German Reformation Tour 2017

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Jan 10th, 2017, 06:12 PM
  #1
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German Reformation Tour 2017

This year is the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther's role in establishing a new branch of Christianity and I want to visit a few of the many commemorations in Germany marking it. On the Internet, I have seen pages and pages of tours offered, almost all of them, it appears, geared toward church members and the very faithful. I want to approach the subject, however, not as a pilgrim, but as a historian. I have found only one "study tour" and that offered by a Canadian university whose professors are using an Illinois travel company that specializes in Reformation tours. The target audience, obviously, is undergraduate students, so I wonder, if I were accepted into the tour, how well both sides would get along.

Does anyone know of a tour focusing on Germany that is academically oriented and would welcome an elderly, but active, lady? ZZ
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Jan 10th, 2017, 08:23 PM
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Ask your nearest German consulate, the cultural attaché, and your nearest branch of the Goethe Institute, they may have leads. https://www.goethe.de/en/index.html
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Jan 10th, 2017, 09:46 PM
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I think what you are looking for is a very specialized trip targeted to specific special interest groups. These kind of trips are usually targeted for church groups as you have found.

I don't know the reason for your interest in a tour group as opposed to doing on your own. I have been to about half of Luther sites on my own. The ones I have visited could easily be visited by public transportation. I have gotten as much information as I cared by reading explanations given at the sites, additional readings I have done on my own before the visits, as well as background provided in tour books.

If you are a historian, I am not sure about why a tour is needed. You should be the content expert on the subject.
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Jan 10th, 2017, 10:28 PM
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How about going by yourself, and then joining a local guided tour round a town or in an exhibition, or find a private guide. The tourist offices of the places you intend to visit will surely be of help.

By the way, as you are a historian (specialized in reformation history?) - are you aware of this international conference which takes place in Wittenberg in May: http://www.refo500.nl/rc/pages/699/s...ittenberg.html You might even run into me there...
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Jan 10th, 2017, 10:31 PM
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Also, have a closer look at the refo500 website: http://www.refo500.nl/en/news/6 and the Luther 2017 portal: https://www.luther2017.de/en/
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Jan 11th, 2017, 02:39 AM
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I'd do it on my own. It would be cheaper and you can set your own priorities. A good starting point for information is https://www.luther2017.de/en/ . I'd look up the websites of the single cities connected with Luther as well for more detailed info (incomplete list here: https://www.luther2017.de/en/experience/places/). There you will find information on accomodation as well. There will be certainly much hurly-burly in Wittenberg, but other places like Coburg (Bavarian state exhibition starting at May, 9th: http://www.kunstsammlungen-coburg.de/en/index.php) and Augsburg (which is, couriously enough, missing from the list quoted above) will be more quiet and enjoyable.
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Jan 11th, 2017, 06:39 AM
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Globus Tours offers something you might like. It's called the European Reformation tour and hits all the areas between Munich and Berlin relating to Martin Luther. They call it a faith based tour but they do go to all the historical places.
Check their website under faith based tours for the info.
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Jan 11th, 2017, 12:41 PM
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Thank all of you who have responded to my question. Each has shared important information that I am following up on. I already had a online folder to which I've been adding material as I came across it, but most of what you have contributed had not come to my attention.

Yes, I am a historian and I have taught a little about Luther in lower level undergraduate courses (European History 101/102), but my field is really European imperialism in Africa and Asia. I have a lot to learn about the Reformation, Luther, and the other important figures.

Having done a lot of my world travel independently, I am now seriously considering doing this journey on my own. With the transportation system and the amenable structure for tourism in Europe, it is not like going to Papua New Guinea or eastern Turkey. In addition to a large rail system, there is Flixbus, which I used in France last July and is a major company in Germany.

I like your ideas. Thank you. ZZ
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Jan 11th, 2017, 01:25 PM
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This may be of help with your planning: http://www.germany.travel/en/special...er-routes.html
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Jan 12th, 2017, 06:34 AM
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quokka: That site is a wonderful resource. Thank you. ZZ
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Jan 12th, 2017, 06:58 AM
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quokka: I confess that I did not know that a quokka is an Australian animal, but I see on BBC online news that your Steve is missing from Rottnest Island. Good luck in finding him. ZZ
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Jan 12th, 2017, 07:13 AM
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LOL - I am in fact a German art historian. I chose that name some years ago after my first trip to Australia where I fell in love with these little marsupials...
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Jan 12th, 2017, 08:26 AM
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It would be a stretch to love anything that looks like a rat! ZZ
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Jan 12th, 2017, 08:30 AM
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If you want to go on your own the trains are Wunderbar - take you anywhere you want to go - Lutherstadt-Wittemberg and Wartburg Castle are two top Luther places. For lots on German trains check www.bahn.de/en; www.budgeteruopetravel.com; www.ricksteves.com and www.seat61.com - A German railpass would let you hop on virtually any train anytime.
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Jan 12th, 2017, 08:36 AM
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They looked like big rats to people who had never seen a kangaroo before. Trust me, they are really cute and friendly fellows. Just like me, haha.

Seriously: A German art historian specialized in protestant church architecture and art herewith offers advice if you want it...
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Jan 12th, 2017, 04:35 PM
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PalenQ: Thank you for those good sites and the suggestion about a German railpass. With all the information I've received I'm convinced to do this trip on my own.

quokka: I saw a lot of kangaroos when I visited a friend on his farm in Western Australia in 2012. In fact, we hit one. But, I missed the quokkas (is that the plural?). You have a fascinating specialization and you may hear from me again. ZZ
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Jan 13th, 2017, 12:16 AM
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You're welcome ZZ! I am always happy to meat colleagues with similar interests on these forums. It does not happen too often.

It's a pity that Fodor's has no personal message function.
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Jan 13th, 2017, 11:30 AM
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Thank you for those good sites and the suggestion about a German railpass.>

Wartburg Castle is in Eisenach - an industrial city known for making cars. But that's where you take the train to.

And you see the cell-like room Luther holed up in to hide from authorities -there are still ink stains on the walls purportedly stemming from when Luther say the Devil and threw his ink well at him. this is apocryphal as the walls have been painted over and it may not even be the right room but it is still touching.

Weimar is a good base for Wartburg and really neat cities like Erfurt, Weimar itself, Naumburg and Leipzig-all with train service and all clustered together in a row a few miles apart.
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Jan 13th, 2017, 11:55 AM
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I would rather make Erfurt my base than Weimar, particularly with such a thematic focus. The former Augustine convent in Erfurt is, by the way, a guesthouse now - so you can stay on the same ground were Luther lived (although the present buildings are younger - the church is still there, though).

But Reformation history is not only Luther.

For example, Thoman Müntzer and the Peasant War of 1525 are closely connected with the imperial city of Mühlhausen, which is easy to reach from Erfurt.
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Jan 13th, 2017, 12:25 PM
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Zambezi

For your reading list I suggest the novel "Q" from Wu Ming about Müntzer etc. mentioned above by quokka
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