Monday, May 30
Depart the USA bound for Germany. Your travel advisor will help you select the best flight options for your situation
Tuesday, May 31
Upon arrival in Berlin, Germany, meet the local tour guide that will be with us throughout the tour. We'll then leave Berlin and head towards the small town of Wittenberg to visit Luther's home as well as St. Mary's Church - often considered the mother-church of the Protestant Reformation since both Martin Luther and Johannes Bugenhagen preached there. It was also the site of the first celebration of the mass in German rather than Latin. We'll also visit the Castle Church, sometimes known as the Reformation Memorial Church, as this is where the Ninety-five Theses were posted by Marin Luther. Pastor Paul will, of course, share many insights into the significance of these sites.
We'll have dinner and spend the night here in Wittenberg.
Wednesday, June 1
After breakfast, we'll continue to Eisleben, where Luther both started and finished his life. We'll visit St. Andrew's Church, where Martin Luther preached his last four sermons, and then the Luther House Museum.
We'll continue to Erfurt, Germany, where we have a local dinner and spend the night.
Thursday, June 2
We'll spend the day in Erfurt and Eisenach. In Eisenach, we'll first visit Warburg Castle where Luther translated the Bible into German. This castle was built in the Middle Ages and, more recently, was added to the World Heritage List by UNESCO, but between what was once the home of St. Elisabeth of Hungary and the place where Luther translated the New Testament into German.
We'll also visit the Augustinerkloster (or Augustinian Monastery) in Erfurt. Luther lived in this 13th-century monastery complex as a monk from 1505 until 1511. Interestingly enough, it now belongs to the Evangelical Church in Central Germany.
After another local dinner, we'll spend an additional night in Erfurt.
Friday, June 3
Today we'll head to Rudesheim with the last part of the journey, by river cruise, on the Rhine River. This is a small, wine-making town and is located in the Rhine Gorge under lofty Riesling vineyards. The landscapes are full of drama, where the high gorge walls plunge to the broad, island-studded river. This town holds many interesting sites ranging from Siegfrieds Mechanical Musical Museum to the Medieval Torture Museum.
We'll spend the night in Rudesheim.
Saturday, June 4
This morning after breakfast, it's off to Worms, Germany - famous for the Diet of Worms in 1521. This was an imperial diet (assembly) of the Holy Roman Empire called by King Charles V. This assembly is most memorable for the Edict of Worms, which addressed Martin Luther and the effects of the Protestant Reformation. Again, as in all of these sights, Pastor Paul will share various insights into the history of the reformation.
Later today, we'll head to Heidelberg, Germany, for dinner and a good night's rest.
Sunday, June 5
Heidelberg is a University town on the banks of the Neckar River in southwest Germany. Heidelberg University is Germany's oldest and one of Europe's most reputable universities and played a leading part in the Reformation, and the conflict between Lutheranism and Calvinism, in the 15th and 16th centuries. We'll spend time high on the hill at Heidelberg Castle where Luther spent time and defended his 95 Theses.
Then we'll make our way to Rothenburg, Germany for dinner and spend the night.
Monday, June 6
Today we will spend some time in Rothenburg. Known for its well-preserved medieval old town and a destination for tourists from around the world, it is also part of the popular Romantic Road through southern Germany. More recently, Rothenburg played a central role in the rise of Nazi Germany, and in March 1945, during World War II, German soldiers were stationed in Rothenburg to defend it. On March 31, bombs were dropped by 16 planes, but the US Army knew the historic importance and beauty of Rothenburg, so took control using artillery to protect this Medieval town.
Depart for Oberammergau, Germany, and spend the night.
Tuesday, June 7
Today we will spend the day exploring Oberammergau. This evening, we will attend the Oberammergau Passion Play, with a dinner at intermission.
The history of the Oberammergau Passion Play begins in 1633. In the midst of the Thirty Years’ War, after months of suffering and dying from the plague, the people of Oberammergau pledged to act out the play of the suffering, death, and resurrection of our Lord, Jesus Christ - once every 10 years.
Wednesday, June 8
Bidding a fond farewell to Europe, we return to the U.S.A. or extend your stay.