An 11-Day Pilgrimage to Germany, Austria the Czech Republic

European Pilgrimage Sites, Including:

Munich, Füssen, Oberammergau, Regensburg, Altötting, Salzburg, Vienna, Mariazell & Prague.

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Day 1 Monday
Today we depart the USA on our Central and Eastern European Pilgrimage flight to Munich. Meals will be served in flight.

Day 2 Tuesday
We arrive in Munich and meet our Pilgrimage Tours tour director who will remain with us until the end of our tour. We embark on a scenic motor coach tour of Munich. The remainder of the day is free. Dinner and overnight in Munich.

Day 3 Wednesday
This morning we celebrate Mass at the Frauenkirche (Church of Our Lady), the towering twin-onion domed steeple church that has served the symbol of Munich for centuries. Next we take a trip to some of the most loved places in southern Germany. First, we go to Oberammergau, home of the centuries old Passion Play. Well see the Passionspeilhaus, the theater of the Passion Play. Usually it is possible to watch and visit the craftsmen and artists who are preparing for the next performance. Well also take a tour of the quaint old city of Oberammergau. Next, were off the city to Füssen to visit the Neuschwanstein Castle, built at beginning of the 20th century by an incredibly lavish German king named Ludwig II. Neuschwanstein, perched atop the mountain is a scene out of a fairy tale. Everything inside the castle is so over-the-top, there may be no décor in all of Europe to compare with it. We drive to the West to Bavarias famous Ottobeuren Abbey to join in the monastic Liturgy of the Hours. Well tour the majestic basilica and visit the Chapel of St. Benedict and the Abbey Museum. We return to Munich for dinner and overnight.

Day 4 Thursday
We head off on a day trip in Bavaria to the 2,000 year old city of Regensburg along the Danube River. Amidst a medieval landscape founded by Marcus Aurelius we visit the home of Germanys most impressive gothic Cathedral, the Cathedral of St. Peter and celebrate Mass there. We will have time to explore the ancient city with its many eras and flavors along narrow walkways and stone bridges. In the afternoon we depart for Munich where we visit the Asamkirche, one of the most richly decorated rococo churches in the world. A relatively small church, it is named for its two builders, the brothers Cosmas & Egid Asam. The skeleton of the saint for which the church is formally named, St. Johannus Nepomuk, is enshrined there in a glass case. Dinner and overnight in Munich.

Day 5 Friday
Journeying into the heart of Bavaria we go to Altötting, one of Germanys most celebrated shrines and a city whose purpose is pilgrimage. Upon arrival well celebrate Mass at the center of the pilgrimage complex, the Chapel of Mercy. The chapel houses a 13th century statue of the Blessed Virgin to which numerous miraculous cures are credited. While there, we have the opportunity to visit the Basilica, the Panorama of the Crucifixion, the Pilgrim Museum, St. Konrads Monastery and more. En route to Salzburg we visit the shrine of Our Lady of Maria Plain, a place of prayer for many and a place of pilgrimage for Pope John Paul II in a most spectacularly scenic setting. We arrive in Salzburg for dinner and overnight.

Day 6 Saturday
This morning we continue toward Vienna, stopping at the second largest Marian Shrine in Austria, Our Lady of Maria Taferl. We celebrate Mass at the hilltop shrine where miraculous apparitions were seen for several years in the mid 1600s at a location that had been the site of Celtic sacrifices. En route to Vienna we stop at Melk Abbey along the Danube River. Over 900 years old, Melk Abbey is one of the finest religious sites in Austria where black robed monks still stroll amidst marble sculptures and frescoed walls. Our final stop before Vienna is at the sprawling Gottweig Abbey high above the Danube Valley. Well explore the thousand year old fortress-like complex. We arrive in Vienna for dinner and overnight.

Day 7 Sunday
The Hofburg Palace Chapel is our destination for a performance by the Vienna Boys Choir this morning followed by a visit to Viennas landmark, St. Stephens Cathedral where we celebrate Mass. While there, well see the miraculous image of Our Lady of Mariapocs, tour the Cathedral and its catacombs, and those who wish may climb the 343 steps to the top of the Cathedral spire. Next, well take a tour of the Imperial Palace, viewing the private rooms of Emperor Francis Joseph and those of his wife, Empress Elisabeth, as well as the Treasuries with the magnificent crown jewels. Back in the city center, we go to Karlsplatz with its Church of St. Charles Borromeo and Otto Wagners Stadtbahn pavilions. We take an afternoon excursion to Mariazell, the most famous Marian Shrine in Austria. Dinner and overnight in Vienna.

Day 8 Monday
After breakfast, we depart to the North with a stop at the Klosterneuburg Abbey. We celebrate Mass at the Monastery Cathedral on our way to Prague. We go to a holy mountain in the heart of the Czech Republic, the sanctuary of Svata Hora. The hilltop shrine features a renowned miraculous statue of the Virgin Mary and a basilica for Our Lady with its silver altar, frescoes and paintings. Dinner and overnight in Prague.

Day 9 Tuesday
This morning we go to Pragues most notable monument, the Prague Castle. Inside the castle walls stands its centerpiece, the colossal St. Vitus Cathedral, where we celebrate Mass. After Mass we see some of the most prized relics of Czech history including tombs of Czech kings, coronation jewels, and some outstanding artworks. At the castle gallery we see paintings of the most important masters of Renaissance: Titian, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Breughel, Holbein, Dürer and many others. Within the Prague Castle complex, we also visit the All Saints Church rebuilt in Renaissance style, the Romanesque St. George Basilica and the old convent. The afternoon is free for exploration in Prague. Dinner and overnight in Prague.

Day 10 Wednesday
In downtown Prague we see Christian Pragues most beloved relic, the Holy Infant Child in the Church of Our Lady Victorious. Here we will celebrate Mass. At the shrine we see the famous polished-wax statue of the Infant Jesus of Prague, said to bestow miracles on the faithful. After visiting the museum, we continue with sightseeing in the historic Old Town Square. This is the site of the famous 15th century astronomical clock that is a fascinating display of dials and hands and figures. The 18th century facades in the square hide the Gothic buildings. Below the neo-Gothic Old Town Hall we see 27 marble crosses set into the ground. Nearby, we see the Church of St. Nicholas and the gothic Týn Church dating from the 14th century. In this church you will find, among other interesting relics, the tomb of the astronomer, Tycho Brahe. Dinner and overnight in Prague.

Day 11 Thursday
Following breakfast, we transfer to the airport for our flight home. Though our European pilgrimage draws to a close, its blessings will last a lifetime and its graces are certain to draw us closer each day to the Lord.