Sample Reformation Trail Tour
Reformation Trail Tour Length: 13 days
Bible Verse for the Reformation Trail: “Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God” (Romans 5:2).
THEME: “God’s Grace Is Sufficient”
The official start date of the Reformation of the Christian church was All Saints Day, November 1, 1517. That’s the day Martin Luther attempted to begin a debate in the church in Wittenberg, the point of departure on the Reformation Trail. The debate was about “indulgences,” the purchase of blessings from God for the deceased with money. Luther nailed his points of contention, the “95 Theses,” to the door of Castle Church. The rest is history. The Reformation Trail tour will explore that history by visiting all of the relevant sites in Germany, and providing instruction all along the way
concerning the gift that came along with the struggle: The rediscovery of the free gift of God’s grace thru the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.
REFORMATION TRAIL ITINERARY
Day 1 – Welcome to Germany! We’ll begin down the Reformation Trail in our hotel in Berlin around 5 p.m. for a “Welcome to Germany” meeting and enjoy our first meal together at a local eatery.
Day 2 – Berlin Today, we’ll focus on Berlin, capital of reunited Germany. We’ll see the elegant Ku’damm, the restored Reichstag, Charlottenburg Palace, a picture stop at monumental Brandenburg Gate and the Holocaust Memorial, and the 210-foot Victory Column in the vast Tiergarten Park. We’ll visit the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, drive along Unter den Linden Boulevard, seeing the State Opera House and Checkpoint Charlie.
Day 3 – Wittenberg Today, we’ll journey to Wittenberg, Martin Luther’s home for 30 plus years. We’ll take a guided walking tour and visit the Reformation Museum, the Luther House, St. Mary’s Church where he preached, and Castle Church where he nailed his 95 Theses to the door. We’ll participate in a worship service here before visiting Philip Melancthon’s home, Martin Luther’s Tomb and the Luther Memorial Statue.
Day 4 – Leipzig This morning we’ll proceed to Leipzig. Here we’ll see St. Thomas Church where Johann Sebastian Bach spent 27 years as choirmaster, and where Luther preached. Also we’ll visit the market square that today is a site for celebrations and festivals but once was the scene of executions and political demonstrations.
Day 5 – Eisleben & Mansfeld We’ll begin with a drive to Eisleben. Here we’ll have an orientation tour that features St. Peter and Paul Church where Luther was baptized on November 11th, 1483. He also preached his last sermon in Eisleben. Next, we’ll visit Luther’s Birth House Museum and the house where he died (Sterbehaus Museum). Luther’s death mask is among the displays. Next, we’ll make our way to Mansfeld where we’ll explore the school that Martin Luther attended, and Mansfeld Castle which is now Jugendburg, a youth education meeting place. We’ll overnight in Leipzig.
Day 6 – Erfurt & Eisenach We’ll begin our day with a stop at the Augustinian monastery in Erfurt where Luther became a monk in 1505. Next, we’ll drive to Eisenach, birthplace of Bach, and home to Martin Luther during his school years. First we’ll visit the Bach and Luther Monuments. Next, we’ll tour the Lutherhaus. Here, Luther lived from 1498 – 1501. Then we’ll visit the Johann Sebastian Bach Haus.
Day 7 – Wartburg Castle & Eisenach This morning, we’ll make the short journey to Wartburg Castle, situated on a 1,230 ft precipice overlooking Eisenach. In 1521, Martin Luther resided here in the aftermath of the Diet of Worms under the pseudonym, “Knight George.” While in residence he translated the Bible from Greek into German, and wrote several important doctrinal statements. Back in Eisenach, the balance of the day is at your leisure.
Day 8 – Marburg & Frankfurt Today, our eventual destination is Frankfurt. Along the way, we’ll stop in Marburg an unspoilt, spire-dominated, Gothic-Renaissance city on a hill. In 1529, Luther met with Zwingli at the Marburg Colloquy in an attempt to unite Lutherans and Zwinglians. The two reformers agreed on 14 of 15 doctrinal points, but could not agree on the interpretation of the Lord’s Supper. We’ll visit St. Elizabeth’s Church, where we’ll attend a worship service, and the Rathaus, where we’ll see the ancient mechanical clock. Finally, we’ll make our way to Frankfurt, where an orientation tour will introduce us to the city’s highlights.
Day 9 – Worms & a Cruise on the Rhine River In Worms, where the Imperial Council passed judgment on Luther in 1521, we’ll visit the cathedral where Luther presented his case to the Holy Roman Emperor and refused to recant his beliefs. It was here he proclaimed his famous words of resolution that literally changed the world: “Here I stand. I can do no other.” In addition, we’ll see Trinity Church and the famed Reformation Monument. Later, we’ll enjoy a scenic Rhine Cruise past castle-crested cliffs, terraced vineyards and half-timbered towns. We’ll enjoy an evening at leisure back in Frankfurt.
Day 10 – Coburg Today, we’ll make our way to Coburg where we’ll visit Coburg Fortress, one of Germany’s largest castles. Here Martin Luther lived under the protection of Elector John the Steadfast for several months during the Diet of Augsburg in 1530. The balance of the day is at your leisure.
Day 11 – Rothenburg, Augsburg & Munich Today, we’ll take the Romantic Road out of Coburg. Our first stop will be Rothenburg where, on a walking tour, we’ll see sites like St. Jacob’s Church with the renowned Blood Altar. Next, we’ll proceed to Augsburg where Luther met with Cardinal Cajetan, who demanded that he submit to the pope. In 1530, Luther and his followers proclaimed their faith in the “Augsburg Confession” in 1530. In 1555, the Peace of Augsburg was signed in the city hall, temporarily ending the Wars of Religion in Germany. In the afternoon we’ll make our way to Munich.
Day 12 – Munich We’ll begin our day with seeing the sites, including the Olympic Stadium, Nymphenburg Palace, Marienplatz and the Gothic Frauenkirche. The afternoon is at your leisure to explore and shop. Tonight, we’ll celebrate our time together with Bavarian fare, three-courses with drinks, and live music at a traditional German restaurant.
Day 13 – Depart Munich for Home
Today our time together ends. You’ll have the opportunity to return home to share your story with family and friends or continue your adventure, gathering more memories!