Great Cities of Music
https://worldstrides.com/itineraries/the-great-cities-of-music/

The Great Cities of Music

Munich, Salzburg, Vienna, Prague

Germany has long been a country of fascination, though the country itself is a fairly recent creation in Europe. From the noble heights of the Holy Roman Empire to the lows of WWII and the Nazi regime, the industrious people of Germany have emerged stronger than ever. This is a land that produced religious revolution, scientific and technological breakthroughs, and masterpieces of art and music – all while retaining a rich and unique cultural heritage. A mountainous and breathtakingly beautiful country, Austria is rich in cultural history, producing some of the greatest musicians (Mozart, Haydn, Liszt, Strauss), scientists (Doppler and Mendel) and psychologists (Freud). Austria will leave you smiling and understanding that the hills and cities really ARE alive with the sound of music and much more. The Czech Republic was established mere decades ago after the Velvet Revolution. With beautiful terrain, medieval castles, flowing rivers, and a warm citizenry, The Czech Republic is now one of the most prosperous post-communist states.

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Highlights

Your Adventure, Day by Day

Day 1 Departure from North America
  • Flight to Munich Relax and enjoy our scheduled flight from North America.
Day 2 Journey to Salzburg
  • Arrive in Munich Our 24-hour 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 seven days.
  • Herrenchiemsee Castle On the way to Salzburg, stop at Herrenchiemsee Castle, built on an island in Chiemsee by King Ludwig II of Bavaria. He wanted to build a replica of Versailles and emptied the coffers of 20 million marks to build this palace in which he lived only one week before his death.
  • Hotel check in Our hotel in Salzburg, will be our base for the next two nights. While here, we will enjoy breakfast at the hotel.
  • Dinner Enjoy dinner at a local restaurant.
Day 3 See Salzburg
  • Salzburg With its elegant squares and quaint streets Salzburg the famous Baroque city is a delightful introduction to the sophisticated world of arguably the greatest classical genius W.A. Mozart. During the course of our tour we will gain from the knowledge and insight of four half-day local guides while we are here in Austria.
  • Walking Tour Enjoy a Walking Tour through the Old City, a maze of meandering lanes, curious steeples, cobbled streets and spacious squares. Here we will view Mozart's Birthplace, the Old Square, the Cathedral, and the Residenz. A highlight of our walk will be the Glockenspiel, an early 18th century carillon with 35 bells. We can hear the bells from any one of the cafes lining the edges of the Mozartplatz, while sipping our favorite coffee or drink.
  • Hohensalzburg Fortess Take the Funicular up to the Hohensalzburg Fortress, the former stronghold of the ruling prince-archbishops. We will visit the elegant State Apartments; the Burgmuseum, with a magnificent collection of medieval art and many Gothic artifacts; the Rainermuseum, which exhibits arms and armor; and the beautiful late Gothic St. George's Chapel, with intricate marble reliefs of the Apostles. From the Watchtower view the panoramic sweep of the Alps and from the Kuenberg Bastion, views of the domes and towers of Salzburg.
  • Dinner Dine at a local restaurant.
  • First concert performance Your concert performance in Salzburg is today. Venue options include Mirabell Gardens of the Mirabell Palace or in Salzburg Cathedral (Domkirche). Additional venues are Herz-Jesu- Asyl Riedenburg, Stadtpfarramt Parsch, Altersheim Kreuzbrueckl, and American International School of Salzburg. The Franziskanerkirche (Franciscan Church) standing a few steps from the cathedral is another optional venue. Hohensalzburg is one of the largest fully preserved fortresses in central Europe. Another additional venue location is Mondsee Open Air Stage -a floating stage that is anchored at one end of Lake Mondsee, and is surrounded by the area’s natural beauty. The Wallfahrtskirche Maria Plain is a pilgrimage church famous for its relationship to Mozart as it was here he composed the Mass in F Minor for this very Church.
Day 4 Journey to Vienna
  • Travel to Vienna We continue on our journey from Salzburg to Vienna. We will stop in Melk en route.
  • Melk Visit Melk Abbey, one of the finest baroque buildings in the world. Our tour of the Abbey will include: the Marble Hall, which contains pilasters coated in red marble, and a richly painted allegorical picture on the ceiling; the Library with some 80,000 original volumes; and the Kaisergang (Emperors' Gallery), which is decorated with portraits of Austrian rulers.
  • 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.
  • Hotel check in Our centrally-located Vienna hotel will be our home for the next three nights. We will have breakfast at the hotel daily.
Day 5 Visit Vienna
  • 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.
  • State Opera House Spend time at the State Opera House, which was opened in 1869 with a performance of Mozart’s Don Juan.
  • Dinner Dinner will be at a local restaurant.
Day 6 Explore Vienna Deeper
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • City Park Explore City Park, where we can see the various monuments commemorating the Great Composers of the past.
  • Haus der Musik (The House of Music) An interactive discovery museum where visitors can conduct the Vienna Philharmonic from a virtual conductor’s podium (the musicians on the screen will tell you if you are up to par.) Journey back in time to see the great classical composers; and compose a waltz and have it played. A total of 5,000 square meters has been set aside exclusively for areas dedicated to a wide array of approaches to music.
  • Dinner This evening, dinner will be provided in a local restaurant.
  • Second concert performance Your concert performance will be today in Vienna. Venue options include St. Stephen’s Cathedral, the United Methodist Church, the Residence of the Canadian Ambassador and Haus Gustav Klimt. Other possible venues may include the Karlskirche, US Embassy, Perchtoldsdorf, and Medieval Fortress, Esterhazy Palace, or Schönbrunn Palace.
Day 7 Travel from Vienna to Prague
  • Arrive in 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.”
  • 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.
  • Charles Bridge Stroll across Charles Bridge, Prague’s most familiar monument, which is a haven for crafts and trinket stalls, and features spectacular statues of the Saints lining each side.
  • Tyn Church Visit the Tyn Church which has been the main cathedral of the city since the 14th century. It dominates the city skyline with its church towers and spires.
  • Hotel check in For the next two evenings we will enjoy the convenience of our centrally-located Prague hotel, where daily breakfast will be included.
  • Dinner We will enjoy our evening meal together in a local restaurant.
Day 8 Peer into Prague
  • City Tour During the course of our tour we will gain from the knowledge and insight of one half-day local guides while we are here in Prague.
  • Prague Castle Prague Castle is the most popular sight visited in Prague. It is the largest ancient castle in the world. Constructed in the 9th century by Prince Bo?ivoj, the castle transformed itself from a wooden fortress surrounded by earthen bulwarks to the imposing form it has today. Rulers made their own additions so there is a mixture of styles. The castle has three courtyards and it has always been the seat of Czech rulers as well as the official residence.
  • Vltava River Cruise The cruise offers a unique view of many of Prague’s most magnificent and important monuments and buildings. These include Hanavsky Pavillion, Old Town Bridge and Tower, the Smetana Museum, Vltava Weir, the National Theater, and the Church of St. Peter and St. Paul.
  • Dinner We will enjoy our evening meal together in a local restaurant.
  • Third concert performance Your concert performance is today in Prague. Sacred venue options include St. Vitus Cathedral, St. Nicholas Church The Church of Our Lady Before Tyn St. Francis Chapel, The Klementium, St. Giles’s Church, St. Thomas’ Church, Letensky Chateau, and the Hotel Olympic Garni. St. George’s Basilica or the church of St. Salvator. More secular venues include the National House at Vinohrady, Majakovsky Hall, Old Town Square, The Novotneho Lavka concert hall, The Boat Restaurant Marovia, Hlahol Concert Hall, Podebrady Spa or the Ramparts of Prague Castle are a place for a beautiful concert attracting large crowds.
Day 9 Final Farewell...
  • Departure from Prague Our rewarding and enjoyable tour comes to an end as our Tour Director accompanies us to the airport on our final day.