Journey with CFT on a European tour that celebrates religious, cultural and musical history. Follow the spiritual journey of Martin Luther that triggered the Protestant Reformation. Be inspired by the faith of the Villagers of Oberammergau who perform the historical Oberammergau Passion Play. Celebrate the genius of the classical composers, many of whom composed music to the glory of God. Come join us for the Passion, music and faith — this is a holiday that will touch you soul and make your heart sing.
Music, Passion & Reformation - Oberammergau 2020
Music, Passion & Reformation - Oberammergau 2020
A Christian Tour Leader throughout your holiday
Return economy airfares to Europe
Quality accommodation with private facilities
Sightseeing as outlined and all entry fees include
Luggage assistance at hotels
On Thursday an evening flight from Australia (Perth, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane) takes us through to Dubai for an early morning arrival and where we have arranged for the hotel rooms to be ready on arrival.
Following an early morning transfer from the airport to the hotel on Friday you will have time for a shower and change in our hotel rooms that will be arranged to check in early. Later in the day we will have a guided tour of this amazing new city, resplendent with stunning skyscrapers and towers it is an architectural oasis in the desert. Tonight, enjoy a group dinner in a local restaurant overlooking the dancing fountain show.
Nicknamed “the City of a Hundred Spires” the historic city of Prague is renowned for its great beauty. Prague is famous for its glorious baroque buildings, but Art Noveau flourishes also adorn much of the architecture including grand arcades and riverside apartment buildings.
After checking into our centrally located hotel we will take an orientation walk through the neighbourhood with our local guide.
Our Sunday starts with worship at a local church and then we will further explore the “Golden City.“ Tour the Castle district and St Vitus Cathedral, cross the Vlatava River walking across the historic statue-lined Charles Bridge and enter the Old City. At the heart of its historic core and winding cobbled streets is the Old Town Square; soak up the beauty of the colorful baroque buildings, Gothic Tyn Church and medieval Town Hall with its Astronomical Clock, which gives an animated hourly show.
We finish up at the Jan Hus Memorial which commemorates the Czech priest and theologian whose work to reform the Catholic Church predated the Lutheran Reformation by a whole century.
Known as “Florence of the North” Dresden is arguably the most beautiful city in the whole of Germany. Prior to WWII it was called the “Jewel Box of Europe” due to its numerous baroque and rococo buildings and the priceless art and treasures lodged within its many museums and churches. Although Dresden was extensively bombed during the war, today much of the magnificent architecture have been painstakingly rebuilt and restored to its former glory.
We will visit the Semper Opera House, the vast Zwinger palace courtyard and the beloved Frauenkirche where we hope to join the noon prayer. When the magnificent church was originally built Johann Sebastian Bach was the first to play the famous Silberman organ.
From Dresden we travel to Halle, the birthplace of Georg Friedrich Handel. This stylish town has a long tradition of culture and music and hosts the annual Handel Festival. Our local guide will take us on a guided tour of the town centre including the Handel House Museum where the famous composer was born and grew up. We visit the Market Church where Luther preached three times, Handel was baptised and J.S Bach inaugurated the grand organ.
This church also houses Germany’s oldest Protestant church library including several Luther Bibles with handwritten notes from the Reformer and Luther’s death mask can be viewed in the crypt.
A full day in Wittenberg, the cradle of the Reformation, awaits us. In the morning we’ll tour the town where, on October 31, 1517, Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door of the Schlosskirche. Luther often preached here and, in his time, the Schlosskirche was the University Chapel and its doors were used as a bulletin board.
We will visit the “Lutherhaus” – it was here that Luther had his “Tower Experience” and first grasped the gift of grace by faith alone. In later years Luther lived here with his wife, Katharina von Bora, and their six children. This afternoon you can explore Wittenberg at your leisure – you will have special entry to various museums, so you can choose what you want to see and spend the most time at. Alternatively wander the old town, soak up the atmosphere and enjoy a coffee or ice-cream around the town square before re-joining the group. Return to Halle.
This morning we visit Leipzig, home town of the composer Johann Sebastian Bach. Bach spent most of his life in Leipzig and was the cantor for the Thomas Boy’s Choir for whom he composed a new cantata every Sunday. Enjoy a visit to Bach’s house to listen to a short harpsichord recital.
We will take a walking tour with a local guide and visit Bach’s grave at Thomas Church as well as view the Renaissance town hall, see the University with its reconstructed facade, and Gewandhaus concert hall. Leipzig played a significant role in instigating the fall of communism in Eastern Europe; in 1989 thousands of Leipzigers joined together in prayers for peace in the Nikolai Church and started marching along the ring road. This action garnered international media attention and is seen as one of the main contributing factors to the fall of the Berlin Wall just a few weeks later.
We head to Eisleben, the town where Martin Luther was born in 1483 and where he died almost 63 years later. Our tour takes us to the small museum of Luther’s birthplace as well as the churches of St Peter and Paul, where he was baptized, and St Andrews, where Luther preached his last sermon. We will visit the Luther Monument.
This afternoon we arrive in Erfurt, one of Germany’s most intact medieval cities. Erfurt’s University was founded in 1379 and Luther was its most famous student, studying here from 1501 before he joined the Augustinian Order. A guided walk through the beautiful Altstadt (Old Town) takes us to both the University and the Augustinian monastery which Luther called his spiritual home. As we will stroll through the little streets with their rich, timber framed buildings we will visit the market place, with its magnificent St Mary’s Cathedral, and cross the famed Merchant’s Bridge.
Dinner tonight will be in a local, “medieval styled” restaurant.
Today we will travel to Eisenach, home to the magnificent UNESCO World Heritage listed Wartburg Castle; it was here that Luther took refuge after refusing to recant his writings at the Diet of Worms. Luther’s defiance of the Pope and Holy Roman Emperor lead to his excommunication. Luther was declared an outlaw but found safe haven at Wartburg where he lived from 1521-1522. It was in the castle that Luther wrote the first translation of the New Testament into the German language.
Eisenach is also famous as the birthplace of Johann Sebastian Bach, widely regarded as the greatest of all composers of music for Christian worship. We will visit the Bach Museum where the highlight is the demonstration of historical musical instruments.
Mainz is the birthplace of Johannes Gutenberg, the inventor of a printing press that used moveable type. This new efficient press set off a media revolution across Europe and helped power the Protestant Reformation. We visit the Gutenberg Museum as well as the Gutenberg Monument. Records show the first Christian congregation in Mainz dates to 368 A.D and we will visit the historic Mainz Cathedral, construction of which began more than 1000 years ago.
This afternoon we travel south into Bavaria and arrive in Oberammergau in the evening.
This is the day we have long been anticipating, a chance to experience the unique event that is the original Passion Play. Since 1634 the Villagers of Oberammergau have performed the “Play of the Suffering, Death and Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ” once every 10 years in order to fulfil their solemn oath to God. In 2020 it will be the 47th time the Community of Oberammergau have performed the Passion Play that they have preserved throughout the centuries.
Our wonderful day will begin with Sunday worship and then a relaxed morning looking around the small village of Oberammergau. We will have a light lunch before the Passion Play starts in the afternoon (dinner will be served during intermission) Be prepared to be swept away by music and singing of breathtaking beauty, a memorable performance that takes you on an emotional journey. All in all, a truly marvellous way to spend a Sunday!
We farewell Oberammergau and travel to Salzburg, birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Enjoy a wander through the historic centre with our local guide – amongst the many pretty town houses and mansions we will also see Mozart’s birth place in Getreidegasse and his later residence. Salzburg is synonymous with music, from the beloved film “The Sound of Music”, to the great Festival Hall, to the bells of the Glockenspiel Tower (which sound out a Mozart melody).
Visit the historic and world famous Mirabell Gardens – the 18th Century Pegasus Fountain is best known for the “Do-Re-Mi” scene sung by Fraulein Maria and the Von Trapp children.
This morning we will drive out to the glorious Mondsee Lake and visit the baroque St Michael Basilica, made famous for the wedding scene in the “Sound of Music” movie. Enjoy picture postcard views as we travel through spectacular alpine scenery.
We arrive in beautiful Vienna in the afternoon.
Today is a chance to enjoy the glory of Vienna – whether you love baroque streetscapes, imperial palaces, artistic and musical masterpieces or old- world coffee-houses, Vienna offers something for everyone. This is a city of impeccable musical pedigree – as the Imperial Capital it drew such famous composers as Mozart, Brahms, Haydn, Liszt, Mahler, Strauss, Vivaldi and Beethoven, who first came to the city to study with Mozart and ended up living here for 35 years. A morning city tour will take us to see St Stephen’s Cathedral where Joseph Haydn sang as a choir boy, and in which Mozart was married in 1782. We will see the Vienna State Opera House and be amazed at the secular and ecclesiastical treasures as we tour the Hofburg Palace and its Imperial Treasury.
The rest of the day you can spend at leisure – explore the Museum Quarter and see the works of such artistic greats as Klimt, Van Gogh, Da Vinci and Rembrandt or enjoy people watching as you indulge in afternoon tea at a KaffeeHaus. Here you can try Vienna’s famous “Sacher-Torte,” a chocolate cake invented for royalty in 1832.
Tonight, our wonderful musical journey through Europe will culminate with a festive farewell meal accompanied by live chamber music
A morning at leisure and a chance to do some last minute souvenir shopping before we depart Vienna in the afternoon for a flight to Dubai.
Friday is a full day of leisure in Dubai. You might like to visit the famous Dubai Mall, explore the Gold and Spice Souks or choose one of the many optional tours (available on tour). Tonight, will be a fitting end to your holiday as we enjoy a dinner cruise along the historic Dubai Creek.
After breakfast we reflect on how blessed we have been to share such a wonderful time together. We will farewell members of our group before being transferred to the airport for our various flights home to Australia.
Morning arrival in Australia. Our holiday may be at an end but the people we have met, the places we have seen and the incredible experiences we have shared are sure to live on in our memories.
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