Day 1 :
Departure from North America
- Flight to Frankfurt:
Enjoy full meal service on your scheduled wide-bodied flight to Frankfurt.
Day 2 :
Frankfurt – Worms – Heidelberg Area
- Meet Your Guide:
We will be met at the airport by our WorldStrides Tour Director, board our own private coach and transfer to our hotel. En route, we will stop in Worms, a city closely associated with Martin Luther because it was here that Luther appeared before the 'Diet of Worms' in 1521 and, on refusing to retract his beliefs, was banished from the Empire.
- Cathedral & Luther Monument:
We will visit the Romanesque Cathedral and view the Luther Monument before continuing to Heidelberg, the heart of the Romanticism, celebrated by German writers and one of Europe's intellectual centers.
- Old Quarter Walking Tour:
This evening we will explore the Old Quarter on a Walking Tour.
Day 3 :
Heidelberg Area – Rothenburg – Nuremberg Area
- Walking Tour:
En route from Heidelberg to Nuremberg we will visit the walled city of Rothenberg. As we pass a succession of cobbled streets, historic houses and fountains on our Walking Tour we will soon be immersed into the 16th century.
- St. Jakobskirche:
We will visit the St. Jakobskirche, a beautifully constructed 14th century Gothic church. We will have the opportunity to view one of Germany’s most precious works of art, Tilman Riemenschneider’s Holy Blood Altarpiece, painted in 1504.
Then we will visit Franziskanerkirche, another Gothic church with a beautiful wooden altarpiece, The Stigmatization of St Francis, thought to be the work of Tilman Riemenschneider.
Day 4 :
Nuremberg (Holy Roman Empire)
- Walking Tour of the Old Town:
When Nuremberg adopted the Reformation in 1525 it was the first important town in the Holy Roman Empire to do so. It was also the scene of Hitler's September parades and of the trails of Nazi war criminals after Germany's defeat. Our guide will take us on a Walking Tour of the Old Town, where we will also see the beautiful Schöner Brunnen in Hauptmarket. Meaning ‘Beautiful Fountain,’ this carving epitomizes the woodworking of the region. The fountain pool has a wonderful Renaissance grille that includes the famous golden ring.
- Imperial Castle:
Then we will visit the Imperial Castle in Kaiserburg, used by the emperors of the Holy Roman Empire when traveling to the area.
- St Lorenz-Kirche:
Next we will visit St Lorenz-Kirche, a most amazing building with sculptures adorning the main entrance, the pillars of the nave and hanging from the main altar. The rest of the afternoon will be ours to explore and shop in this lovely city.
Day 5 :
Nuremberg Area – Coburg – Eisenach – Erfurt Area
- Veste Coburg:
Making an early start, our journey today takes us to the Bavarian town of Coburg where Martin Luther stayed for six months in 1530. Here we will visit the Veste Coburg, one of the largest fortresses in Germany where we will see the room in which Luther hid for six months after being expelled from the empire. Originally built in the 11th century, the castle was remodeled in the 16th and 17th centuries.
Upon our arrival in Eisenach, we will visit Lutherhaus where Martin Luther stayed as a schoolboy.
- Wartburg Castle:
We will visit Wartburg Castle, a mighty fortress that dominates the Eisenach skyline from its perch high above the town, where, while Luther was imprisoned, he translated the New Testament from Greek to German. We will explore the 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 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. We will continue on toe Erfurt for the evening.
Day 6 :
Lutherstadt Wittenberg (Capital of the Reformation)
- Walking Tour:
Today we will explore the beautiful city of Lutherstadt Wittenberg, the capital of the German 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 that 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.
- Marienkirche (St. Mary’s Church):
Marienkirche (St. Mary’s Church), the parish church where Luther often preached and was married. 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 7 :
Erfurt Area – Frankfurt
- 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. During our visit we will also see Luther’s cell, where he worked during his time at the Monastery.
- Merchants’ Bridge:
We will also walk past Merchants’ Bridge, famous for being the longest bridge in Europe with inhabited houses across its entire length.
- St. Mary’s Cathedral:
Before departing the city we will see the Monastery and visit St. Mary's Cathedral where Luther was ordained. Dom St Marien is a beautiful Gothic church from the 14th century with the main body of the church from the 15th century and houses one of the largest medieval bells in the world. Of particular interest are the stained glass windows, which are some of the oldest in Germany, and the Walfram, a large Romanesque candelabra shaped like a man.
- Walking Tour of the Frankfurt’s Hauptwache:
Our journey this afternoon takes us to Frankfurt where we will take a Walking Tour of the Hauptwache, the hub of Frankfurt. Its centerpiece is a beautifully reconstructed building and the Hauptwache, originally a baroque structure from 1730 served as a sentry house.
We will visit Kaiserdom, used for the coronation of German kings from 1356 and of Holy Roman Emperors from 1562. Built on the site of a Carolingian chapel over three centuries, Kaiserdom is dedicated to patron saint Bartholomew and Charlemagne with masterpieces of Gothic art.
- Farewell Dinner:
We will enjoy a Fare we ll Dinne r together this evening as we celebrate the end of a wonderful tour.
Day 8 :
Departure from Frankfurt
- Fly Home:
Our enjoyable and rewarding tour will come to an end as our WorldStrides Tour Director accompanies us to the airport for our return flight home.