Please note this itinerary is copyrighted.
Key: IF = In Flight Meals, B= Breakfast, D = Dinner
Day 1: Sunday, September 3, 2017: Overnight Flight to Berlin, Germany
Our journey begins with an overnight flight to Berlin. (IF)
Day 2: Monday, September 4, 2017: Arrival in Berlin
Welcome to Germany! On arrival in Berlin, we will meet up at our centrally-located Berlin hotel. There will be time to freshen up and relax from our flight. Frank Drinkhouse will be available to lead an optional leisurely walk in Berlin. Tonight we will get to know the rest of the group at our Welcome Dinner. (B/D)
Day 3: Tuesday, September 5, 2017: Berlin
We will have a free morning to either relax or explore independently. Frank will take an optional tour to the Pergamon Museum. Our afternoon city tour will include a stop at the famous Brandenburg Gate for photos. We will also see the Cathedral, the Reichstag building and the lively boulevards, followed by visits to WWII Topography of Terror Museum and Cold War Check Point Charlie Museum. The rest of the day is at leisure to explore independently (B)
Day 4: Wednesday, September 6, 2017: Wittenberg
This morning we will travel to Lutherstadt-Wittenberg where we will be based for the next two days. It was here in 1517 that Martin Luther nailed his famous 95 Theses that sparked the Reformation. We will spend time in the Lutherhalle (Luther House) Museum, where Luther lived first as a monk, then later with his wife and children. We’ll be able to view some of Luther’s very own personal library, rare manuscripts, and early Bibles. The tour will also include Castle Church, Stadtkirche St. Marien (St. Mary’s church) where Luther preached and where his children were baptized, and the Luther Oak where he burned the edict from Rome, condemning him as a “heretic”. We will attend the evening service with the Wittenberg English Ministry, then dine in a local restaurant. (B/ D)
Day 5: Thursday, September 7, 2017: Wittenberg
Today is a free day in Wittenberg, the “Cradle of the Lutheran Reformation”, to attend worship (in German) and explore on our own. Wittenberg is a delightful town on the banks of the Elbe with a variety of activities. You can rent a bike, stroll along the “Luther Way” footpath or enjoy coffee and cake in one of the many outdoor cafés. Wittenberg’s main street is known as the Cultural Mile, as back in Luther’s day, the university attracted many of Europe’s inventors, philosophers and intellectuals. Art lovers will enjoy Cranach’s Courtyards, which commemorated the work of Lucas Cranach, the Reformation artist and printer. Melanchthon’s House has a fascinating exhibition about the life of Luther’s fellow Reformer Philipp Melanchthon. (B)
Day 6: Friday, September 8, 2017: Eisleben, Erfurt
This morning we will continue to the little city of Eisleben, which is sometimes referred to as Luther’s Bethlehem and Jerusalem. Our first port of call will be the house where little Martin was born on November 10, 1483. The next day he was baptized in the nearby church of St. Petri-Pauli. This old gothic church has currently been beautifully restored to celebrate baptism as a Christian institution. By some strange twist of fate Martin returned to Eisleben as an old man, his purpose being to settle a dispute within the ruling family of the area. After three weeks he finally succeeded, but sadly one day later, on February 18, 1546, he died. We will visit the museum devoted to his memory and take a look around the church where he gave his last sermon. Then we will drive through the Thuringian countryside to Erfurt. We spend two nights in his Augustinian Monastery, which is now a Christian hotel. We will be able to see Luther’s monastic quarters, including one cell furnished to look as it would have done when he lived there. At the end of the tour we will have a group worship service in the chapel. This evening we will dine in the “Luther Cellar” restaurant with a traditional meal from his time. (B/D)
Day 7: Saturday, September 9, 2017: Erfurt
This morning is free to explore Erfurt or relax in the monastery. In the afternoon, our guide will take us on a walking tour including St. Mary’s Cathedral, St. Severin’s Church and the famous Merchant’s Bridge. Frank will lead an optional excursion to the Buchenwald Concentration Camp. The evening is free to dine at the restaurant of our choice. (B)
Day 8: Sunday, September 10, 2017: Eisenach, Leipzig
In 1521, while fleeing from the wrath of the Pope, Luther took refuge in the Wartburg Castle after a fake kidnapping staged by his friend and protector, Frederick the Wise. We will tour the Wartburg and see where Luther finished translating the New Testament into German in just eleven weeks. Luther spent time in the nearby town of Eisenach at as school boy and sang in the choir of St. George’s Church, where the Bach family also worshiped. The afternoon is free to explore the town or tour the Bach Museum and Luther House Museum. Then we will continue on to Leipzig. (B/D)
Day 9: Monday, September 11, 2017: Leipzig
Today we will explore one of Europe’s flourishing trade and commercial centers during the Middle Ages which became the center of resistance to Communist rule a quarter century ago. Here we have the privilege of visiting the Nikolaikirche (St. Nicholas Church), the home of the faithful “Pray for Peace” Christians, and the powerful force that transformed Germany’s East and West. In 1989, thousands of East Germans gathered by candlelight in this church to form human rights and pro-democracy demonstrations that led to the destruction of the infamous Berlin Wall and the dissolution of East Germany. Another Leipzig highlight is our visit to Thomaskirche (St. Thomas Church), where Luther preached and Johann Sebastian Bach performed and directed the famous St. Thomas Boys choir. We will have lunch at one of Luther’s favorite places, the Auerbachs Keller restaurant, which dates back to 1525. The rest of the day is at leisure. (B/ L)
Day 10: Tuesday, September 12, 2017: Torgau, Spreewald, Berlin
Our first stop this morning is Torgau, the political center of the Reformation. We will visit Hartenfels Castle and see the “Luther and the Princes” exhibition, the chapel that Luther consecrated in 1544 and Katharina von Bora’s grave. We will then continue on to Spreewald to have a relaxing guided boat tour on one of the traditional barges. The ferryman will explain the nature and culture of the this picturesque area on the way. We will share highlights of the tour at our Farewell Dinner and check into our hotel in Berlin. (B/D)
Day 11: Wednesday, September 13, 2017: Return
Today we will transfer to the airport for our return flight home. (B)
This is a Reformation Tours itinerary, sold with permission by Special Group Tours.
What are accommodations like?
Our hotels are chosen for their quality, amenities and proximity to areas of interest. Whenever possible, we choose hotels in town centers, so that you are able to go off and explore in your free time. It may be necessary for us to substitute hotels for others of equal quality. You will be fully informed of any changes that affect you. Enjoy your stay!
September 4-6, 2017
Mövenpick Hotel Berlin
Schöneberger Strasse 3
September 6-8, 2017
Best Western Stadtpalais
06886 Lutherstadt Wittenberg
September 8-10, 2017
Augustinian Monastery or similar
September 10-12, 2017
Radisson Blu Hotel
September 12-13, 2017
Spreewald Inn Hotel
Please arrange to be in Berlin on the morning of July 27, 2017. If you would prefer to arrive earlier, we can arrange a pre-tour hotel nights in Berlin. We can either assist you with flights or you can book your own. Please ensure we have a copy of your flight itinerary for our records as soon as you have booked it.
September 3, 2017: Please arrive in Berlin in the morning, preferably before 10 AM.
September 13, 2017: You can depart from Berlin at any time.