Oberammergau Martin Luther Pilgrimage and Passion Play Germany Tour
Oberammergau Passion Play Tour
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Day by Day
sundayNew York, Frankfurt
Today we will meet at JFK International airport for our connecting flights to Frankfurt, Germany via wide-body aircraft arriving the next day. Meals served on board.
Upon arrival in Berlin meet your tour escort who will accompany you the complete journey. Start your German stay with a sightseeing tour – highlighting the city center with the Kaiser Wilhelm Church,Nikolai Quarter, Unter den Linden, Checkpoint Charlie and the Brandenburg Gate, Reichstag,and Charlottenburg Palace. The remainder of the afternoon will be at leisure. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
This morning after breakfast we board the coach, driving south through the German countryside, past the remnants of the former East German border and into the “Lands of Luther” for Wittenberg, the main workplace of Martin Luther from 1508. We visit Luther Hall, formerly an Augustinian monastery and from 1525 domicile of Luther’s family and nowadays the largest Reformation history museum in the world. We also visit the “Schlosskirche”(all Saints Church) where Luther posted his 95 theses on the Castle Church doors sparking the beginning of the Reformation and sepulcher of Luther and his fellow reformer Philipp Melanchthon, tour St. Mary’s Church where Luther did the majority of his preaching and visit the Melanchthon House, renovated for the 500th anniversary of his birth and offering a rare
look into the life and works of this important humanist and reformer. We check in to our hotel for overnight and dinner.
wednesdayWittenberg, Leipzig, Eisleben, Erfurt
In the morning we travel through scenic countryside to Leipzig. Upon arrival we begin our tour the city on foot highlighting the Opera House, Gewandhaus Concert Hall, Moritzbastei, St. Nicolaus Church, Naschmarkt and Goethe Memorial, St. Thomas Church where J.S. Bach worked and now rests, and the Völkerschlachtdenkmal (Monument of the battle of the Nations). Then on to Eisleben, where Luther was born in 1483 and died in 1546. We visit the St. Andrew’s Church (Luther held his last sermons here) and Luther’s “Death House” (closed for construction works until spring 2012), walk across the Market Square through the old town to his “Birth House” and to the Church of St. Peter and St. Paul, where Luther was baptized. Continue on to Erfurt where we check into our hotel for dinner and overnight.
This morning we tour 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. Your walking tour begins in the historical section of the city including St. Mary’s Cathedral where Luther was ordained as a priest, Church of St. Severus, and the Augustinian Monastery with a permanent exhibit depicting Luther’s life as a monk in Erfurt. This afternoon we continue on to Eisenach to visit St. George’s Church where St. Elisabeth was married and J.S. Bach baptized. Then tour the Luther House where Luther lived as a student with the Cotta family from 1498-1501, and the Luther exhibition documenting his life and theologies. Today we will visit the Bachhaus Museum to enjoy a musical performance of historical instruments. The next stop takes you to the magnificent Wartburg Castle and take a tour of the Palas (Great Hall), Art exhibition, the Elisabeth Hallway and the Luther Room where “Junker Jörg” (the Knight George) translated the New Testament into German. Check into our hotel for dinner and overnight.
fridayEisenach, Worms, Heidelberg
Following breakfast drive to Worms, thought to be one of the oldest towns in Germany, where Luther was summoned in 1521 to appear before an Imperial Diet to justify his conduct. We visit the world’s largest Memorial to the Reformation and the Church of the Holy Trinity, Europe’s oldest Jewish cemetery, the Holy Sands and St. Peter’s Cathedral, located on the highest elevation of the inner city and one of the most exquisite examples of Romanesque architecture. We board the coach for Speyer and visit the Cathedral, the biggest historic architectural monument of its time and burial place of the Salian emperors. It is supposed to be the masterpiece of Romanesque architecture in Germany. Continue on to Heidelberg, a gorgeous town on the Neckar River, where romanticism is both past and present. We check into our hotel for dinner and overnight.
saturdayHeidelberg, Augsburg, Oberammergau
Our walking tour of Heidelberg includes the Old Town, the famous Stone Bridge over the Neckar River, the Heidelberg Castle (where the Heidelberg Confession was written in 1653), the Castle Church, German Apothecary Museum, and the Church of the Holy Ghost. Continue our drive through the lovely countryside of southern Germany to Augsburg, with its magnificent Renaissance buildings, dated from the 15th and 16th centuries. Martin Luther stayed at the monastery of St. Anna church in 1518, during his confrontation with Cardinal Cajetan. Visit the oldest social settlement on existence in the world “The Fuggerei”, founded in 1521 as a residential settlement for Augsburg citizens in need. Continue on to Oberammergau, located in the Bavarian Alps. Dinner and overnight in our accommodations.
sundayOberammergau, Passion Play
This morning is free to explore his quaint Bavarian town, site of the extravagant Oberammergau Passion Play. Gripped by war, poverty and plague, the villagers of Oberammergau, in Bavaria, vowed to put on a ‘passion play’ every ten years. That was back in 1633. They survived, and performed the first Oberammergau Passion Play in 1634. Ever since, their descendants have carried out that pledge.
This afternoon we join in with the villagers and become part of the tradition and history behind Passionsspieleas as we transfer to the theater. Here we enjoy the Passion Play performance which has a running time of approximately five hours with a three-hour intermission for dinner. While watching the play (performed in German) we will experience the last hours of our Lord’s Life in a way that makes it more meaningful than we ever dreamed possible. Return to your accommodations for overnight.
Following breakfast board the coach for nearby Neuschwanstein Castle, one of Mad King Ludwig’s fantasy castles and surely the crown jewel of Bavaria Castles. Afterwards drive to Munich, the capital of Bavaria: Sightseeing tour by bus and on foot through Munich: Historic old city with its famous buildings and squares including the Marienplatz with the town hall and its “Glockenspiel” and the “Frauenkirche” (Church of our Lady) with its distinctive onion-topped towers. Enjoy a typical Bavarian dinner for your farewell. Overnight at our hotel.
We transfer to the airport for our flight home with unforgettable memories to cherish always. Knowing we have walked in the footsteps of the early Christians on such a memorable tour will bring new meaning to our Bible reading.
Day by Day
thursdayLos Angeles, Frankfurt
Today we will meet at the airport for our connecting flights to Frankfurt via wide body aircraft arriving the next day. Meals served on board.
When we arrive in Prague, our Tour Director will greet and escort us to our motor coach. We will begin our visit to Prague with a city orientation tour. Dinner and overnight in Prague.
Our local guide will join us this morning for a walking tour focused on Jan Hus, the leading personality of the Czech Reformation movement. We’ll visit Bethlehem Chapel where he preached, and see the Hus monument outside Tyn Church. We’ll also visit the Castle of Prague, which is a complex of palaces, courtyards, streets and churches including St. Vitus Cathedral, which took 600 years to complete. We continue our stroll to the Charles Bridge and finish our tour in the old medieval area of Prague, called Stare Mesto, with the monument of the Reformer Jan Hus, the Glockenspiel at the old town hall and the Baroque Church St. Nicolas. After lunch (not included) you’ll have free time for shopping or to explore the nearby famous Jewish district of Prague. This evening we will enjoy a wonderful Bohemian evening with folklore dance, entertainment and live music.
sundayPrague, Dresden, Berlin
Crossing into Germany, we will stop in the wonderful Baroque city of Dresden. Highlights include the magnificent palatial buildings around the Theaterplatz and the Brühl Terraces, and the many art treasures at the state museums. Germany's largest Protestant church, the Frauenkirche, has now been fully restored after being damaged during WWII. J.S. Bach was the first to play on the Silberman organ when the church was originally built. We will then continue on to Berlin for dinner and overnight.
This morning we join those arriving from the USA to start our Germany touring.