Tuesday, June 17: USA – Frankfurt
Transatlantic flight to Frankfurt, Germany.
Wednesday, June 18: Frankfurt – Rudesheim
Upon arrival, meet your tour escort and board your private motor-coach. Then, journey to Rudesheim, one of Germany’s biggest tourist attractions. Rudesheim is a wine-making town, lying at the foot of the Rhine River. Enjoy free time in this charming German town. The Drosselgasse Lane, the heart of Rudesheim’s old town, is full of beautifully decorated restaurants, shops, and live entertainment. Tonight enjoy a welcome drink and dinner to become acquainted with your fellow pilgrims. Overnight in Rudesheim. (WD)
Thursday, June 19: Rudesheim – Rhine Cruise – Cologne
After breakfast, visit the Benedictine Abbey of St. Hildegard to pray before her remains. St. Hildegard was a German writer, composer, philosopher, Christian mystic, Benedictine abbess, and visionary. Afterwards, embark on a relaxing cruise along the most beautiful section of the Rhine River. Upon disembarking, drive to Cologne for dinner and overnight. (BB, D)
Friday, June 20: Cologne
Cologne’s guided sightseeing includes the Cathedral and its Treasury, and two of the Romanesque churches that survived World War II. The cathedral was built to house the relics of the Three Magi, and immediately became a major pilgrimage site. Nearby is the Church of St. Andreas containing the remains of St. Albert the Great, teacher of St. Thomas Aquinas. Finally, visit the Church of St. Ursula, which houses the remains of St. Ursula and 11,000 martyrs, all killed in Cologne at the hands of the Huns in the 2nd century. The rest of the afternoon is at leisure. Dinner and overnight in Cologne. (BB, D)
Saturday, June 21: Cologne – Aachen – Kornelimunster – Trier
Leave Cologne and travel to Aachen to visit its cathedral and its treasury. Built as Charlemagne’s palace chapel and consecrated on the feast of the Epiphany in 895, it has been the place of coronation of 32 emperors of the Holy Roman Empire. It is in this cathedral that every seven years, the holy relics collected by Charlemagne are exposed for veneration: the cloak of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the swaddling clothes of the Infant Jesus, the loin cloth worn by Christ on the Cross, and the cloth on which lay the head of St. John the Baptist after his beheading. The treasury is the richest in Northern Europe. Next, drive six miles south of Aachen to the beautiful town of Kornelimunster. In its former Benedictine abbey is the well-preserved Church of St. Cornelius, housing relics from the relic treasury of the imperial palace of Charlemagne: Linteum Domini, the piece of cloth which Our Lord wrapped around Himself as He washed His disciples’ feet at the Last Supper; Sindom Mundo, the cloth on which the body of Our Lord was placed after being taken down from the Cross; and the Sudarium Domini, the piece of cloth which covered the face of Our Lord in the tomb. The head and arm of Pope St. Cornelius are also housed in this magnificent church. Afterwards, journey south to Trier, one of Germany’s oldest towns, for dinner and overnight. (BB, D)
Sunday, June 22: Trier
During the 3rd century, Trier became the center for the evangelization of northern Europe. Visit the Church of St. Matthias to pray before the remains of St. Matthias the Apostle and St. Eucharius, first bishop of Trier. Continue to visit the oldest cathedral and treasury in Germany containing the Holy Robe of Trier, the seamless garment of Jesus Christ, for which the soldiers cast lots at the Crucifixion. Adjoining the cathedral, visit the Church of Our Dear Lady built in the 13th century. Then, spend time in Trier’s attractive main market square, dating back to the 10th century. Dinner and overnight in Trier. (BB, D)
Monday, June 23: Trier – Speyer – Rothenburg
Leave Trier and travel to Speyer to visit its cathedral dedicated to Our Lady, patroness of Speyer, and to St. Stephen. It is the burial site for Habsburg emperors and kings. Afterwards, travel to enchanting Rothenburg to visit St. Jakobs Kirche, a Gothic church containing the impressive wood carved Altar of the Holy Blood with a small crystal which holds a drop of Our Lord’s blood. Enjoy free time to explore this magnificent town on your own before dinner. Overnight in Rothenburg. (BB, D)
Tuesday, June 24: Rothenburg – Eichstatt – Munich
Drive through stunning scenery and reach Eichstatt to visit the Abbey of St. Walburga, Abbess of a double Benedictine monastery in Heidenheim. She came to Germany with her brothers to help St. Boniface with his missionary work. St. Walburga was well respected and loved during her lifetime. People remember her for her deep prayer life, charity, and courage, as well as for her healing miracles. For 1,000 years, a mysterious moisture has been collected every year on St. Walburga’s relics. This liquid became known as “Walburga’s oil” and is seen as a sign of her continuous intercession. The oil has always been collected and given to pilgrims. Healings attributed to St. Walburga’s intercession continue to be reported up to the present day. Next, visit St. Willibald Cathedral, a Benedictine monk ordained by St. Boniface in 741. St. Willibald was the brother of St. Walburga and nephew of St. Boniface. He is the first known Englishman in the Holy Land, having made a pilgrimage there in 724. As bishop of Eichstatt, he labored almost 45 years in regulating and sanctifying his diocese. Pray before his relics kept in a marble reliquary urn in this cathedral. Drive south to reach Munich for dinner and overnight. (BB, D)
Wednesday, June 25: Munich
During the Protestant Reformation, Munich became a bastion of Catholicism and an important center of the Counter-Reformation. Its monumental churches bear witness to that era. First, visit St. Cajetan’s Church, one of the most magnificent churches in Munich, dedicated to St. Cajetan, founder of the Theatine Order. The interior of the church is adorned with stuccos and furnished in rich Baroque style. Next, visit the Residenz, the former residence of Bavarian kings. What began in 1385 as a castle at the north-eastern corner of the town was transformed over the centuries into a magnificent palace, with its buildings and gardens extending further and further into the town. The architecture, interior decoration, and works of art collected in the Residenz range in time from the Renaissance, via the early Baroque and Rococo periods to the neoclassical era. The Renaissance facade includes two magnificent portals and features a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Patroness of Bavaria. Afterwards, free time to explore this beautiful city on your own. Tonight enjoy a farewell dinner to celebrate the success of a most memorable pilgrimage. (BB, FD)
Thursday, June 26: Return to the USA
After an early breakfast, transfer to Munich’s airport for your return flight home. (BB)
(BB) Buffet breakfast; (D) Dinner; (WD) Welcome dinner; (FD) Farewell dinner
* In case of unforeseen events, this itinerary is subject to change.
For more information, please contact Amy Teleron, Group Coordinator, at (304) 389-7364 or firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Catholic Heritage Tours.