Martin Luther 500th Anniversary Tour
Ninety – Five Theses – 1517 to 2017
DAY 01: NORTH AMERICA/HAMBURG: Tour members will gather three hours prior to the departure to Europe. Dinner and breakfast will be served in flight.
DAY 02: HAMBURG/WITTENBURG: A morning arrival at Hamburg Airport where we are met by our tour escort and motorcoach. We begin with a panoramic tour driving through Hamburg and then through the German countryside to Wittenburg. Dinner and overnight.
DAY 03: WITTENBERG: This morning we visit Wittenberg, birthplace of the Reformation, city of Frederick the Wise who was patron and protector of Luther; who lived here from 1508 until his death. We will visit All Saints Church where Luther nailed in 95 Theses to the door and also contains the graves of Luther and Melanchthon. See the University where Luther taught, and visit Melanchthon’s House and the Luther House which is the largest and greatest museum of Reformation in the world. Dinner and overnight in Wittenberg.
DAY 04: BERLIN/MAGDEBURG: We’ll drive to Berlin; where we will visit the site of the famous Berlin Wall; the Brandenburg Gate crowned by the statue of Victoria, the Reichstag, Kaiser-Wilhelm Memorial Church, the famous boulevard “Unter den Linden”. We will visit the Pergamon Museum which contains the spectacular Pergamon Alter and Ishtar Gate of Ancient Babylon and St. Hedwig’s Cathedral, the Soviet War memorial and the restored Opera House. Continue to Magdeburg where 12-year-old Luther attended school; was exposed to the teachings of the Brethren of the Common Life, and in 1524, he preached and caused the city’s defection from Catholicism. Magdeburg became the first city to publish his writings. Dinner and overnight.
DAY 05: DESSAU/LEIPZIG/HALLE/EISELEBEN/MANSFELD: We drive south to Dessau where, on April 2, 1534, the Dessau Princes (Georg, Johann, and Joachim) professed the Reformation, where Luther preached before them and the citizens. We continue to Leipzig; our visit includes St. Thomas Church where Johann Sebastian Bach was organist and choirmaster. Continue to Halle; Luther stayed for the granting of an appeal to the Pope (Dispute of the Order of St. Augustin). Visit the Market Church of our Dear Lady and a special exhibit; showing Luther’s Bible with handwritten notes. Then to Eiselben visiting the houses of his birth (November 10, 1483) and death (February 18, 1546); the Church of St. Peter and St. Paul where he was christened, and St. Andrew’s Church where he preached. We’ll go on to Mansfeld; visit the school Luther attended. Dinner and overnight.
DAY 06: MANSFELD/ERFURT/EISENACH/WARTBURG/COBURG: We’ll visit the Mansfeld Castle which is now Jugendburg, a youth education meeting place. Then drive to Erfurt where Luther studied at the university and will include a visit to the Cathedral and Church of St. Severi’s. Then pay a visit to the important Augustinian Monastery built in 1277 and now beautifully restored; where Martin Luther was a monk from 1505 – 1511. Continue to Eisenach birthplace of Johann Sebastian Bach; we’ll listen to his marvelous music played on historic instruments. We will visit the Luther House museum then drive to Wartburg to visit the formidable Castle (built in the 11th century) where Luther found refuge during the Imperial Ban and where he translated the New Testament between 1521-1522. We will travel to the Coburg Fortress, one of Germany’s largest castles; where Luther lived protected for months in 1530. Dinner and overnight.
DAY 07: FULDA/MARBURG/WORMS: This morning we drive to Fulda, a center of religion and scholarship in the Franconian Empire. In the 18th century it was the residence of the Prince Abbotts and Prince Bishops and a university was founded. We will see the Town Castle, St. Michael’s Church and of course the Cathedral. On to Marburgand and the Marburg Castle where an attempt was made to solve a dispute between Martin Luther and Ulrich Zwingli over the Real Presence of Christ in the Lord’s Supper; taking place in October, 1529. The leading Protestant reformers of the time attended. Continue to Worms for dinner and overnight.
DAY 08: WORMS/HEIDELBERG/ROTHENBURG: Visiting Worms, city of the 1521 Edict, and an important center of the Reformation, we’ll see Monument to the Reformation and the Cathedral. In Worms; the Luther trail is where, standing before the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, he spoke his faith affirming proclamation…” Here I stand, I can do no other. God help me”. Continue through the beautiful Black
Forest region, past villages and Hansel and Gretel style cottages, on our way to the romantic city – Heidelberg, delightfully situated at the Rhine and Neckar Rivers. We’ll visit castle ruins, the University and the famous Stone Bridge. We will see the Red Ox Inn of “Student Prince” fame. Then to Rothenburg – dinner and overnight.
DAY 09: ROTHENBURG/ROMANTIC ROAD/AUGSBURG/MUNICH: This morning we begin in Rothenburg ob der Tauber, one of Europe’s finest preserved medieval towns. We will see the beautiful gateways and towers, imposing town walls and cobblestone streets as well as the Renaissance style Town Hall, before continuing along the scenic Romantic Road through medieval villages to Augsburg, where Luther stayed and where he defended his 95 Theses in the debate of 1518. While in Augsburg (October 7-10) the foundations were laid for the development of the Reformation and of the Christian Church. We will visit St. Anne’s Church of the Fugger, and see the Church of the Holy Cross. Continue to Munich for dinner and overnight.
DAY 10: MUNICH: Four Optional Day Tours to choose from:
1) Royal Castle of Linderhof and Oberammergau Day Tour from Munich
2) Royal Castle of Neuschwanstein and Oberammergau Day Tour from Munich
3) Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Tour from Munich
4) Berchtesgaden and Eagle’s Nest Day Tour from Munich
Dinner and overnight in Munich.
DAY 11: MUNICH/NORTH AMERICA: This morning we transfer to the Munich Airport for our return flight to the United States – the end of our memorable journey.