Come with us as we explore vast history and culture on a Germany and Austria tour, stopping along the way to commemorate the events and people who shaped the course of Christianity. You don’t need to identify with the Lutheran denomination to enjoy the beautiful country in which it was born. Martin Luther changed the future of Christianity for good, and his leadership through radical reform created Protestantism as we know it today. This 10-Day Germany and Austria tour begins with a flight to Munich and a lovely drive across the Alps to Vienna. Once we arrive in the city, our group will take a private tour of Schönbrunn Palace, the summer residence of the Habsburg family at the end of the 17th century and the home of Maria Theresa. Continuing on, we drive to the enchanting Vienna Forest, which had once been the hunting ground for the Habsburg dynasty and is now popular destination for the Viennese locals. We make our way on the Germany and Austria tour to Salzburg, the home of Mozart. Thanks to its numerous cultural and historical attractions, the charming city of Salzburg ranks as one of Austria’s most beloved cities. The movie The Sound of Music was filmed here and the real-life von Trapp family, who inspired the musical, lived just outside Salzburg. We visit Melk Abbey, a Benedictine Monastery with its famous library and the Marble Hall. This has been a spiritual and cultural center in Austria for over 1,000 years. Our Germany and Austria tour also includes a visit to the Hohensalzburg Fortress, Central Europe’s largest fortress still intact, which offers a beautiful panoramic view of the city. We also see Mozart’s House, also known as House No.9, the home where Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born in 1756. It is now a museum with three floors dedicated to his music and life in the Mozart home. Today our Germany and Austria tour concludes with a visit to the Salzburg Cathedral. Dominating the old town with its impressive two-towered façade, the Baroque cathedral was rebuilt in the early 1600s after it was demolished in a fire. This was the most important church of the time north of the Alps and inspired the architecture throughout the country.
Explore Fairy Tale Castles and Artistic Landmarks on Germany and Austria tour
Crossing into Germany, we travel to Munich, Nuremberg, Berlin, Oberammergau, Wittenberg and more. We also visit the fairy tale castles of Bavarian King Ludwig II: Neuschwanstein Castle and Linderhof Castle. Neuschwanstein was the inspiration and basis for Walt Disney’s famous Cinderella Castle. Surely the crown jewel of Bavarian castles, the interior of the castle had many modern amenities including running water, central heating, and even telephones. Linderhoff features a fabulous surrounding garden designed to mimic the grounds of Versailles. This was the king’s personal residence and the only large palace he lived to see completed. In Nuremberg, we walk the Historischen Meile (Historical Mile). This walking part of our Germany and Austria tour highlights the major architectural and artistic landmarks of this city from the late Middle Ages. As the foremost imperial city of the Middle Ages, Nuremberg came to be one of the largest and greatest cities in Europe. In 1525, Nuremberg became Protestant and was one of the first cities to make this change without an iconoclasm. However, because of its historic influence and economic prosperity, Nuremberg was taken over by the Nazi party in 1933 for their political rallies. While touring Berlin, unified Germany’s capital since 1990, we will see many sites remembering the Cold War and its effect on Berlin. The Brandenburg Gate is the only remaining city gate of Berlin since the wall came down in 1989, and it is now a symbol of unity in Germany. We stop at Checkpoint Charlie on our Germany and Austria tour, the most well-known crossing point during the Cold War from East to West Germany until the Berlin Wall fell. But there are still parts of the wall standing as a memorial to the former division of the country. Spanning a length of just over one kilometer, we see the longest continuous section of the Berlin Wall still standing: the East Side Gallery. We also see the Holocaust Memorial, created to honor and remember the six million Jews killed in the Holocaust. This memorial features the Field of Stelae and Information Centre documenting the terrible extermination of European Jews.
See How the Reformation Has Impacted Christianity
Once we reach Wittenberg, the center of the Reformation and Martin Luther’s home for more than 30 years, we take time on our Germany and Austria tour to see some of the places where it all began. At All Saint’s Church, we see the famous site where Luther posted his 95 Theses on the church door in 1517, sparking the beginning of the Reformation. It is here that Luther is buried alongside his fellow reformer, Phillip Melanchthon. We tour Luther Hall, the Augustinian monastery where Luther lived as a monk and later, in 1525, as owner with his wife and family. Luther Hall is the largest museum of Reformation history in the world, and contains the original rooms where Martin Luther lived. On our Germany and Austria tour, the historical sites through Wittenberg conclude with a visit to St. Mary’s Church, the oldest building in Wittenberg. This is where Luther preached the majority of his sermons, and the altar has reformation themes painted by Cranach the Elder. Luther’s wife, Katharina von Bora, is buried here. After some free time in Berlin, we return home to the U.S.A., full of wonderful memories of our historical Germany and Austria tour.