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Germany and
Lutheran Heritage

Twelve Day Itinerary

Berlin ... Wittenberg ... Leipzig ... Buchenwald ... Erfurt ... Wartburg Castle ... Rothenburg ... Worms ... Heidelberg and Rhine River Cruise

Germany and Lutheran Heritage: Vacations

Germany and Lutheran Heritage

Twelve Days

Berlin ... Wittenberg ... Leipzig ... Buchenwald ... Erfurt ... Wartburg Castle ... Rothenburg ... Worms ... Heidelberg and Rhine River Cruise

Day One - Departure: Today we begin our journey to Germany.
Day Two - Berlin: On arrival in Berlin we will be met by our professional tour manager and escorted to our waiting motor coach. En route to our hotel, we will visit the home of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Lutheran pastor, theologian and martyr. His involvement in plans to assassinate Hitler led to his arrest in 1943 and execution in April 1945, just 23 days before Germany’s unconditional surrender. Later, we will check into our Berlin hotel for dinner and overnight.
Meals: Dinner
Day Three - Berlin / Wittenberg: Following breakfast this morning, our city tour will explore the sometimes tortured history of this fascinating city. We will experience many reminders of Berlin’s recent tragic past - the remains of the Berlin Wall, the place where Checkpoint Charlie once stood, the new Jewish Memorial, the elegant avenue Unter den Linden, the Brandenburg Gate - once symbol of the divided city, the Cathedral, Reichstag and the beautiful symmetry of Gendarmenmarkt. There will be free time for lunch, before we continue to Wittenberg for the next two nights.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day Four - Wittenberg: Today we begin our journey in the footsteps of Martin Luther, in the city where he lived and worked from 1508 to 1546 and which is regarded as the very Cradle of the Reformation. We will visit the Luther House, formerly the Augustinian Monastery, later the home of the Luthers and now the largest museum dedicated to the Reformation in the world. Our walking tour will continue to the Town Church, where Luther preached and the Castle Church, where he posted his 95 theses and where both he and Melanchthon are buried. The remainder of the day is free for individual sightseeing.
Meals: Breakfast

Day Five - Wittenberg / Leipzig / Buchenwald /  Erfurt: Today we will depart Wittenberg and continue our journey to Leipzig. On arrival our city tour will include all the landmarks of this vibrant city - St. Thomas Church, where Johann Sebastian Bach worked as organist and cantor for almost 30 years and where he was laid to rest, St. Nicholas Church, where the Monday Peace Prayers of the 1980’s played such a major role in the downfall of the Communist regime of East Germany, and the famous Gewandhaus Concert Hall. In the afternoon we will make a haunting visit to Buchenwald Concentration Camp, reminder of the darkest period of Germany’s recent history and now a memorial to the victims of Nazi terror. Later in the afternoon we will arrive in Erfurt for dinner and overnight.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day Six - Erfurt (Wartburg Excursion): Erfurt is one of Germany’s oldest towns, with a skyline dominated by the spires of its Cathedral and St. Severi Church. Our morning walking tour will include the 600 year old Kraemer Bridge, the Collegium Maius where Luther attended the university and the remains of the Augustinian Monastery, where he began his monastic life. Following free time for lunch, we will make the short journey to Eisenach to visit the Wartburg, one of Germany’s most ancient castles. It was here that Martin Luther lived in hiding as Junker Jörg for 10 months following the decree which declared him an outlaw after the Diet of Worms in 1521.  We will return to Erfurt in the late afternoon for an evening at leisure.
Meals: Breakfast

Day Seven - Erfurt / Rothenburg ob der Tauber: This morning we will leave the land of Luther and the Reformation, to drive to Rothenburg ob der Tauber, a medieval jewel where time seems to have stood still for 400 years. Still completely surrounded by its medieval fortifications Rothenburg takes us a step back in time. This afternoon our walking tour reveals the old world charm of this unique town, with its impressive City Hall, Market Square and magnificent St. James’ Church with the exquisite Holy Blood Altar, carved in linden wood by Tilman Riemenschneider.  There will be free time in the afternoon for further sightseeing and shopping, perhaps at the famous Christmas Shops of Kaethe Wohlfahrt, before dinner. Overnight in Rothenburg.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day Eight - Rothenburg ob der Tauber / Worms / Heidelberg: This morning we will visit Worms, where Charles V held the Imperial Parliament in 1521, which resulted in Luther’s excommunication. We will see the city’s magnificent Romanesque cathedral, the grounds where the Imperial Palace used to stand and the Reformation Monument, before continuing to Heidelberg for dinner and overnight.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Day Nine - Heidelberg (Rhine River Cruise Excursion): This morning we will visit Heidelberg’s most iconic landmark, the 600 year old Castle, whose spectacular ruin dominates the city and embodies the very symbol of German Romanticism. Following our guided visit, there will be a  little free time for an early lunch in the old town with Germany’s oldest university and the Church of the Holy Ghost. This afternoon we will drive to the banks of the Rhine River, where we begin our leisurely cruise along the most famous stretch of this mighty river from St. Goar to Rudesheim, past castles and ruined fortresses, which tell tales of medieval knights, robber barons and, of course, the legend of the Lorelei. You will have the opportunity to enjoy an early supper on your own during the cruise, before returning to Heidelberg later in the evening. Overnight in Heidelberg.
Meals: Breakfast

Day Ten – Heidelberg / Neuschwanstein / Oberammergau: Today we will journey south into the breathtaking scenery of the Alps to visit Neuschwanstein, the fairy-tale castle of ‘mad’ King Ludwig II of Bavaria.  It was here that the ‘Fairytale King’ attempted to re-create his images of medieval chivalry - so successfully that you will recognize the result as the model for Disneyland’s Cinderella’s Castle. Later we continue to Oberammergau for dinner and overnight.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day Eleven – Oberammergau: The Passion Play has been performed in Oberammergau since 1634.  It is a tradition which, although common throughout Europe at that time, largely disappeared over the centuries.  Except in this small Bavarian farming village, it not only survived more than 350 years, but became famous all over the world.  Oberammergau is also well-known for the traditional craft of wood-carving and for the frescoes decorating the village houses.  This morning will be free to absorb the unique atmosphere of this Alpine village, before the afternoon and evening performance of the Passion Play.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day Twelve – Munich: This morning we will be transferred to the Munich airport to begin our journey home. 

Germany and Lutheran Heritage: Text
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