Monday, September 24, 2012

Germany and the Czech Republic in July 2013

St. Thomas Church - Leipzig
Next summer I will once again be leading a 12-day tour to Germany and the Czech Republic. Not only will we visit significant places connected with the lives of Martin Luther and J. S. Bach, but we will also explore other sites that are important in the history of Germany. The journey begins with a few days in bustling Berlin. From there we will travel through Wittenberg, Leipzig, Erfurt, and Dresden, and then on to historic  Prague.

Along the way we will visit the home of "Hitler resister" Dietrich Bonhoeffer, explore the rich cultural opportunities in the German capital, tour the state-of-the-art Luther museum and other exhibits in the town he made famous, undertake a pilgrimage to the Wartburg Castle (and see its rich variety of religious relics and artwork), visit the Bachhaus museum in Eisenach (where we will learn about and listen to all things Baroque), experience world-class music at the St. Thomas Church in Leipzig and at the recently-renovated Frauenkirche in Dresden. There will be shopping and museum-exploring in Berlin and Prague, people-watching in various market places and town squares, eating wonderful meals in such places as Leipzig's Auerbach's Keller (made famous by Goethe), and lingering in an art museum or two. We will engage German history and culture from the sixteenth century to the twenty-first. So we will learn about Goethe and Schiller, but also walk the haunting grounds of the Buchenwald Concentration Camp and wrestle with the dark side of Germany's more recent past.

What better way to spend a late afternoon in July than to sample a good German beer or wine over conversation at an outside cafe in the shadow of a medieval cathedral, as you watch others going about their business in the town square or market place... And then to catch an early dinner before heading off to a cabaret show or the opera or an evening concert...

Zwinger Museum - Dresden
As one who has taught university courses on Luther and Bach (and who lived and taught in Germany for two years [2007-9]), I will be providing "color commentary" on the places we visit and the histories we uncover. While there will be several guided walking tours, there will also be much time for informal conversation and discussion.

I should stress that one does not need to be a Lutheran Christian to enjoy this experience! Just ask the several non-Lutheran participants from last summer's trip! In fact, two of them told me after last year's journey that they planned to publicize this upcoming trip to friends at their local Roman Catholic church.(Several of the participants are also Valparaiso University alumni, but one need not have any connection to my university to join us!)

Our tour company is Trans World Travel, located in Highland Park, Illinois. They have been organizing and leading tours to Europe and elsewhere for several decades.

To download a color brochure about the trip, visit
Then click on the link that will take you to "Luther/Bach Trip 2013."

To register for the trip, simply print off the brochure and send in the registration form to Trans World Travel. They are handling all of the actual travel arrangements.

Since space is limited, I encourage you to register soon.

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