Pilgrimage to Oberammergau - September 1st, 2020
Experience the Passion Play along with the Saints and Shrines of Switzerland, Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic
Oberammergau 2020 Pilgrimage Itinerary
Depart today on our overnight flight to Zürich. Meals and refreshments will be served aloft.
After arrival in Zürich, we will meet our tour manager and then board our motor coach and take a scenic drive to the Rhine Falls, the largest waterfall in Switzerland (and Europe). Enjoy some free time in this beautiful natural setting before returning to Zurich for our overnight.
This morning, depart Zurich and drive to Einsiedeln, 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. 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. We will celebrate Mass at the Monastery, which is situated amidst green pastures and dense forests. Then cross the Swiss/Austrian border and drive to Innsbruck, one of the most attractive cities of Alpine Europe located in a lovely spot at the foot of the Karwendel Alps.
Today will be the highlight of our tour as we depart for the village of Oberammergau to witness the Passion Play performed by the local villagers. 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 the Lord, vowing they would present a play depicting the Life and Passion of Jesus Christ every ten years if their village was spared. True to their word, they first performed the Passion Play in 1634 and have kept their pledge for nearly 400 years since.
This morning we will depart Oberammergau and drive to visit the Wieskirche (Church of the Meadow) which is considered to be the most beautiful Rococo church in Europe. We will then see Neuschwanstein which is one of the fairytale castles built by King Ludwig II. Lastly, drive to the Dachau Concentration Camp, the first of the Nazi concentration camps opened in Germany, intended to hold political prisoners. Then drive on to Munich, our home for the next two nights.
This morning drive to Erding, site of the famous Eucharistic miracle from 1417, dedicated to the Most Precious Blood. Return to Munich where we will visit the historic Glockenspiel on the Marienplatz, and the revered twin-towered Frauenkirche, the most familiar landmark of old Munich, the Burgersaal Church, and the Michaelskirche.
Early this morning, we depart Munich, crossing the German/Austrian border into Salzburg. Stroll through the heart of old Salzburg and visit Mozart’s birthplace, the famous Horse Fountain, the Hohen Salzburg Fortress and the modern Festival Hall. Visit the religious heritage of this town including the 17th century Cathedral, Nonnberg Convent, founded by St. Rupert in the 8th Century, and the Benedictine Abbey of St. Peter, also founded by St. Rupert.
Today we travel north to Prague, visiting the Shrine of Our Lady of Altotting along the way. Also known as the Chapel of Grace, this is the oldest Marian shrine in Germany. It 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. Continue to Prague for check-in at our hotel, our home for the next 3 nights.
Today we will enjoy a full day tour of Prague, starting with a visit to Loreto Shrine, 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. Then 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 will see the famous statue of the Infant Jesus of Prague and celebrate Mass.
This morning we will cross the Charles Bridge to visit the Old Town, which is 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 disciples appear to bless the crowd, the Church of Our Lady before Tyn, and the Church of St. Nicholas. The remainder of the day is free for personal activities, until our farewell dinner in a local restaurant.
This morning transfer to airport to catch our return flight home.