The internet is great for introducing us to people we would otherwise never have encountered. One example of this for me is Bob Chaney. Bob is a retired German teacher from Murrysville, Pennsylvania. While he taught, he led eight trips to Germany and Austria. I learned about Bob through a post of his at the ACIS site, where I’ve written some blog posts and lesson plans.
What interested me about Bob was a Historical Paths of Germany Tour that he’s currently planning to lead. This time, it’s not for students, however. He is planning to lead a tour for adults this fall to Germany, to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation (you know, when Martin Luther nailed the “Ninety-Five Theses” to the door of All Saint’s Church in Wittenberg).
The celebration of this anniversary actually began a year ago, on October 31, 2016, with the beginning of “Luther Year.” Many of the famous Luther sites such as Wittenberg, Eisenach, and Erfurt will be holding special activities and exhibits to honor Martin Luther and the history of the Reformation. Although you can learn the history of the Reformation in books and online, nothing compares to going to the actual places where history was made. Bob always tells students (and adults) that travel is the best education. I would agree with that!
The Reformation and Its Affects Today
The ripple effect from the Reformation has worked its way through German history, mentality, and language. You can see it in the paintings of Lucas Cranach, listen to it in the music of Johann Sebastian Bach, and read and hear it in the German language. It was at the Wartburg Castle near Eisenach, that Luther translated the Bible from Hebrew and Greek into German. Not only was this revolutionary because for the first time common Germans could read the Bible for themselves, but it also unified the German Language. The German that American students learn in their classes today is based in large part on the language of the Luther Bible.
Historical Paths of Germany Tour of Germany
What could you expect on this tour? It will occur October 18-27, 2017, beginning in the capital, Berlin. This is a very modern city full of the history of WW II and the Cold War, but it’s also home to some amazing ancient treasures and ultramodern architecture.
Next, you’ll explore the history of Martin Luther and the Reformation by visiting Wittenberg, Erfurt, and the Wartburg Castle in Eisenach. You’ll visit the culturally-rich city of Weimar, home of many of Germany’s famous writers and artists.
You’ll finish your journey by traveling south to Bavaria for a visit to Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial, and then Munich. After the official Munich city tour, Bob adds a special touch by taking his group to some of the “hidden treasures” of Munich on what he calls the “These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things In Munich Tour.” No trip to Germany is complete without a stop at Neuschwanstein Castle (home of King Ludwig! — aff. link) and the woodcarving, incredibly quaint town of Oberammergau. Yes, Oberammergau is home to the famous “Passion Play.” This tour will mark Bob’s first visit to Germany during the fall. I know it will be beautiful.
You will also be traveling on a great bus accompanied by a professional Tour manager and you’ll get Bob, the retired German teacher, too 🙂
How about a getaway this fall? You can learn more about the Historical Paths of Germany Tour here.