The cradle of the Reformation - In the footsteps of Martin Luther
Venture through Thuringia and Saxony and experience the dramatic beginnings of the Reformation in the years 1517 to 1525 and its influences on world history as we visit the most important sites pertaining to this movement. An introduction into Luther's theology, his understanding of the bible and his Doctrine of Justification will also play an important role. We will delve into his tumultuous epoch marked by upheaval and transition from the Middle Ages to the Modern Ages, showing the influences that affect us even today.
Upon arrival in Berlin, you meet your tour escort who will accompany you throughout your journey. You begin your journey with a sightseeing tour – featuring the city center with the Kaiser Wilhelm Church, Nikolai Quarter, Unter den Linden, Checkpoint Charlie, the Brandenburg Gate, Reichstag and Charlottenburg Palace. Dinner and overnight Berlin. D
Following breakfast you board the coach for your drive south through the lovely German countryside into the "Lands of Luther" to Wittenberg. From 1508, Wittenberg was the main workplace of Martin Luther. You visit Luther Hall, the Augustinian monastery where Luther lived as a monk and later, in 1525, as owner with his wife and family (Luther Hall is the largest museum of Reformation history in the world), the Market Square and Town Hall; tour All Saints Church "Schlosskirche", famous site where Luther posted his 95 Theses on the Castle Church door sparking the beginning of the Reformation (it is here that Luther is buried alongside his fellow reformer, Philipp Melanchthon); tour St. Mary's Church, where Luther did the majority of his preaching and the Melanchthon House. Dinner and overnight Wittenberg. B, D
Note: Due to construction works, both churches can only be viewed from outside until 2017.
Torgau - Leipzig
After breakfast you continue your journey and drive southward to Dresden along the Elbe River. On the way you visit Torgau: the city was the Saxonian residential city and political center of the Reformation in the 16th century. Martin Luther sanctified the Castle Church as the first Protestant church. The tombstone of Katharina von Bora, Martin Luther's wife, can be found in St. Mary's Church. The only existing memorial for her is located in her last residence. Then you continue to Leipzig, where Luther preached and Bach served as cantor. You visit the magnificent St. Thomas Church, St. Nicolai Church and the Market Square with its fine Renaissance buildings. In 2012, the famous St. Thomas boys' choir commemorated its 800th anniversary. Dinner and overnight Leipzig. B, D
Eisleben - Erfurt
In the morning you continue on to Eisleben and tour the houses where Luther was born in 1483 and where he died in 1546. You then continue to St. Peter's Church where Luther was baptized, St. Andrews Church where Luther preached his last four sermons and where his body was laid in state. Continue on to Erfurt for dinner and overnight. B, D
Following breakfast we tour Erfurt, the spiritual home of Martin Luther. It was here that Luther obtained a degree in 1502 and a doctorate in philosophy in 1505 and where he took the decisive step to turn to theology and the monastic life. Our walking tour begins in the historical section of the city including St. Mary's Cathedral, where Luther was ordained as a priest, the Augustinian Monastery with a permanent exhibit depicting Luther's life as a monk in Erfurt and to the church of St. Severus, where Luther preached his sermons. Dinner and overnight Erfurt. B, D
Eisenach - Frankfurt
Following breakfast, drive to Eisenach to visit St. George's Church where St. Elisabeth was married and J.S. Bach baptized. You 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. The next stop takes you to the magnificent Wartburg Castle for 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. In the afternoon, you board the coach for dinner and overnight Frankfurt area. B, D
Transfer to Frankfurt airport and departure. B
Program changes possible for logistical reasons.