Grossmunster Church

Luther, Calvin, and the Reformation

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Your Adventure, Day by Day

Day 1 Departure from North America
  • Flight to Berlin Enjoy full meal service on your scheduled wide-bodied flight to Berlin.
Day 2 Berlin – Eisleben – Wittenberg Area
  • Luther’s Birthplace We will be met at the airport by our WorldStrides Tour Director and transfer to beautiful Brandenburg. We will visit the city of Eisleben, Martin Luther’s birth and death place. Our first stop will be a visit to Luther’s Birthplace, a UNESCO World Heritage Sites that has been transformed into a museum dedicated to the life and work of Martin Luther.
  • St. Peter and Paul Church Thenwe will visit St. Peter and Paul Church where Luther was baptized in 1483. We will see the remains of the original baptismal font, two 16th century altars, and tomb paintings, also from the 16th century. Then we will continue on to our hotel in Wittenberg.
Day 3 Lutherstadt Wittenberg (Capital of the Reformation)
  • Walking Tour Today we will explore the beautiful city of Lutherstadt Wittenberg, the capital of the Reformation. This small town was named after its most famous resident, Martin Luther, and enjoys a scenic position on the banks of the Elbe River. We will begin with a Walking Tour, which will highlight many of the important buildings and landmarks of the town, including Schloss Wittenberg built for Frederick the Wise, the Rathaus, Cranachaus, residence of the great painters Lucas Cranach the Elder and Younger, and Melanchtonhaus, home of Luther’s greatest ally.
  • Schlosskirche (Castle Church) During our walk we will visit Schlosskirche (Castle Church), where Luther posted his 95 theses in 1517. Originally built in the 15th century in late Gothic style, Schlosskirche was rebuilt in the 18th century following the Seven Year’s War. The door upon which Luther nailed his Theses was destroyed in a fire around the same time and was replaced with a bronze door decorated with Luther’s Theses. It was in this church that Luther’s funeral was held; hence, why Martin Luther’s Tomb is also here, which we will see inside.
  • Marienkirche (St. Mary’s Church) Our day continues to Marienkirche (St. Mary’s Church), the parish church where Luther often preached and was married.
  • Lutherhalle Then we are off to Lutherhalle, a museum dedicated to Luther and Cranach, where we can see the pulpit used by Luther at Marienkirche.
Day 4 Wittenberg Area – Erfurt – Eisenach Area
  • Augustinian Monastery Our first stop today is in Erfurt, the capital of Thuringia, where a city has stood since the 700’s. Our first visit is to the Augustinian Monastery, built in 1277, where Luther took his vows and lived in cloister from 1505-1511. Wewilltour the “Bible, Monastery, Luther” exhibit, during which we will see Luther’s cell.
  • Merchants’ Bridge We will also walk past Merchants’ Bridge, famous for being the longest bridge in Europe with inhabited houses across its entire length.
  • Wartburg Castle We will then continue on to Eisenach, dominated by Wartburg Castle, a mighty fortress and legendary castle perched high above the town;here,whileLutherwasimprisoned,hetranslatedtheNewTestamentfromGreektoGerman. Wewillexplorethe castle, which has strong associations with Martin Luther and Richard Wagner, including the Vogtei, which houses the Lutherstube, the room where Luther lived and worked; the Neue Kemenate, which today houses an impressive art collection; Begfried, a vast square tower crowned with a cross; St. Elizabeth’s Rooms, with its stunning mosaics; the Landgraves Chambers, the oldest section of the castle; and the Singing Hall, allegedly the scene of the famous minstrels’ contest in Wagner’s opera Tannhauser.
  • Luther and Bach Memorials Then we will view the Luther and Bach Memorials.
Day 5 Eisenach Area – Worms – Strasbourg Area
  • Luther Monument In Worms, Luther appeared before the 'Diet of Worms' in 1521 and, upon refusing to retract his beliefs, was banishedfromtheEmpire. Today’s sightseeing consists of visits to the Luther Monument and Dom St. Peter, towering physically and historically above all the other ancient buildings of the city. The Luther Monument, paid for by Lutherans from around the world, was built in 1868 to honor Luther and other major German reformers and is the largest reformation monument in the world.
  • Dom St. Peter The basilica is a fine example of High Romanesque architecture and the interior has a quiet elegance, with the rosette window and several memorial slabs and monuments, as well as the highly decorated 14th-century side chapel of St. Nicholas, with its Gothic baptismal font and new stained-glass windows. This is where Calvin defended himself against the Imperial Court.
  • Strasbourg River Cruise After a bit of free time to explore or shop in Worms, we continue to Strasbourg, the intellectual, cultural, and economic capital of Alsace. Upon arrival, we will take a River Cruise around Old Town.
Day 6 Strasbourg Area – Zurich
  • Walking Tour of Old Strasbourg This morning we will explore the city of Strasbourg, where John Calvin settled in 1538, after having been banished from Geneva. We will begin the day with a Walking Tour of Old Strasbourg, including covered bridges and towers from its former fortifications, plus many 15th- and 17th-century dwellings with painted wooden fronts and carved beams.
  • Place Gutenberg Ahighlight of our walk will be the stroll down rue des Grandes-Arcades southeast to Place Gutenberg, one of the city's oldest squares, and view the central statue by David d'Angers of Gutenberg, who perfected his printing press in Strasbourg in the winter of 1436 to 1437.
  • Cathedral of Notre Dame During our walk, we will visit Cathedral of Notre Dame with its astonishing Astronomical Clock, built on the remains of an early Romanesque church.
  • Musée de l’Oeuvre de Notre-Dame Our visit will include a tour of the cathedral and a visit to the Musée de l’Oeuvre de Notre-Dame, where the cathedral’s original sculpture and stained glass are housed.
  • Grossmunster Church We continue to Zurich, where we will visit Grossmunster Church, the mother church for the Reformation in Switzerland that was under the direction of Ulrich Zwingli. Zwingli was crucial to bringing the reformation to Switzerland, and his idea that if it is not stated outright in the Bible, then it is not part of the Christian faith, has served as a basis for all conservative Christian thought.
  • Fraumunster Church Our last visit today will be to Fraumunster Church for Chagall’s stained- glass windows.
Day 7 Geneva (Calvin & The Protestant Reformation)
  • Old Quarter Walking Tour Our morning commences with an Old Quarter Walking Tour, including a visit to the Cathedrale de Saint-Pierre, where in 1536 the people of Geneva gathered in the cloister and voted to make the cathedral Protestant. With a philosophy of austerity, they destroyed all of the altars, statues, and ornamentation in the cathedral, leaving only the pulpit and stained glass windows.
  • Temple de l’Auditoire We continue next door to the Temple de l’Auditoire, a Gothic church where Calvin preached, restored in 1959, just in time for Calvin’s 450th anniversary.
  • Promenade des Bastions Our morning concludes in the park, Promenade des Bastions, where will view the Monument de la Reformation. Built in 1917 along a 16th- century rampart beneath the walls of the old town, the monument represents John Knox, John Calvin, Theodore de Beze, and Guillame Farel, and, on either end, Luther and Ulrich Zwingli, the Pilgrim Fathers.
  • Red Cross Museum Our afternoon includes a visit to the Musee International de la Croix-Rouge et du Croissant-Rouge (The Red Cross Museum). The museum features magnificent and unique exhibits on the sweep and drama of the historic organization.
  • Farewell Dinner We will make our way back to Zurich, where we will complete our experiences with a special Farewell Celebration Dinner.
Day 8 Departure from Switzerland
  • Fly Home Our enjoyable and rewarding tour will come to an end as our Casterbridge Tour Manager/Guide accompanies us to the airport for the return flight home.