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Germany, 8 Days

In the footsteps of Hermann Hesse in Maulbronn, Pforzheim, Hirsau, Calw, Tuebingen, Gaienhofen, Basel, Bern, Collina d’Oro/Montagnola and Lugano

Tour-Code:
 GER - 80008


  • Itinerary

    Day 1: Bus transfer to Maulbronn where Hermann Hesse attended the seminary since September 1891. After only 7 months he fled from the Evangelical seminary. Visit the perhaps most beautiful and best-preserved of German monastery complexes: the famous Cistercian Maulbronn Abbey and the impressive enclosed buildings. Possibility to have lunch in the historic monastery tavern. By the time Hesse came to Maulbronn, the monastery has long since changed into an elitist grammar school for future priests and teachers. The pupils had to adhere to strict rules. Without the time in Maulbronn and the ensuing severe development crisis his late work would be unimagineable. Check into a hotel in/near Pforzheim for 2 nights.

    Day 2: Hirsau. Immerse yourself in Hesse's reflections and memories of the sceneries and stages of his late work. Hesse often includes Maulbronn in his novels, as "Mariabronn" in "Narcissus and Goldmund" and as "Castalia" in "The Glass Bead Game", although he doesn't write about life in the monastery. Visit Hirsau Monastery whose influence reached from the Rhine River to the Harz Mountains in the North and to the Carinthia region in the south of Austria. Afterwards, walk through meadows on the trail to Calw. Hesse was born in Claw on July 2, 1877 to the Baltic missionary Johannes (John) Hesse (1847-1916) and his wife Marie (1842-1902), the firstborn daughter of indologist and missionary Herman Gundert. Lunch break. Guided tour "in the footsteps of Hermann Hesse", visit to the birth house and the Hermann Hesse Museum, which gives a deep insight of the writer's life and work. The City of Calw dedicated a museum to him which houses Europe's largest permanent exhibition of the writer. Continue to Tubingen, where Hesse was apprenticed to the bookseller Heckenhauer. Go on a guided tour of the city in the footsteps of Hesse and Hermann Lauscher, a penname, through the winding alleys and lanes of the old town and to the Hölderlinturm (Holderlin Tower). Return to hotel.

    Day 3: Continue to Gaienhofen on Lake Constance, "the first legitimate workshop of my career". Hesse lived here from 1904 to 1911 with his first wife and their sons Bruno, Heiner and Martin were born here. Go on a literary tour of the town following different routes that Hesse liked to walk along. The Hesse House, built in 1907 for the Hesse family in back-to-nature "Lebensreform" fashion, has re-opened for the public in 2004. Gaienhofen dedicated an entire section to his most famous citizen in the Hori Museum next door. The museum displays first editions, writs, pictures, photos as well as personal effects of Hesse from the time at Lake Constance. Overnight stay at Lake Constance.

    Day 4: Continue to Basel. Hesse lived here with his parents from 1881 to 1886 and as a book seller from 1899 to 1904. His father worked at Basel Mission. Guided theme tour of the city followed by free time. Check in to hotel in Weil on the Rhine River for two nights.

    Day 5: Day trip to Bern. Hesse spent seven years of his life in Bern, four of them during the First World War. It was a difficult yet important time for him. Hesse completes "Rosshalde" and "Three Tales from the Life of Knulp" during this time and writes the novel "Demian" which became hugely popular among the youth. Guided tour in the footsteps of the poet to his family's house in Melchenbuhlweg 26. Return to hotel.

    Day 6: Continue to the Ticino countryside Collina d'Oro/Montagnola where Hesse found his predestined home. Hesse lived and worked in Montagnola since 1919. During the first twelve years with his third wife Ninon in the Casa Camuzzi, then in Casa Rossa until his death in 1962. Montagnola is hidden among chestnut trees on the back of the Golden Hill "Goldhügel". It was here that he wrote "Siddharta", "Steppenwolf", "Narcissus and Goldmund" and "The Glass Bead Game" and cultivated his gardens. Here he found his home, in the middle of his adopted country. Guided tour of the town of Montagnola including a visit to the Hesse Museum to see personal objects and original watercolor paintings of Hermann Hesse as well as translations, first editions and selected titles of the writer's famous "Library of World Literature". For a view of numerous watercolor motives by the writer visit Casa Rossa. Continue to the parish of Gentilino and the campanile of the Church of Sant'Abbodio. Hermann Hesse's grave is at the town's cemetery. Check in to hotel in Lugano for 2 nights.

    Day 7: Today explore and discover Ticino and the places Hesse visited, described or which inspired him, such as the Monte Verita and Lake Maggiore. Request a special boat tour in the footsteps of Hesse on Lake Lugano starting e.g. in the romantic fisher town of Gandria to the "treasure of Tecino" to the picturesque Morcote with its winding alleyways and the castle ruins towering over the city followed by a visit to "Parco Scherrer". Alternatively, visit a typical local cheese dairy with a tasting of the famous Tecino "Fromaggini". Go on a tour of Lugano, the cultural capital of Tecino, and the Piazza della Riforma. Return to hotel.

    Day 8: Departure from Tecino and transfer to the airport for your return flight.

    (subject to alterations)

  • Tour includes

    Accompanying English-speaking tour host, coach rides and day trips in a modern long-distance coach, experienced driver, and accommodation in mid-price hotels, double rooms with ensuite bathroom; half-board (breakfast and dinner), guided tours by trained local tour guides, maps and informative material.

  • Not included

    Tips, admission fees, beverages, personal expenses, possible increases in fuel prices.