The European Reformation – Faith-Based Travel (TL) - 2014 / 2015

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11 Day Tour from Berlin to Munich

The European Reformation – Faith-Based Travel
Luther's Erfurt and Wartburg Castle
Luthers Erfurt and Wartburg Castle
Augsburg, Germany
The Brandenburg Gate in Berlin serves as a symbol of peace and reunification of the city
The Brandenburg Gate is a former city gate and a main symbol of Berlin
Berlin is the capital of Germany and also its largest city
The historic Wartburg Castle in Germany
The Reichstag building is a historical building in Berlin, Germany that was built in 1894

Vacation Overview

A very special trip focusing on Martin Luther. Start in Berlin, visit the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church and take pictures of Brandenburg Gate and the Holocaust Memorial. In Wittenberg, visit the Luther House & Museum, and the Melanchthon House, a UNESCO World Heritage Site; also see the gothic St. Mary’s Church (where Luther preached), and the Castle Church. Continue to Leipzig, and visit the Thomaskirche, where J.S. Bach worked. Also included are visits to Luther’s birthplace in Eisleben; the Augustinian Monastery in Erfurt, where Luther lived as a monk; Eisenach’s Wartburg Castle, where Luther translated the Bible; Coburg Fortress, and Worms, where the Imperial Council passed judgment on Luther in 1521. Visit the cathedral where Luther presented his case, Trinity Church, and the famed Reformation Monument. In Mainz, visit the Gutenberg Museum, and a romantic Rhine Cruise is included in the prettiest part of the Rhine Valley. Next is the medieval walled town of Rothenburg, famous for its Christmas ornaments. Follow Luther’s footsteps to Nuremberg and visit the St. Lorenz Lutheran Church, and to Augsburg, where Luther and his followers proclaimed their beliefs. End in Munich and visit Marienplatz with its Old and New Town Halls. An optional excursion to King Ludwig’s Linderhof Castle and the Passion Play town of Oberammergau is available. In the evening, enjoy a farewell dinner at your hotel.

Welcome dinner with wine; guided sightseeing, visit Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church

Guided walking tour, visit Luther House and Museum and Melanchthon House

Walking tour, visit the Thomaskirche and the market square

Orientation, visit Luther's Birthplace Museum and Death House Museum, St. Andrew and St. Peter & Paul Churches

Visit the Augustinian Monastery and the Merchants’ Bridge

Guided visit of Wartburg Castle; see the Luther and Bach Memorials, Nikolai Gate, and visit Nikolai Church

Visit Coburg Fortress

Visit the cathedral, Trinity Church, and the Reformation Monument


Visit the Gutenberg Museum

Walking tour, visit St. Jacob’s Church

Walking tour, visit the St. Lorenz Lutheran Church

Guided sightseeing

Guided sightseeing, visit Marienplatz; farewell dinner with wine

Headsets throughout the tour

DAY 1Arrive in Berlin, Germany

Welcome to Berlin! At 6 pm, meet your Tour Director and traveling companions, then enjoy this evening’s welcome dinner with wine at your hotel. (Dinner)

Berlin is the capital of Germany and also its largest city The Brandenburg Gate is one of the most well-known landmarks of Berlin and Germany The Reichstag building is a historical building in Berlin, Germany that was built in 1894 The Brandenburg Gate in Berlin serves as a symbol of peace and reunification of the city 

DAY 2Berlin–Wittenberg

Sightseeing with a Local Guide in the once-divided metropolis includes the elegant Ku’damm, the restored Reichstag, Charlottenburg Castle, a picture stop at monumental Brandenburg Gate, the Holocaust Memorial, and the 21-foot Victory Column in the vast Tiergarten park. Visit the KAISER WILHELM MEMORIAL CHURCH with its bomb-damaged tower, drive along Unter den Linden boulevard, and pass the State Opera House and Checkpoint Charlie. In the afternoon, continue to Wittenberg, Martin Luther’s home for 30-plus years and birthplace of the Reformation. (Breakfast, Dinner)

The Brandenburg Gate is a former city gate and a main symbol of Berlin 
Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church

Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church

"During World War II, Americans soldiers in occupied Germany got a booklet called the “Pocket Guide to Germany” that explained the ins and outs of occupation. In 1944, it read: “Don’t forget that you’re ordered into Germany now partly because your fathers forgot so soon what the war was about last time.” The Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church in Berlin’s Charlottenburg district is the eternal reminder. It was an unremarkable late 19th Century church until the allies bombed it in 1943. After the war, Berliners protested plans to demolish it. Today, the ruins are a symbol of what Germany lost by letting itself be seduced by Nazism. They could have roped it off and slapped a plaque on it. Instead, they left it open, free to the city. You can walk through it, under it, look up at the shattered bell tower."
Checkpoint Charlie

Checkpoint Charlie

"It’s just a white shed and a stack of sandbags filled with concrete, a replica of Checkpoint Charlie. Visitors to this traffic island on Friedrichstrasse pose from two directions – west and east – because they’re standing on the old symbolic border of the two Berlins. Checkpoint Charlie was for diplomats, Allied military and foreign tourists wanting to get into East Berlin, and that’s the source of its mystique. Today’s Cold War buffs have to be content with photos by the 1960s-era replica shed, a browse through the private collections of the nearby Haus am Checkpoint Charlie – and maybe a visit to the Allied Museum in Berlin’s Zehlendorf district, where the original Checkpoint Charlie building is on display. The huge portrait photographs over Checkpoint Charlie of two soldiers – one American, one Soviet – symbolize the Big Brother military presence of Cold War Berlin."

DAY 3Wittenberg–Leipzig

Enjoy a guided walking tour of LUTHER HOUSE and MUSEUM, where Martin Luther and his family lived. This well-preserved place of Reformation relics includes Luther’s desk, his pulpit, and first editions of his books. Continue to nearby St. Mary’s Church, a twin-towered gothic church where Luther preached the Reformation, got married (1525), and baptized his six children, and see the Castle Church where Luther posted his 95 Theses against the sale of indulgences—and launched the Reformation in 1517 (sites closed for restoration work). Finally visit MELANCHTHON HOUSE, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where Luther’s closest friend and most successful co-worker Philipp Melanchthon lived and worked until his death. Without him the Reformation would certainly never have spread all over the country. Arrive in Leipzig and visit the THOMASKIRCHE, where J.S. Bach worked. It is the home of the St. Thomas Boys Choir and a place of musical creativity. Also visit the market square that today is a site for celebrations and festivals but that once was the scene of executions and political demonstrations. (Breakfast, Dinner)


Bach's Leipzig

"Johann Sebastian Bach was a lucky accident for Leipzig. In 1723, when the city sought a cantor for the Thomaskirche, the late gothic church in today’s Thomaskirchhof, Bach got the job only when the city’s first choice Georg Phillip Telemann refused. Their second choice turned out to be the best – and forever changed music history. "
The World Heritage List includes over 800 properties with cultural and/or natural heritage of global significance.

DAY 4Leipzig–Eisleben–Erfurt

Today, stop in Luther’s birthplace, Eisleben, and visit LUTHER’S BIRTHPLACE MUSEUM and LUTHER’S DEATH HOUSE MUSEUM, ST. ANDREW’S CHURCH, and ST. PETER & PAUL CHURCH. Later, drive to Erfurt, where the fine gothic and renaissance buildings evoke memories of the days of Dominican Master Eckhart and Martin Luther, who spent his student days here before embarking on his journey to Wittenberg. Highlight of the day is a visit to the AUGUSTINIAN MONASTERY, where Luther lived as a monk, and the MERCHANTS’ BRIDGE. (Breakfast)


DAY 5Erfurt. Excursion to Eisenach

This morning, enjoy a guided visit to WARTBURG CASTLE, where Luther translated the Bible. Also see the Luther and Bach Memorials as well as the Nikolai Gate, through which Luther had always passed when entering or leaving Eisenach during his travels, and visit the NIKOLAI CHURCH. Return to Erfurt. (Breakfast, Dinner)


Luther's Erfurt and Wartburg Castle

"In Erfurt, Martin Luther was an up-and-coming academic and monk; at the Wartburg Castle, he was a man on the run. Luther’s path from loyal monk to fugitive began, as legend has it, in a storm on the road to Erfurt, a booming city in his day, rich from trade in blue dyes, renowned for its university. Fear drove Luther to make a deal with St. Anne: “let me live, and I’ll become a monk.” True to his word, he entered Erfurt’s Augustinian monastery and stayed until 1511. It’s still there on Augustinerstrasse, where it houses a Luther exhibition and a little white, oak-beamed room called the Lutherzelle, a reproduction of the cell where the monk slept and prayed. Ten years later, after the 95 Theses, heresy trials and ex-communication, Luther’s allies hid him in Wartburg Castle, a medieval fortress high on a hill over the city of Eisenach. Disguised as “Junker Jörg,” he rapidly translated the New Testament into his folksy German vernacular, while cooped up in a small wooden room that’s the highlight of a visit to the Wartburg today."

DAY 6Erfurt–Coburg–Mainz

In Coburg, where Luther stayed in 1530 for the Imperial Diet of Augsburg, visit fascinating COBURG FORTRESS, one of the largest surviving medieval fortresses in Germany. (Breakfast, Dinner)

Augsburg, Germany 

DAY 7Mainz. Excursion to Worms & The Rhine Valley

In Worms, where the Imperial Council passed judgment on Luther in 1521, visit the CATHEDRAL where Luther presented his case, as well as TRINITY CHURCH and the famed REFORMATION MONUMENT. Later, enjoy a scenic RHINE CRUISE past castle-crested cliffs, terraced vineyards, and trim, half-timbered towns. Evening at leisure. (Breakfast)


DAY 8Mainz–Rothenburg–Nuremberg

This morning, visit the GUTENBERG MUSEUM in Mainz, where original copies of the Bible can be seen. Next is the medieval walled town of Rothenburg. During your walking tour, visit ST. JACOB’S CHURCH with the renowned Blood Altar. Afterwards, there is time to shop for Christmas ornaments, for which this picturesque town is world famous. Continue to Nuremberg, the first town to accept the Reformation in 1525. (Breakfast, Dinner)

Nuremberg is a city located in the state of Bavaria, Germany 

DAY 9Nuremberg–Augsburg–Munich

Your walking tour features the famous ST. LORENZ LUTHERAN CHURCH. Continue to Augsburg, where your guided sightseeing reveals the city where Luther and his followers proclaimed their beliefs. Arrive in Munich. (Breakfast)

"Munich, Germany

"Munich, Germany's Secret Capital"

"Munich is the only German metropolis that seems to have everything – wealth, beauty, prominence, fame. Some even call it Germany’s “secret capital.” Unlike Berlin, which some dub “architecturally challenged,” Munich bursts with historical buildings reconstructed after the devastation of World War II. Its grand Residenz, the former home of Bavarian kings, dominates the city center, which also boasts the flamboyant, gilded Cuvillié Theater. Nearby, the neo-gothic Neues Rathaus gives a medieval touch to the Marienplatz, the heart of Munich. "

DAY 10Munich

Sightseeing with a Local Guide of Germany’s “Secret Capital” includes the Olympic Stadium, 1,000-foot-high Television Tower, MARIENPLATZ with the Old and the New Town Halls, and the gothic Frauenkirche. An optional excursion to Linderhof Castle and the Passion Play town of Oberammergau is available. Tonight, enjoy a farewell dinner with wine at your hotel. (Breakfast, Dinner)

View Marienplatz in Munich, Germany 


"Promises to God are notoriously hard to keep. The townspeople of Oberammergau in the Bavarian Alps have not only kept their renaissance promise, they’ve turned it into euros and cents. Flashback to 1633. Oberammergau was a stop on the market road between Augsburg and Venice. When the plague hit, the town elders swore to heaven: Protect us and we’ll do a play about Jesus’ crucifixion every ten years. The first began in 1634. Today the village of Oberammergau lives because of theater. Half of the 5,400 residents break a leg in the Passionsspiel, performed in years ending in zero from May to October."

DAY 11Munich

Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (Breakfast)



Motorcoach with free Wi-Fi; boat cruise

Full buffet breakfast; 7 three-course dinners, including a welcome dinner in Berlin and a farewell dinner in Munich

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Years of Experience: 15 years

I have had the privilege of being a Tour Director for many years and even after all this time, there is still so much to share. I believe traveling is a learning experience. You learn about places, cultures, history, and of course, yourself. When traveling through Central and Western Europe, I love to help my groups learn by sharing what I know with them. What I love most is what they share with me. At the end of the trip, I have the feeling we have enriched each other's lives.

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UNESCO World Heritage Sites

The following UNESCO World Heritage Sites can be seen or visited on the The European Reformation – Faith-Based Travel:

  • Luther Memorials in Eisleben and Wittenberg
  • Upper Middle Rhine Valley
  • Wartburg Castle