinian monastery where he spent his early years as a monk. This afternoon we visit Coburg to view another castle of Luther's imprisonment in 1530. To complete the day we will pay a visit to nearby Goetz Factory, where the world famous Hummel figurines are made. 

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 Alpine Village of Garmisch (2 nights).

This morning we tour King Ludwig II's most luxurious former residence, the famous Neuschwanstein Castle. Our next adventure will be a pleasurable stop at the renowned wood carving shop, Almdorf Ammertal at Bad Bayersoien. After lunch we take a brief trip to the little hamlet of Eibsee, where we ride a modern cable car 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!

Expect lovely scenery on your way to another 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. This afternoon we take an excursion into the Black Forest and a stop at Triberg, home of the cuckoo clock. The forest gets its name from the heavy stand of firs 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 waterfalls in Germany. This is definitely a "Kodak moment". You will then make your way to Zurich. Overnight in Zurich. 

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. It is important to note that many Anabaptist believers were martyred in Germany and right here in Zurich because of their unwillingness to join with the church of the Reformers. This afternoon we travel to beautiful Lucerne for free time in Old Town and a relaxing lake cruise. Overnight Lucerne.

Today you will take a leisurely drive from German to French speaking Switzerland and see along the way some of the most breathtaking 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 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 in 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 overnight.

Arrival back in our home town is scheduled for mid-afternoon.


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