Warsaw – Czestochowa – Krakow – Wadowice – Prague – Melk – Vienna – Budapest – Salzburg – Oberammergau
June 14–27, 2022 (14 days)
✔ On this 14-day journey of faith tour escorted by a spiritual leader, explore Poland and travel through the Czech Republic, Hungary, Austria and Germany, visiting the beautiful imperial cities and historical sites of the former Habsburg Empire.
✔ Discover some of Eastern Europe’s most important spiritual sites and pilgrimage destinations, such as Jasna Gora Monastery, Wawel Cathedral in Krakow, St. Vitus’ Cathedral in Prague and St. Stephen’s Basilica in Budapest.
✔ Attend the once-a-decade performance of the world-renowned Passion Play (Passionsspiele), produced and performed by residents of the Bavarian village of Oberammergau since 1634.
After arrival at Warsaw Chopin Airport, transfer to your hotel.
Time to relax before dinner. (D)
Morning city tour of Warsaw, the political, financial and cultural capital of Poland. Largely destroyed in World War II, Warsaw has been undergoing a renaissance and building boom. Visit the wonderfully restored Old Town including the Barbican and Market Square, lined with colourful Renaissance and Baroque inspired houses. See Place Zamkowy, the historic square in front of the Royal Castle and St. John’s Cathedral. (B,D)
Depart for Czestochowa, Poland’s spiritual heartland. This afternoon, visit Jasna Gora Monastery, the third largest Catholic pilgrimage site in the world and the centre of Polish Catholicism, home to the beloved icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa. Attend the unveiling of the widely-revered Icon of the Black Madonna and have holy mass at the chapel of the Black Madonna. After dinner you may join in the Rosary Procession at the monastery. (B,D)
Today visit the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp, a poignant reminder of one of the most tragic periods in Poland’s history. See the martyrdom cell of Fr. Maximilian Kolbe, a Polish Conventual Franciscan friar who volunteered to die in place of a stranger. Afternoon arrival in the Krakow area. (B,D)
Start the day with a visit to Wawel Hill and its cathedral, where four centuries of Polish kings and queens are buried. Enjoy a walking tour of the old town including Kanonicza Street, where the Pope resided while living in Krakow. Attend the opening of the altar at St. Mary’s Basilica. After some free time at the market, celebrate mass at the Shrine of Divine Mercy, resting place of St. Faustina. (B,D)
In the morning visit Wadowice, birthplace of His Holiness Pope John Paul II. Enjoy a tour of his family home and attend holy mass at the Basilica of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, where he received his first sacraments. Depart Poland for the Czech Republic. Late afternoon arrival in the capital. (B,D)
Discover Prague, including St. Vitus Cathedral, where coronations of Czech kings and queens took place, the Royal Castle and St. George’s Basilica. Continue to the hillside area of Malá Strana, known as Lesser Town, which offers views across the river to the old town. Visit the church of St. Nicholas and celebrate mass at the Church of Our Lady Victorious, home of the Infant Jesus of Prague statue.
This afternoon, walk across Charles Bridge over the Vltava River to the old town. See the iconic Astronomical Clock as well as the 14th-century Church of Our Lady before Týn, with its distinctive twin Gothic spires. Optional evening concert at a local venue. (B,D)
Proceed to Austria. In the beautiful Wachau Valley, stop at Melk Abbey, the most important Benedictine monastery on a rocky outcrop overlooking the Danube River. Late afternoon arrival in Vienna. (B,D)
This morning celebrate holy mass at St. Stephen’s Cathedral.
Explore the Imperial city, starting with the Ringstrasse and its magnificent buildings. See the State Opera House, the Museum of Fine Arts and Museum of Natural History, City Hall, the Hofburg Palace, Parliament, university, the impressive St. Stephen’s Cathedral and the Votiv Church, built as a token of gratitude for the failed attempt to assassinate Emperor Franz Joseph.
This afternoon, you may wish to visit Schönbrunn Palace, themain summer residence of the Habsburg rulers. Optional evening concert at a local venue. (B,D)
Full day excursion to Budapest. Explore the Hungarian capital, including Gellert Hill, the Citadel, Matthias Church and enjoy the panoramic view over the city from Fisherman’s Bastion.
Cross the Danube and discover St. Stephen’s Basilica, the neo-Gothic Parliament and Heroes Square, dominated by the Millenary Monument. Return to Vienna. (B,D)
Depart for beautiful Salzburg, city of Archbishops and birth place of Mozart. The entire historic centre of Salzburg is recognised as UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the city is surrounded by impressive alpine landscapes and tranquil lakes.
Later in the afternoon proceed to Bavaria, Germany. Late afternoon arrival in Oberammergau. (B,D)
Morning at leisure in Oberammergau.
After lunch, take seats in the theatre to attend the performance of the 42nd Passion Play. The history of the Passion Play at Oberammergau goes back to the year 1634, when the quaint alpine village of Oberammergau was threatened by the deadly and contagious Black Plague that scourged Europe, killing two-thirds of the population of Germany. The people of Oberammergau vowed that if the village could be spared, a re-enactment of the life and suffering of Christ would be performed. The village was miraculously saved from the ravages of the Black Death and since that date, the play has been performed every ten years. Performers are local villagers; often, roles are handed down from generation to generation within families. Dinner is included during a three-hour break. (B,D)