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Art Treasures of Eastern Europe

Day 1 Departure from your airport
  • Relax and enjoy our scheduled flight from North America. Our 24-hour Tour Director will meet us at the airport and remain with us until our final airport departure.
Day 2 Arrive in Budapest
  • Budapest Budapest is a modern cultural city and the capital of Hungary. It consists of two parts, Buda and Pest, which are divided by the beautiful river Danube. Escorted by our Tour Director, we will be able to experience the city in the same manner as the local people.
  • Danube River Boat Tour Take a Boat Tour on the Danube River, a relaxing and scenic introduction to Budapest. Highlights of the trip will include Elizabeth Bridge, Chain Bridge, St. Anne’s Church, St. Elizabeth’s Church, the Centenary Monument, Margaret Bridge and the spectacular Houses of Parliament.
  • St. Stephens Basilica Visit St. Stephens Basilica, the largest church in the country, which took over 50 years to build. The bust above the main entrance is of King Stephen, Hungary's first Christian king. Inside the church, in the Chapel of the Holy Right, you can see Hungarian Catholicism's most cherished and bizarre holy relic, Stephen's preserved right hand.
  • Dinner this evening will be in a local restaurant.
Day 3 Budapest
  • Matthias Church Tour Matthias Church. Officially named the Church of Our Lady, it is the symbol of Buda's Castle District. The last two Hungarian kings (Habsburgs) were crowned in the church: Franz Joseph in 1867 and Charles IV in 1916. The church interior is decorated with works of two outstanding 19th-century Hungarian painters, Károly Lotz and Bertalan Székely.
  • Fisherman's Bastion Visit the Fisherman's Bastion which is a series of lookout towers built in the 19th century and which offer stunning panoramic views of the city.
  • Buda Castle Visit Buda Castle, the royal castle built atop a hill which is famous for its medieval, baroque, and early nineteenth century architecture. It was home to the long line of Hungarian kings from the medieval era.
  • Hungarian National Gallery Visit the Hungarian National Gallery, located in Buda Castle. Its collections cover Hungarian art in all genres, including the works of many nineteenth- and twentieth-century Hungarian artists who worked in Paris and other locations in the West, and houses Medieval, Renaissance, Gothic art, Baroque and Renaissance Hungarian art.
  • Old Town Walking Tour Enjoy a Walking Tour through the Old Town. Highlights will include the State Archives, Lord’s Street, Mihaly Tancsics Street, and Holy Trinity Square. We will also visit the Budapest Hilton where ruins and artifacts from the 13th century, uncovered during the excavations for the hotel’s construction, have been incorporated in its design.
  • Dinner this evening will be in a local restaurant.
Day 4 Budapest
  • Museum of Fine Arts Tour the Museum of Fine Arts in Heroes' Square, Budapest, facing the Palace of Art. The museum's collection is made up of international art (other than Hungarian), including all periods of European art, and comprises more than 100,000 pieces.
  • Heroes' Square Visit Heroes’ Square in Varosliget, or city park, and view the Millennium Monument, built in 1896 to commemorate the 1000-year anniversary of Hungary’s history.
  • Palace of Arts Visit the Palace of Arts, with its beautiful and colorful façade. This massive building is home to temporary exhibitions from around the globe.
  • We will have some free time for shopping and exploration. Dinner this evening will be in a local restaurant.
Day 5 Budapest - Aquincum - Vienna
  • We continue on our journey from Budapest to Vienna. En route, we will stop in Aquincum.
  • Aquincum Visit Aquincum, the remains of a Roman town which have been excavated. We will view outlines of temples, shops, baths and houses, in what was the center of the town. Our visit will also include the Museum, housed in a Neo-Classical Lapidarium, with objects found at or near the sight, including weapons and stone monuments.
  • Vienna Vienna was, for 600 years, the glittering capital of the Hapsburg Empire. Today it is the capital of Austria. Vienna has an incomparable musical heritage and is the city of Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Haydn, Brahms and Johann Strauss.
  • Old Vienna Walking Tour Stroll through Old Vienna on a Walking Tour that will include the Hoher Markt, where we will see Virgin Mary’s Wedding Fountain and an Art Nouveau clock; the Altes Rathaus, the former town hall; the old Chancellery of Bohemia; the Clock Museum; and St. Peter’s Church. Escorted by our Tour Director, we will be able to experience the city in the same manner as the local people.
  • This evening, dinner will be provided in a local restaurant.
Day 6 Vienna
  • St. Stephen's Cathedral Explore the Old City with a visit to St. Stephen's Cathedral, one of the greatest Gothic structures in Europe. St. Stephen’s is rich in woodcarvings, altars, sculptures and paintings. One of the paintings shows the scene of the double marriage between the Hapsburg, Bohemian and Hungarian dynasties in 1515 that laid the foundation of the Austrian Empire.
  • Kunsthistorisches Museum Visit the Kunsthistorisches Museum (Fine Arts Museum), housing one of Europe’s finest art collections compiled by the Hapsburgs. The collection includes great works from some of Europe’s finest artists, including Bruegel, Rubens, Durer, Hals, Rembrandt, Raphael, Caravaggio, Titian and Velasquez, just to name a few.
  • Prater Park Explore Prater Park, the city’s classic amusement park, complete with wonderful foods and the world-famous Ferris wheel (the cost of park rides at own expense)
  • This evening, dinner will be provided in a local restaurant.
Day 7 Vienna
  • Karlsplatz Spend time in Karlsplatz where we will visit Karlskirche, dedicated to St. Charles Borromeo, patron saint of the plague. This richly eclectic Baroque masterpiece is dominated on the outside by a massive dome and two columns, which were inspired by Trajan’s Column in Rome.
  • The Belvedere Explore the Palaces and Gardens of the Belvedere, the former summer residence of Prince Eugene of Savoy. The Belvedere consists of two palaces linked by a formal garden. The Museum of Austrian Baroque Art is housed in the elegant rooms of the Lower Belvedere. Explore the Orangery, which houses the Museum of Austrian Medieval Art, including Gothic and Early Renaissance paintings and sculpture.
  • Enjoy free time to explore Vienna at your leisure. This evening, dinner will be provided in a local restaurant.
Day 8 Vienna - Telc - Prague
  • Schönbrunn Palace Stop just outside the city center for a visit to the 1,441-room Schönbrunn Palace, which was designed for the Habsburgs before becoming the imperial summer palace during Maria Theresa's 40-year reign. It was the scene of great ceremonial balls, lavish banquets, and fabulous receptions held during the Congress of Vienna. (One of these included a performance by a 6 year-old Mozart.) Our tour will include the State Apartments and a stroll through the Imperial Gardens.
  • Telc We continue on our journey from Vienna to Prague. En route, we will stop in Telc. Telc lies at the midpoint of the old King's route from Vienna to Prague. Telc is the best-preserved Renaissance town north of the Alps, and was added to the UNESCO list of International Heritage Sights in 1993. We will have some free time for shopping and exploration.
  • Prague Prague is the capital of the Czech Republic, built on seven hills astride the Vltava River. The beauty of Prague is legendary; Goethe described the city as “the most precious stone in the crown of this world.” We will enjoy our evening meal together in a local restaurant.
Day 9 Prague
  • Church of St. Nicholas Visit the Church of St Nicholas, one of Prague’s most spectacular Baroque churches, completed in 1761. Ornately decorated; the church features statues, frescoes and paintings by the leading artists of the day.
  • Walking Tour of Old Town Square Enjoy a Walking Tour where we will step back in time and explore the tangle of quaint narrow streets surrounding the castle before crossing the ancient Charles Bridge to arrive at the Old Town Square and view the historic Town Hall, the famous astronomical clock, and the 14th century Tyn Church.
  • Old Town Hall Visit the Old Town Hall, established in 1338 after King John of Luxembourg agreed to setup a town council. The Town Hall became a site for executions and uprisings. We can ascend the Hall Tower where we will have wonderful views over the city and the Town Hall Clock.
  • St. Agnes's Convent Visit St. Agnes’s Convent in the Jewish Quarter. Founded by Agnes, sister of King Wenceslas I, the convent now houses the National Gallery’s collection of 19th century Czech art, depicting incidents from Czech myth and history as well as Romantic landscapes.
  • We will enjoy our evening meal together in a local restaurant.
Day 10 Prague
  • Prague Castle Explore Prague Castle, the spectacular centerpiece of the old city, founded in the 9th century. Inside the Castle we will visit St. Vitus Cathedral, the city’s most distinctive landmark, built in 1344 on the orders of Charles IV. We continue with a stroll down Golden Lane, one of Prague’s most charming streets; and conclude our afternoon with a visit to the Royal Palace, the seat of the Bohemian princes.
  • Sternberg Palace Visit Sternberg Palace, housing the National Gallery’s collection of European art. We will explore the gallery, which includes works by such masters as El Greco, Brueghel, Durer, Rembrandt, Tintoretto, Goya, Monet, Renoir and Picasso
  • We will enjoy our evening meal together in a local restaurant.
Day 11 Prague - Dresden
  • Dresden Today we will travel from Prague to Dresden. Dresden is a world-class city of art and culture, and has a long history as the capital and royal residence for the Electors and Kings of Saxony. It is located in a valley on the River Elbe and offers a host of impressive sights,with its award-winning modern buildings and the “Blue Wonder” bridge. Dresden was almost completely destroyed by the Allied bombings towards the end of World War II, but has undergone significant restoration work to reconstruct parts of the historic inner city.
  • Zwinger Palace Spend time at the Zwinger Palace, a massive, beautiful Baroque building, with a stunning inner courtyard surrounded by galleries. We will view the works in the Old Masters Gallery, one of Europe’s most impressive and important collections of Western European painting, including Raphael’s Sistine Madonna. We then continue onto the Rüstkammer, which exhibits armory and arms from the 16th century, before exploring the Albertinum and the Gemäldegalerie Neue Meister collection.
  • Walking Tour of City Center Enjoy a City Center Walking Tour, highlighting many of Dresden’s most important landmarks and monuments, including the Sächsische Staatsoper, the Hofkirche, the Residenzschloss, the Fürstenzug and the Frauenkirche.
Day 12 Dresden - Potsdam - Berlin
  • Potsdam We continue on our journey from Dresden to Berlin. En route, we will stop in Potsdam.
  • Sanssouci Park and Palace Explore Sanssouci Park and Palace. Enter the Schloss Sanssouci via the unforgettable steps surrounded by impeccable landscaping. View the Bedchamber and Study of Frederick the Great and the Hall of Marble. While exploring Sanssouci Park, see the magnificent Chinesisches Teehaus, a circular pavilion decorated with gilded statues.
  • Neues Palais Visit the Neues Palais, ordered by Frederick the Great, including the Palace, the Grotto and the Theater.
  • Bildergalerie Visit Sanssouci Park’s Bildergalerie, the first purpose-built gallery in Germany, which now houses a collection of Baroque paintings once owned by Frederick the Great (including works by Caravaggio, Reni, van Dyck and Rubens).
Day 13 Berlin
  • Bundestag Visit the Bundestag, home to the German parliament. The Reichstag building was damaged by fire in 1933 and further damaged by air raids and other destruction during World War II and fell into disuse. After the reunification of Germany in 1990 the building was rebuilt and renovated and the Bundestag, the new German Parliament, convened there for the first time in 19th April 1999. We will take an elevator up into the stunning Glass Dome to witness dramatic views both internally of the building and externally of Berlin.
  • Brandenburg Gate Spend time at the Brandenburg Gate, a triumphal arch, which stood in "no man's land" between East and West Berlin during the Cold War and became a symbol of a divided Germany. Enter the Room of Silence, built into one of the guardhouses, where visitors gather to meditate and reflect on Germany's past.
  • Neue Wache Stop to visit the Neue Wache, a monument to victims of Militarism and Fascism. The building, which stands back from the Unter den Linden, houses the mortal remains of the Unknown Soldier from the battlefields, and those of an unknown prisoner from a concentration camp.
  • Pergamon Museum Spend time at the Pergamon Museum located on Museum Island, the small island in Berlin's Spree River which was awarded UNESCO World Heritage Status in 1999. In the Pergamon Museum, explore the Department of Greek and Roman Antiquities, housed in the north and east wings of the museum. Enter the central hall to view the Pergamon Altar (180--160 BC), which is so large that it has a huge room all to itself; some 27 steps lead from the museum floor up to the colonnade.
  • We will enjoy our evening meal together in a local restaurant.
Day 14 Berlin
  • Berliner Dom Visit the Berliner Dom (Berlin Cathedral), a modern cathedral destroyed during World War II, but fully restored to its original beauty.
  • Unter den Linden Enjoy a Walking Tour down the famous Unter den Linden, one of Berlin’s most fashionable and important boulevards. Along the walk, view the Deutsche Staatsbibliothek, the Equestrian Statue of Frederick the Great, Humboldt- Universität, and the Deutsche Staatsoper.
  • Gemäldegalerie Visit the Gemäldegalerie (Picture Gallery), one of Germany’s finest art museums. Several rooms are devoted to early German masters, including the Dürer collection, as well as many of the great European masters, such as Raphael, Titian, Botticelli, Correggio, van Eyck, Bosch, Brueghel and Rembrandt.
  • Tiergarten Spend time in the Tiergarten, the largest green space in central Berlin, with more than 14 miles of meandering walkways, canals, ponds, and flowerbeds. View some of the park’s monuments, including the Victory Column, a golden goddess of victory perched atop a soaring red-granite pedestal. You may wish to take the opportunity to climb the 290-step spiral staircase to the 157ft Observation Platform (at own expense).
  • Dinner and Nikolaiviertel Tonight we will dine in a local restaurant. After dinner we will have time to explore the historic Nikolaiviertel (Nikolai Quarter), located on the banks of the Spree River and restored in time for the city’s 750th anniversary. This is where Berlin was born, and many of the medieval and baroque buildings in the neighborhood were authentically reconstructed after World War II.
Day 15 Berlin
  • Kaiser-Wilhelm Gedächtniskirche See the Kaiser-Wilhelm Gedächtniskirche (Memorial Church), which illustrates the destructive power of war. The church was damaged heavily during World War II and has been left in its damaged state as a reminder of war and its consequences.
  • Breitscheidplatz and the Kurfürstendamm Take a Walking Tour of Breitscheidplatz and the Kurfürstendamm, the center of former West Berlin. See the Kant-Dreieck (a building containing only right-angles), the Jüdisches Gemeindehaus, Fasanenstrasse, the Theater des Westens, the Ludwig-Erhard Haus and the spectacular Europa Center.
  • We will enjoy our evening meal together in a local restaurant.
Day 16 Berlin
  • Schloss Charlottenburg Visit Schloss Charlottenburg, one of the finest examples of baroque architecture in Germany. Built by Sophie Charlotte, the wife of Friedrich I, the residence was begun as a summer palace, but eventually grew into the massive structure it is today. See the Historical Apartments, including the apartments of Friedrich and his “philosopher queen,” as well as the Reception Chamber, decorated with frieze panels, vaulted ceilings and mirror-paneled niches, and the Porcelain Chamber, containing a fine collection of Chinese porcelain. Visit the new wing, known as the Knobelsdorff-Flügel, which contains the apartments of Friedrich the Great.
  • We will enjoy our evening meal together in a local restaurant.
Day 17 Departure from Berlin
  • Our rewarding and enjoyable tour comes to an end as our Tour Director accompanies us to the airport on our final day.