Pilgrimage to Oberammergau - September 12th, 2020
The Passion Play and Central Europe
Oberammergau 2020 Pilgrimage Itinerary
Depart today on our overnight flight to Prague. Meals and refreshments will be served aloft.
Arrive in the Czech capital of Prague, one of Europe’s most attractive cities. We will meet our tour manager and then board our motor coach and drive to our hotel, our home for the next 3 nights. The rest of the day is free to discover this fascinating city on our own.
Today we enjoy a full day tour of Prague, starting with a visit to Loreto Shrine, a replica of the Holy House of Loreto, and one of the most important pilgrimage shrines in the Czech Republic. Then visit Prague Castle where we will visit St. Vitus Cathedral, St. George’s Basilica, the picturesque Golden Lane, the Royal Palace, and St. George’s Convent. We proceed to Mala Strana, “the Little Quarter,” with its beautiful architectural buildings. Here we will visit the Church of St. Nicholas and then the Church of Our Lady Victorious where we venerate the famous statue of the Infant Jesus of Prague and celebrate Mass. The evening will be free to find dinner on your own at one of the many delicious restaurants in the area and spend some free time exploring more of this charming city.
This morning we will cross the Charles Bridge to visit the Old Town, considered to be one of the best historical city centers in Europe. Visit the Old Town Square, the Town Hall with its famous Astronomical Clock which comes alive when the hour strikes, and the Twelve Apostles appear to bless the crowd. We will see the Church of Our Lady before Tyn and visit the Church of St. Nicholas. The remainder of the day is free for personal activities. Tonight, we will enjoy a “Farewell to Prague” dinner together.
This morning we depart Prague and drive across the border into Germany, through the scenic countryside to Altotting. We visit the Shrine of Our Lady of Altotting, also known as the Chapel of Grace, the oldest Marian shrine in Germany. This church became a popular pilgrim destination in 1489 after a young boy who had drowned had a miraculous recovery when his mother laid his body before the image and prayed to the Blessed Mother for a miracle. After Mass in Altotting, we will drive to Munich, our home for the next two nights.
Today we will spend the entire day in Munich, including visits to the historic Glockenspiel on the Marienplatz, the revered twin-towered Frauenkirche, the most familiar landmark of old Munich, the Burgersaal Church, and the Michaelskirche. We will enjoy lunch at the renowned Hofbrauhaus to learn about the techniques used to make a Bavarian brew at the Beer and Oktoberfest Museum. The rest of the day will be free to explore this fascinating city on our own.
This morning we will depart Munich and drive to visit the Wieskirche (Church of the Meadow), considered to be the most beautiful Rococo church in Europe. We then drive to the village of Oberammergau, home to the world-famous Passion Play. Today will be the highlight of our pilgrimage as we witness the Passion Play performed by the local people of Oberammergau. The story of Oberammergau is one of faith and began with a miracle. In the 1600’s the “Black Plague” swept through Europe, striking down one in every three people and leaving in its wake, misery, panic, and death. The people of Oberammergau prayed to be spared, vowing that they would present a play depicting the Life and Passion of Jesus Christ every ten years. True to their word, the villagers performed their Passion Play in 1634 and have kept their pledge, the routine of plays only having been interrupted by two World Wars. Our overnight tonight is in the nearby Bavarian town of Bad Kohlgrub.
We begin our last morning in Germany with a visit to Neuschwanstein Castle one of the most famous of the fairytale castles built by King Ludwig II, and where Walt Disney found his inspiration for Cinderella’s castle. Proceed to delightful Garmisch-Partenkirchen. Encircled by the majestic Alps, the picturesque town delivers a stunning panorama in every direction. With its distinctive Bavarian architecture and mellow pace, life in the valley feels like another world. From here we will view the peak of Zugspitze, Germany’s highest mountain. Cross the border into Austria and continue to Innsbruck, one of the most attractive cities of Alpine Europe and the capital of Tyrol set in a lovely spot at the foot of the Karwendel Alps. An orientation tour of Innsbruck shows us the 14th-century houses of the old town, the impressive Imperial Palace, and the delightful Golden Roof – the emblem of the old town, which was completed in 1500, the roof was decorated with 2,738 fire-gilded copper tiles. Overnight in Innsbruck.
Today we travel across the border into Switzerland and drive to Einsiedeln, a beautiful alpine town, and the most famous pilgrimage destination in Switzerland. Visit the Benedictine Monastery of Einsiedeln whose name derives from the German word Einsiedler, or hermits. Among these was the famous Meinrad who, in the early 9th century, retired to the forest with a little statue of the Madonna which was given to him by a local abbess. Meinrad was killed by robbers who were then eventually brought to justice for their crime. Since the early 10th century, Einsiedeln has remained a place of fervent pilgrimage, and the famous Black Madonna statue is found in the Mercy Chapel. Celebrate Mass at the Monastery, which is situated amidst green pastures and dense forests with some of the country’s most beautiful scenery before continuing to Lucerne, one of the most beautiful cities in Europe.
Our last full day of pilgrimage is spent entirely in the quaint city of Lucerne. This morning we’ll enjoy a tour of the medieval city center with its historical and picturesque old houses, churches, world-famous wooden bridges, towers, fountains, and narrow streets. We’ll view the twin-towered Jesuit Church, one of the most handsome baroque buildings in Switzerland, the Hofkirche built in the Renaissance style, and the Franciscan Church which was built in the high Gothic style. We will also view the famous Lion Monument which Mark Twain called the most mournful and moving piece of stone in the world. Carved out of a sheer sandstone cliff, it depicts a dying lion with its chin sagging on its shield. Finally, we will enjoy a pleasant boat cruise on Lake Lucerne while passing picturesque villages and stately villas.
This morning transfer to Zurich airport for our return flight home, taking all our memories of this once-in-a-decade pilgrimage opportunity with us.
- Daily Mass at holy sites
- Passion Play in Oberammergau
- 9 nights’ accommodations, including taxes and service charges
- Porterage of one piece of luggage at airports and hotels
- Arrival and departure transfers
- Knowledgeable, friendly, Catholic/Christian guides; whisper headsets; deluxe motor coach transportation to holy sites; all entrance fees listed on itinerary
- Breakfast and dinner as per itinerary (excluding drinks)