Day 1 :
Departure from North America
- Flight to Frankfurt:
Relax and enjoy our scheduled flight from North America to Frankfurt.
Day 2 :
Frankfurt – Worms – Heidelberg
- Arrive in Frankfurt:
Our 24-hour WorldStrides Tour Director will meet us at the airport and remain with us until our final airport departure.
We will have use of a private coach and driver, while touring for the next 9 days.
Visit Dom St. Peter (Worms Cathedral), towering physically and historically above all the other ancient buildings of the city. The basilica is a fine example of High Romanesque. Inside view the rosette window and the highly decorated 14th century side chapel of St. Nicholas, with its Gothic baptismal font and new stained-glass windows.
- Luther Monument:
View the Luther Monument, the world’s largest Reformation monument. At its center is a statue of Martin Luther, flanked by Frederick the Wise of Saxony and Philip of Hesse. It also features the names of other towns that played an important part in the Reformation.
- Continue to Heidelberg:
Heidelberg stretches romantically along the river Neckar in Baden Württemberg. Its picturesque character has inspired many artists and poets, including Goethe and Mark Twain. The city boasts a world-famous castle, as well as Germany’s oldest university. It also features one of the longest pedestrian zones in Europe, and a Baroque Old Town with lanes that are steeped in history.
- Philosophenweg (Philosopher’s Walk):
Enjoy a walk along the Philosophenweg (Philosopher’s Walk), built in 1871 on the slopes of Heiligenberg, and offering magnificent views of Heidelberg and the castle.
Day 3 :
Heidelberg (Castle and Churches)
Explore Heidelberg Castle, a dignified ruin and one of the finest Gothic-Renaissance castles in Germany. Enter into the Palace of Friedrich IV, which features the gallery of princes and kings of the German empire from the time of Charlemagne and the Chemist’s Tower, housing the Pharmaceutical Museum.
Visit the Church of the Holy Spirit, which was built on the site of an earlier Romanesque basilica, and was almost destroyed by fire in 1633. Ascend the tower for
an unrivalled view over the Old Town, from Neckar up to the castle.
Enter the Jesuit Church to enjoy the displays documenting the history of its construction and providing information about the Order of the Jesuits. The church also features a central altar painting, and is home to the Museum of Ecclesiastical Arts.
We will enjoy our evening meal together in a local restaurant.
Day 4 :
Heidelberg – Eisenach – Erfurt
Visit the Lutherhaus, where Martin Luther lived from 1498 to 1501. This picturesque half-timbered house is one of Eisenach’s oldest buildings, and is now a museum with fascinating multimedia exhibits detailing Martin Luther’s life and times, as well as his teachings.
- Wartburg Castle:
Explore Wartburg Castle to see the Lutherstube, the room where Luther lived and worked; the Neue Kemenate, which today houses an impressive art collection; and the Singing Hall, allegedly the scene of the famous minstrels’ contest in Wagner’s opera Tannhäuser.
- Continue to Erfurt:
We will continue to Erfurt (Area), our base for the next 2 night(s). Breakfast and dinner will be included at the hotel.
Day 5 :
Erfurt (Town of Luther’s Youth)
- Walking Tour:
Enjoy a Walking Tour of Erfurt’s Old Town. Its medieval structure has been largely preserved and is an important example of German town architecture. Explore the winding lanes, little squares and Europe’s oldest inhabited bridge, the Krämerbrucke (Shopkeepers’ Bridge).
Explore the Augustinian Monastery, where Martin Luther lived as a monk and read his first Mass, in 1507 having been ordained as a priest. The monastery dates back to the 13th century, and houses a rare book library and a Permanent Exhibition about the life of Luther.
- Dom St Marien:
Visit the St. Mary’s Cathedral, at the top of a broad staircase leading from the Cathedral Square. The cathedral boasts the world’s largest free-swinging bell, the Gloriosa, as well as an elaborate Gothic chancel with a series of impressive stained-glass windows.
- St. Severi-Kirche:
Visit the St. Severus Church, a triple-spired gothic church with five naves, dating from 1280. The church houses a remarkable 49ft-high sandstone baptismal font that reaches almost to the roof, as well as the sarcophagus of St. Severus.
Day 6 :
Erfurt – Weimar – Wittenberg
- Old Town Walking Tour:
Take a Walking Tour of Weimar’s Old Town, featuring several historic buildings from the Classical Weimar period that are now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. See the 16th-century Marketplace, the magnificent town houses, as well as the Royal Stables, the neo-Gothic Town Hall and the Baroque Duke’s Palace.
- Goethe National Museum:
Explore Goethe’s Garden House, bought by the poet in April 1776, only a few months after his arrival in Weimar. Whilst inside, visit Goethe’s “Little Earth Room”, as well as his study.
Visit Schiller’s House, where Friedrich von Schiller lived from 1802 until his death in 1805. Schiller wrote his last works here, including Wilhelm Tell. Explore the attic rooms which have been furnished as they were in Schiller’s day, and the museum that depicts the writer’s life and work.
- Continue to Wittenberg:
We will continue to Lutherstadt Wittenberg (Area), our base for the next 2 night(s). Breakfast and dinner will be included at the hotel.
Day 7 :
Lutherstadt Wittenberg (Capital of the Reformation)
- Walking Tour:
Take a Walking Tour of Lutherstadt Wittenberg, which will highlight many of the important buildings and landmarks of the town. These include: Schloss Wittenberg, built for Frederick the Wise; the Rathaus; Cranachhaus, the residence of the great painters Lucas Cranach the Elder and Younger; and Melanchthonhaus, the home of Martin Luther’s greatest ally.
- Schlosskirche (Castle Church):
Visit Schlosskirche (Castle Church), where Martin Luther posted his 95 Theses in 1517. The church contains the tombs of Luther, Melanchthon and Frederick the Wise.
- Marienkirche (St. Mary’s Church):
See St. Mary’s Church, (also known as Stadtkirche or City Church), where Martin Luther preached and married.
Visit Lutherhalle, a museum dedicated to Martin Luther and the history of the German Reformation. It includes a section on Reformation art, with works by Lucas Cranach the Elder and Younger.
Day 8 :
Wittenberg – Berlin (Memories of War & Division)
- Continue to Berlin:
- Museum Haus am Checkpoint Charlie:
Explore the Museum Haus am Checkpoint Charlie and view parts of the Berlin Wall, as well as an illustrated history of the Berlin Wall and the division it caused in the city and in Germany.
- Judisches Museum:
Spend time at the Jüdisches Museum, housed in an imaginative display of modern architecture, which itself conveys something of the tragic history of the millions of Jews who lost their lives in the Holocaust. The collection focuses on Jewish history and art, as well as the everyday life of Berlin’s Jewish population.
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 9 :
Berlin (East Berlin: A New Freedom)
- Reichstag (Elevator Ride and Observation Platform):
Visit the Bundestag, a building destroyed by the Allies in World War II, which today is again the home of the country’s parliament. A new glass dome designed by Sir Norman Foster crowns the modern version. Enter via the west gate for an Elevator Ride up to the dome, where a sweeping vista of Berlin can be seen from the Observation Platform.
- 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.
- Walking Tour of Unter den Linden:
Enjoy a Walking Tour down the famous Unter den Linden, one of Berlin’s most fashionable and important boulevards. Along the w alk, view the Deutsc he Staatsbibliothek, the Equestrian Statue of Frederick the Great, Humboldt- Universität, and the Deutsche Staatsoper.
- 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, and 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.
- Berliner Dom:
Visit the Berliner Dom (Berlin Cathedral), a modern cathedral destroyed during World War II, but fully restored to its original beauty.
Day 10 :
Departure from Berlin
- Fly Home:
Our rewarding and enjoyable tour comes to an end as our guide accompanies us to the airport on our final day.