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Germany, 10 Days

In the footsteps of Goethe and Schiller in Munich, Stuttgart, Frankfurt am Main, Bauerbach, Ilmenau, Rudolstadt, Weimar, Jena, Leipzig and Berlin

 GER - 30210

  • Itinerary

    Day 1: Arrival at Munich Airport. Transfer to hotel to check in for 2 nights. Depending on when your flight arrives in Munich, go on a first tour of the city after being welcomed by your local tour host or, alternatively, discover the city independently for the evening.

    Day 2: Munich. The Bavarian capital at the foot of the Alps, spotted with architectural gems, numerous museums and galleries, beautiful churches and a vibrant nightlife, caters to all interests. First go on a 2-hour bus tour of the city starting at Elisabethstrasse Street with a view of the Munich Cathedral of Our Dear Lady. Pass the Neptune Fountain at the botanical garden, the Neo-Baroque Justizpalast palace, and Munich's three most famous art museums: Pinakothek of Modern Art, as well as Old Pinakothek and New Pinakothek. The Propylaea gate at Konigsplatz square reminds of the entrance to the Acropolis of Athens. Continue to Nymphenburg Palace, the former summer residence of the House of Wittelsbach, before driving to the north of the city, to Olympiapark, site of the 1972 Summer Olympics, and to the iconic "four-cylinder" tower of BMW. Leoppoldstrasse Avenue leads through Munich's uptown Schwabing borough past the Victory Gate and Ludwigskirche church, named for King Louis I of Bavaria, to the Feldherrnhalle and Theatine Church of St. Cajetan at Odeonsplatz square. Pass the National Theater and Ethnological Museum and drive along the Isar River past Prater Island and Museum Island before returning to the starting point of the tour at Karlsplatz square, also called 'Stachus'. After the tour, explore the town center in free time. We recommend a visit to Marienplatz square with a view of the magnificent new and old town halls as well as a stop at the Hofbrauhaus beer hall.

    Day 3: After breakfast, continue to Stuttgart (223 km/138 mi) in the south-west of Germany. Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller lived in Stuttgart from 1773 to 1782 before he fled from Wurttemberg after his relations to Duke Charles Eugene deteriorated. Discover the city in a tour including the Old Castle and Collegiate Church at Schillerplatz square, where the playwright and writer is commemorated in the Schiller Monument. Pass the New Castle at Schlossplatz square, the new and the old state gallery and museums along the 'Cultural Mile', Stuttgart's TV tower, Wilhelmina zoo and botanical garden as well as and Solitude Castle where Schiller attended a military academy. Free time after the tour for a lunch break. In the afternoon, go on a short trip to Marbach am Neckar (25 km/15 mi) with the possibility to visit Schiller's birthplace and the Schiller National Museum. Upon request, add a short walking tour of Marbach, a picturesque town of medieval fortifications, scenic lanes of half-timbered houses and the city gate's high tower. Return for an overnight stay in/near Stuttgart.

    Day 4: After breakfast, continue to Frankfurt am Main (208 km/129 mi). Before seeing Goethe's birthplace in the city center, go on a bus tour of the financial center of Germany. Drive along the Museumsufer, the south banks of the Main River rimmed with numerous museums, for a magnificent view of the Frankfurt skyline. Cross Friedensbrucke Bridge to Frankfurt Central Station. Go on to Eschenheim Tower, Old Opera, St. Peter's Church and Alte Staufenmauer, the remaining 12th century fortifications. Continue on a walking tour to St. Bartholomew's Cathedral at Domplatz square, St. Nicholas' Church and the town hall at Romerberg square as well as St. Paul's Church and graveyard at Paulsplatz square before walking to Goethe House and Museum (outside viewing). Goethe's birthplace (he was born here on 28 of August 1749) was rebuilt true to its Late Baroque original after its destruction in World War II. The furniture of the study is the same as in Goethe's time when he penned "The Sorrows of Young Werther" and a first version of "Faust". At the end of the tour, walk up to Hauptwache, where Susanna Margartha Brandt, the model for the character of Gretchen in Goethe's Faust, was executed for the murder of her newborn in 1722. Goethe was baptized the day after his birth in St. Katherine's Church opposite the Hauptwache building. Free time to explore the city independently. Possibility to visit the Goethe Museum. Overnight stay in a hotel in Frankfurt.

    Day 5: After breakfast, continue to Bauerbach near Meiningen (173 km/107 mi) and Ilmenau to the more rural areas of Germany. After Schiller's flight from Stuttgart in 1782 he stayed with the Wolzogen at Bauerbach. Schiller wrote "Intrigue and Love" and first drafts of "Don Carlos" in the Wolzogen manor in Bauerbach. Original manuscripts are displayed in the building, today's Schiller Museum of Bauerbach. Upon request have your lunch scheduled at the "zum braunen Ross" restaurant offering rural cuisine as in Schiller's times. Continue to Ilmenau (50 km/31 mi). On May 4, 1776 Goethe first wrote to Charlotte von Stein. Ilmenau was first officially mentioned in 1273 and was part of the county of Kafernburg. In Goethes times the city was a popular holiday destination for "Weimar's notables" and has been a spa town until the first world war. Goethe wrote poems such as the "Wanderers Nightsong" in a small hut on the surrounding Kickelhahn hill. Ascent to the Kickelhahn is about 2 km. Guided tour of the small historic center across the market square to see the town hall and its Renaissance portal and oriel dating to the 15th century, City Church of St. James and Walcker Organ, the largest church of the city built between 1760 and 1761 in late-Baroque style, Alte Forsterei, Hennebrunnen fountain, Amtshaus, Wenzel House and Zechenhaus; here Goethe often spend time in his capacity as head of the mining commission. The Goethe Museum in Stutzerbach near Ilmenau, a former town house where Goethe stayed on various occasions, shows several exhibits of Goethe's scientific works. Overnight stay in Ilmenau.

    Day 6: After breakfast, continue to Rudolstadt (39 km/24 mi), a city surrounded by wooded mountains and former residential seat of the Principality of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt. Outside viewing of the Heidecksburg Castle. The rococo halls and cabinets of the castle house museums, painting galleries and collections of porcelain, coins and weapons. Names such as Goethe, Schiller and Humboldt are closely linked to the city and Heidecksburg Castle. We recommend a visit to the exhibition 'Rococo en miniature'. Possibility to visit the Schiller House, then continue to Weimar (40 km/25 mi). Weimar is the first and foremost of cities associated with both Goethe and Schiller. From 1782 on, Goethe spent the rest of his life in Weimar. Schiller stayed briefly in Weimar in 1787 before he was appointed professor at the university in Jena and returned in 1799. Although introduced early, Goethe's and Schiller's friendship formed only after their correspondence and collaboration over Schiller's literary journal. First stop for an outside viewing of Belvedere Palace in the south of Weimar, residence of the Duke of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach surrounded by extensive parks and gardens Goethe used for his botanical research. Drive past Goethe's Garden House in the Ilm Park to the Tiefurt Mansion, where the circle of Weimar Classicism Goethe, Schiller, Herder and Wieland met. Overnight stay in Weimar.

    Day 7: Weimar. A guided tour leads past the city's castle, where Johann Sebastian Bach was director of music, to the Homes of Goethe and Schiller with the possibility to visit the Goethe National Museum. Go on to the protected historic town center to Theaterplatz square, Markt with historic buildings of Classicist times, town hall and Lucas-Cranach-House, House of the Lady von Stein, Liszt House, former Bauhaus, historic courtyard, Wittum Palace, residence of the widowed Anna Amalia and where the renowned round table gathered, German National Theater as well as City Church of Sts. Peter and Paul where Bach's children were baptized. The church, with a triptych by Lucas Cranach, is called Herder Church since 1850. Lunch break. Free time and opportunity to walk to Goethe's Garden House in the Park an der Ilm (Park at the Ilm).Continue to Jena (24 km/15 mi), where Schiller spent 11 years as a professor of history and philosophy at the university (today's Friedrich Schiller University) and married Charlotte von Lengenfeld in 1790 in the Church of Our Dear Lady. Walking tour to market square with a statue of John Frederick I the Magnanimous, called "Hanfried" (born in 1503 in Torgau, dec. in 1553 in Weimar). Visit to the Goethe Memorial Site in Jena for details of Goethe's connections to alchemy and the chemists Gottling and Doebereiner with quotations of the laboratory scenes of Faust I and Faust II, go on to the Romanticist House (outside viewing) and formerly home of philosopher Johann Gottlieb Fichte, shows the history of a generation of writers, poets and philosophers such as Schiller strongly influenced by the French Revolution and its ideals. Schiller spent productive years in Jena in his Summer House, writing the "Wallenstein" drama, as well as parts of "The Maid of Orleans" and "Mary Stuart". Today the university uses the house for readings and other events. Go on to the Parish Church of St. Michael. Since 1571 Luther's grave slab is in the northern aisle, a full length bronze of Martin Luther cast by Heinrich Ziegeler the younger after a painting by Cranach the Elder and a wooden model of an unknown artist in Erfurt. Between the years 1522 and 1537 Luther visited Jena at least eleven times. Around the year 1800 the small town of Jena was a center of cultural and religious life in Germany. The poets Friedrich Schiller, Friedrich Hoelderlin, Novalis, the Brothers Schlegel as well as the philosophers Reinhold, Fichte, Schelling and Hegel all lived in the small town. A tour of the city leads past most of the houses of these poets and scholars and answers a number of questions such as: Where did Schiller give his introductory lecture? Where did Hoelderlin write his "Hyperion", Schiller his ballads and Hegel his "Phenomenology of the Spirit"? Where and why did Goethe and Schiller start their amicable collaboration? Why were the windows of Fichte's house broken? Where were lectures held and what did students' life look like in these times? Upon request, go on a guided tour of a brewery (1h) through the cellars of the Papiermuehle brewery including a tasting (about EUR 8 per person) or visit the Luther exhibition in the Jena City Museum (31.10.2012-03.02.2013). Afterwards take a stroll through the town center of Jena, before driving to the hotel for an overnight stay.

    Day 8: After breakfast, continue to Leipzig (99 km/61 mi). Johann Wolfgang von Goethe came to Leipzig in in 1765 for 16 years for a law degree. Studying at the university soon started to bore him, because he had learned much already in lessons by his father. He was more interested in Gellert's lectures on literature. Gellert, however, was getting a bit long in the tooth while authors such as Lessing and Wieland were new. Start with a bus tour of the city: see St. Alexei's Russian Memorial Church, built in Novgorod style, the Battle of the Nations Monument reminding of the Battle of Leipzig where an alliance of Swedish, Prussian, Russian and Austrian troops faced Napoleons army in 1813, and Schiller's House where he spent a short time after the flight from Wurttemberg. Here he wrote the first verses of "Ode to Joy" in 1785 and continued working on "Don Carlos". Gohlis Palace is Leipzig's only palace building. Discover the town center in a stroll starting at St. Thomas' Church, the site where Martin Luther established the Reformation in Leipzig and J. S. Bach worked as a cantor. The Bose House, home of the merchant Bose and now houses the Bach Museum, "Zum Coffe Baum" Leipzig's oldest coffee house opened in 1694 and was frequently visited by poets, writers and other luminaries such as Goethe, Liszt and Wagner. From Barthels Hof, the only remaining arcade of the time of trade fairs around 1523, go on to the old town hall at market square and to the old stock exchange of 1687, today a venue for musical performances and literary events. At the Naschmarkt square you will also see the Goethe Monument and the Lion Fountain, the oldest working drinking fountain of Leipzig built as early as 1690. Go on to the probably most famous sight - Auerbach's Cellar in the Madlerpassage arcades. The restaurant is the site of Faust's first encounter with Mephisto in Goethe's play and portrayed in the statues of Faust and Mephisto and Mephisto and the bewitched students on opposing sides of the staircase leading down to the restaurant. Visit St. Nicholas' Church, famous for the prayers for freedom held there prior to the reunification of East and West Germany. Then go on to Augustusplatz square with the Gewandhaus concert hall and Leipzig Opera. End the tour at the magnificent Leipzig Central Station. Before checking in to a hotel for one night you'll have time to explore the city.

    Day 9: After breakfast, continue to Berlin (186 km/115 mi). The capital of Germany has a great many sights to offer. In a first tour of the city drive past Berlin's most iconic sights: the Reichstag, Brandenburg Gate as well as Gendarmenmarkt square, Bernau Strasse street, Alexanderplatz square, Church of St. Mary, Berlin Cathedral, St. Hedwig's Cathedral, Museum Island and "Unter den Linden" avenue. Afterwards, go on a stroll through the old town of Berlin, called "Nikolaiviertel", with its numerous historic buildings to St. Nicholas' Church where Paul Gerhardt was a deacon and spend the rest of the afternoon in the city for independent visits and activities. Overnight stay in Berlin.

    Day 10: Departure from Berlin.

    (subject to alterations)

  • Tour includes

    Accompanying English-speaking tour host, coach rides and day trips in a modern long-distance bus, experienced driver, and accommodation in mid-price hotels, double rooms with ensuite bathroom or shower/WC; 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.