Experience Germany & The Oberammergau Passion Play
After arrival at Berlin Airport, we will be met by our tour escort who will lead us to our coach. After checking in to our hotel, for those who would like to, we will explore Berlin, the capital of the reunified Germany, on a guided tour that includes all the important highlights like the Brandenburg Gate, the Reichstag (Parliament) and its cupola, the Nikolai Quarter, the impressive boulevard “Unter den Linden”, the Gendarmen-Market, Check-Point Charlie, and Berliner Dom (Berlin Cathedral). Time permitting, we will have the opportunity to enjoy exploring the city on our own after the city tour has concluded. In the evening, the group will come together for a welcome dinner. Overnight is in Berlin. After an early breakfast, we will travel to Lutherstadt Wittenberg where Martin Luther posted his 95 Theses on the door of the Castle Church. We will visit the Luther House, the town hall, the old city, and the Town and Parish Church St. Marien, which is the oldest building in Wittenberg. We will spend some time on our own exploring Wittenberg. Dinner and overnight are in Wittenberg. In the morning, we depart for Eisenach. Today, we will visit all of the “must see” of Eisenach city, including the Luther-House, and the St. George’s Church, where J.S. Bach was baptized, and St. Elisabeth was married. Next stop of the day is Wartburg Castle where Luther translated the New Testament from Greek into German. Next, we make our way to Erfurt for Dinner and overnight.
Visit Nuermberg: The Eyes & Ears of Germany
Today, we are in Erfurt and start with a guided walk through the Old City. Discover the Merchants’ Bridge (Krämerbrücke), the longest series of inhabited buildings on any bridge in Europe, the Fish Market, the Town Hall, the Merchant’s Church, the Luther Memorial, and the Anger Square, as well as exploring St. Mary’s Cathedral. We will visit the Augustinian Monastery with its dome and stained-glass window choir, as well as the room where Luther lived during his stay in the monastery. Afterwards, we will continue to Veste Coburg, one of the largest and best-preserved medieval castles in Germany. During the Augsburg confession, Luther took refuge and lived here for six months. After touring the fortress, we visit the Historical City. Dinner and overnight are in Coburg. Today, our first stop will be in Nuremberg. According to Luther, Nuremberg was “the eye and the ear of Germany” in those days, because there were 21 printing houses to publish news. We will have a walk through the Old Town, including Albrecht Dürer House and the churches, St. Lorenz and St. Sebald. The second stop will be Augsburg. It was here in 1518 at St. Anna’s Church that Luther met the papal legate, Cardinal Cajetan, who demanded that Luther submit to the pope. Augsburg was also the site of another Imperial Diet in 1530 at which Protestants presented their confession, which up to that time was the foremost doctrinal statement of the Lutheran church. In the town hall, the Peace of Augsburg was signed in 1555, ending for a time the religious wars in Germany between the Catholics and the Protestants. Dinner and overnight are in Augsburg.
Tour Munich and Oktoberfest
After breakfast, we drive south to Munich, where we enjoy a walking tour through the historic Old City of Munich. It consists of famous buildings and squares, including the Marienplatz with the town hall and its “Glockenspiel” along with the “Frauenkirche” (Church of our Lady) with its distinctive onion dome towers. And, of course, we will walk through the Viktualienmarkt. The rest of the day is free to enjoy Munich’s historic Oktoberfest and all the festivities! Dinner and overnight are in the Munich area. This morning we will make our way to Andechs where we will have the chance to visit the famous Andechs Monastery. During a guided tour, we will learn all about its history and also the brewery. Afterwards, we continue to Hohenschwangau and visit Neuschwanstein Castle. Neuschwanstein is the most visited castle of Germany, perched high up on a mountain in the beautiful landscape of the Alps. The shimmering white towers of the castle among the clouds are instantly recognizable to many and are the inspiration for Disney’s Sleeping Beauty Castle. To visit it is to step inside a fairy tale. In the evening, we continue to a small, picturesque village in the Alps which is known all over the world: Oberammergau, the “Passion Play village with heart.” We check-in at our hotel in the Oberammergau area and take a look at the Passion Play information in our rooms.
The Oberammergau Passion Play
Oberammergau is not only known for its World- Famous Passion Play, but also for its woodcarving craft and for its colorful and attractive frescos known as Lüftlmalereien. In the morning, we have time to explore the lovely village, the museum, the parish church, and a woodcarving workshop. Then we should take our seat at the Passion Play Theater for the early afternoon performance. All the actors, musicians, and singers as well as the backstage staff are either born in Oberammergau or have been residents for more than 20 years. Between the different scenes of the life of Jesus Christ we can admire “living pictures” – scenes from the Bible presented as still life. After 2.5 hours, it is time for a dinner break, which is waiting for us in a local restaurant. After dinner, we have the opportunity to stroll around in the village and to do some shopping. Later this evening, the second part of the play starts and will end at approximately 11:00 pm. We go back to our hotel in the Oberammergau area for overnight after the play. This morning we check-out of our hotel and transfer to Munich airport for our return flight back home. We return home the same day with wonderful memories of our unique experience in Germany!