Following breakfast, we tour Worms. It is here during the Imperial Diet in 1521 that Martin Luther challenged the entire Roman Catholic establishment by his refusal to recant the great doctrines of Protestantism. It was also here that William Tyndale completed the printing of his English version of the New Testament in 1525 which he had begun in Cologne. After seeing St. Peter's Church and the symbolic Luther memorial near the town square, we continue to nearby and one of the most charming cities in all of the world - Heidelberg, the ancient capital of the Palatinate and home of Germany's oldest university. But most importantly, it was a stronghold of German Reformed Protestants beginning in 1560. One of the great confessional statements of the Reformation, the Heidelberg Catechism was produced here in 1563. Heidelberg Castle, a most impressive historic landmark of Germany, stands majestically overlooking the Neckar River. The structure, now largely in ruins, preserves numerous examples of Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque German architecture. Our lodging tonight will be in Strasbourg, France.
This morning we tour Zurich, the most prominent Swiss city. This is Ulrich Zwingli’s city. It was here in the Old City that Felix Manz was martyred in the Limmat River. We’ll visit the Grossmunster Church and its statue of Ulrich Zwingli, one of the most important Reformers. Following free time for lunch, coffee and chocolates, we will travel on to Constance, made famous by reformer John Hus. Return to Germany and overnight in Garmisch-Partenkirchen.
This morning visit the former concentration camp at Dachau located outside of Munich. Learn about the atrocities that took place at this location and what can be done to remember the victims. Continue north through the German countryside to Eisenach. The next stop takes you to the magnificent Wartburg Castle for a guided tour of the Palas (Great Hall), the Art exhibition, the Elisabeth Hallway, and the Luther Room where the New Testament was translated into German. Overnight in Eisenach.
We continue on the Reformation Trail today with a visit to Wittenberg where Martin Luther lived and taught for 36 years. You will see the Castle Church door area where Luther posted his 95 Theses, giving birth to the Reformation. This beautiful church is also the burial site of Luther. We see the university where Luther taught and the Luther House which is the greatest museum of Reformation history in the world with a detailed history display of his life and accomplishments, historical documents, and an outstanding collection of period paintings of his life and family members. Overnight in Dessau.
Arrive in Frankfurt this morning and begin sightseeing in nearby Mainz with commentary and a picture of the Gutenberg Monument dedicated to the German printing of the Bible. We also visit the Gutenberg Museum. Then onward to the Rhine River valley to enjoy a relaxing cruise along the most beautiful stretch past numerous castles and the famous Loreley rock. Dinner and overnight in Mannheim.
Enjoy a tour of Strasbourg, referred to as the “City of Hope” and “Refuge of the Righteous” by the Anabaptists. This is where John Calvin wrote his famous books on systematic theology and where Martin Bucer, another Reformation leader, helped bring in the Reformation. We will have a stroll around the city center to view the Cathedral of Strasbourg, St. Thomas's Church, and the charming “La Petite France” quarter. Continue south through the mountains of France and Germany and into Switzerland. Overnight in Winterthur (outside of Zurich).
This morning we travel to the top of Zugspitze which at 9,718 feet is the highest in Germany. Next, we visit King Ludwig II’s most luxurious former residence, the Neuschwanstein Castle. This magnificent castle is the inspiration for Disney’s Sleeping Beauty Castle. In the afternoon, a walking tour of Augsburg, the site of the Augsburg Confession, will bring to light the history behind much of our doctrine today. It was here in 1518 at St. Anne's Church that Luther met the pa-pal legate, Cardinal Cajetan, who demanded that Luther submit to the pope. Augsburg was also the site of another Imperial Diet (1530) and in the town hall, the Peace of Augsburg was signed in 1555 ending for a time the religious wars in Germany between the Catholics and the Protestants. Overnight in Augsburg.
In Eisenach visit 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 as well as the Bach Museum, the birth house of the famous composer Johann Sebastian Bach. Although he was born 200 years later than Luther he is the composer who influenced protestant music the most. This afternoon we spend time in nearby Erfurt, where Luther attended the university. A highlight will be the Augustinian Monastery where he spent his early years as a monk and the famed doors that he closed on his pro-testing friends after saying "You can see me today, but never again." You will find it interesting and uplifting to hear how the studies here brought him to his understanding of scripture. Our lodging this evening will be in Erfurt.
All our tours are custom designed to visit as many biblical or Christian historical places as possible. Most tours are typically 9 to 14 days in duration, but they can be more or fewer days depending on your specific needs. The following is just a sample of the type of Reformation tour you can expect with Adventure Bible Tours.
Travel to Berlin where we enjoy an inspirational guided tour of this fascinating city including the “East Side Gallery”, the longest continuous and still-standing section of the Berlin Wall, the infamous “Checkpoint Charlie”, the majestic main gate the “Brandenburger Tor” and nearby “Holocaust Memorial,” a memorial to the Jewish victims of the Holocaust. We continue on to the German Parliament (Reichstag) with a visit to the roof terrace, the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, the refurbished city center, and Gendarmenmarkt, Alexanderplatz, the famous boulevard “Unter den Linden”. Dinner and overnight in Berlin.