Two weeks from today I will take off to join my father in Frankfurt a.M. to start our official #TestingLutherCountry trip.
We couldn’t be more excited to go and share our experiences, encounters, and impressions with you via social media.
But before we go a lot of people have been asking me, “where exactly are you going?”
Our trip will be an intensive tour of the places associated with Martin Luther — the 16th-century reformer — and his biography. Stretched out over a beautiful slice of the central German countryside between Schmalkalden and Lutherstadt-Wittenberg the itinerary will take us up mountains and into cities, across rivers and into the heart of the states of Thüringen and Sachsen-Anhalt.
Along the way we will learn about Luther, his life, and his legacy in the places where he wrote, argued, and (of course) drank beer!
The tour, and Luther’s story, are not just for theologians and religion nerds. Following along with the biography of Martin Luther also reveals the man’s — and the Reformation movement’s — impact on politics, education, language, the arts, and beyond. Being official #LutherCountry testers means we not only get to enjoy the history, art, gastronomy and (of course) beer in some of the most beautiful scenery in Germany, but also test the man himself — Martin Luther.
Part personal tour, part pilgrimage, this is a trip that takes you past the sites and into the spiritual and social setting of Martin Luther and the Reformation.
That means my posts will not only share what we are seeing, doing, and eating, but also explain and examine who Martin Luther was, what he did, and why that still matters today.
I’m excited to spend a night in the monastery where Martin Luther was a monk. I’m looking forward to drinking beer from some of the best brauereien (breweries) around. I’m going to cherish the quality time spent with my dad (we even get to stay in a “Romantik” hotel in the Wartburg Castle…haha!). I can’t wait to relax in the saunas along the way. I am going to snarf down as much German food as I can. I am going to read every placard I can about Luther and the land that came to bear his name.
However, above and beyond all of that I am thrilled to share that story with you.
For now, here’s the itinerary with some of the highlights of what we will be doing along the way. Have you ever been to #LutherCountry? See anything you recognize? Have any recommendations? Any questions or comments you want to share? Please be sure to leave a comment below or reach out via e-mail or social media. I’d love to hear from you!
Day 1: Wednesday, October 24, 2018 (Frankfurt – Schmalkalden)
Guided City Tour and stay at the Luther House where Luther lived as a guest in 1532.
Themed Dinner in the Luther House – a costumed guide will host 10 guest through the evening. Authentic stories about Luther’s life will be told between the courses.
Day 2: Thursday, October 25, 2018 (Schmalkalden – Eisenach – Wartburg)
Visit the half-timbered Luther House, where Luther lived during his study at the Latin school
Exclusive guided tour of Wartburg Castle, where Luther translated the New Testament
Cozy dinner in Lutherstuben in Hotel Eisenacher Hof. As in medieval times, you will enjoy music, juggling and jests before and after dinner.
Overnight in Eisenach directly at Wartburg Castle in the 5-star Romantik Hotel (hehe!)
Day 3: Friday, October 26, 2018 (Eisenach — Erfurt)
Exclusive English City Tour Erfurt including the famous Augustinian Monastery, where the Reformer served as a monk
Lunch in an authentic German Restaurant in the heart of the city
Visit of the brand new Digital Showroom of Thuringia and a private tour
Dinner in a cozy traditional restaurant
Overnight directly in the Augustinian Monastery, Erfurt
Day 4: Saturday, October 27, 2018 (Erfurt – Weimar)
Visit the impressive Duchess Anna Amalia Library which preserves literature dating from the 9th to 21st centuries
Guided city tour in the UNESCO World Heritage City Weimar, where you will pass over 16 UNESCO objects, such as palaces, Goethe’s Residence or Schiller’s residence, St. Mary’s Cathedral where Luther was ordained as a priest and finally take a walk over the merchants’ Bridge, Europe finest example of a mediaeval inhabited bridge
Lunch — feasting on an original German Bratwurst (Sausage) at Weimar Market
Visit the late Gothic Town church of St. Peter and Paul – also called “Herder Church” - with it’s fascinating Cranach triptych altarpiece
Dinner Köstritzer Schwarzbier beer house and restaurant
Overnight in Weimar Grand Hotel Russischer Hof 4* hotel (fancy!)
Day 5: Sunday October, 28, 2018 (Weimar – Eisleben – Halle (Saale))
Guided English Tour in Eisleben containing lovely churches and fascinating museums Halle (Saale)
Visit the two popular churches: Market Church and Halle Cathedral
Day 6: Monday, October 29, 2018 (Halle (Saale) – Magdeburg)
Entrance to Francke Foundations – from here Henry Melchior Muhlenberg was sent to Pennsylvania to found the first Lutheran Church in America.
Guided Tour through the town including the visit of the Green Citadel of Magdeburg
Visit St John’s Church where Luther preached about “true and false righteousness”
Day 7: Tuesday, October 30, 2018 (Magdeburg – Lutherstadt Wittenberg)
Visit Luther House that was once home to Martin Luther and his family for many years
Guided Tour in Lutherstadt Wittenberg to the cradle of Reformation including the theses door at castle churches, Melanchthon House, St. Mary’s Town Church or rather known as the “Mother Church of the Reformation,” the Cranach House and Courtyard
Asisi Panorama “Luther 1517 – Wittenberg in Reformation times! Be amazed of the 360° display of the town and get an impression what the atmosphere was like from dusk until dawn
Dinner in the authentic brewery Restaurant Brauhaus Wittenberg including a German beer tasting
Day 8: Wednesday, October 10, 2018 (Lutherstadt Wittenberg)
Dive into the Reformation Festival during this special days: Reformation Day!
Take part in the worship services at the Castle Church in Wittenberg
Explore the Reformation Festival and all it has to offer
Day 9: Thursday November 01, 2018 (Lutherstadt Wittenberg – Berlin)
Depart from Berlin for home