When: Jul 28—Aug 10
Tour Leaders:
Tour Style:
Activity Level:

Anabaptist Story in Europe Tour

This European heritage tour traces the Anabaptist/Mennonite story through Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, and the Netherlands. Visits to significant sites will bring to life the stories of Jakob Amman, Martin Luther, Michael Sattler, Pilgram Marpeck, and many other Reformation and Anabaptist leaders. Other tour highlights include: an afternoon cruise on the Rhine River, a visit to the Rijksmuseum, standing in caves where Anabaptists worshipped in secret, visiting Trachselwald Castle, riding a cable-car up a mountain, and visiting the Weierhof, a semi-communal Mennonite village. Experienced tour storyteller Ayold Fanoy will share insights as you travel in these beautiful countries that were so important to our Anabaptist ancestors.

This tour can be paired with once-in-ten years Oberammergau Passion Play tickets & a 2-night hotel stay, August 10-12, 2020. PLAY TICKET PACKAGE MUST BE BOOKED ASAP.

At A Glance


  • July 28 – August 10, 2020
  • 14 Days
  • Compatible with Oberammergau Passion Play, August 10-12, 2020

BookPricing

Itinerary

Tuesday, July 28     Haarlem

Arrive at the Amsterdam airport, and transfer to the hotel to meet your fellow travellers over dinner.

Wednesday, July 29     Haarlem

Begin your experience of Amsterdam with a guided city tour. Visit the Singel Mennonite Church. Browse the Rijksmuseum, known for its collection of Dutch Golden Age works, to see pieces by world-renowned artists including Rembrandt, Vermeer, and Jan Steen. Be sure to see the museum’s collection of Mennonite works too! Then climb aboard a river boat for a leisurely tour of Amsterdam’s canals.

Thursday, July 30     Haarlem

Take a guided walking tour of Haarlem, a charming medieval city just outside Amsterdam. Visit the Mennonite church in Haarlem, then tour the Corrie ten Boom Museum to learn about one woman’s courageous efforts to help Jewish people escape the Holocaust. In the afternoon, enjoy free time to explore Haarlem on your own.

Friday, July 31     Asperen

Following an early breakfast, tour the impressive Aalsmeer flower auction where 20 million flowers from around the world are traded daily. Learn about the Menno Simons story with stops at the hidden church at Pingjum, and the Menno Simons monument at Witmarsum—the village where he was born. Visit Zaanse Schans, a historic Dutch village with traditional houses, working windmills, and artisans crafting things like wooden shoes and cheese. Finish the day’s explorations with a visit to Asperen to hear the story of Dirk Willems.

Saturday, August 1     Weierhof

In Köln (Cologne), Germany, visit the twin-towered Gothic cathedral. Then explore the heart of the city on your own during free time. Drive to the historic town of Boppard. Relax and enjoy the scenery on a Rhine River cruise as you travel from Boppard to Oberwesel. In the fertile Palatinate region, visit the semi-communal Mennonite village of Weierhof. Tonight you’ll be hosted in the homes of its residents.

Sunday, August 2     Mont Sainte Odile

Worship with your new friends at a church service in Weierhof. Then take a tour of the village, followed by a visit to the Weierhof’s Mennonitische Forschungsstelle, Germany’s only major Mennonite archives. Say farewell and make your way to the Struthof Concentration Camp. The memorials and displays will remind you of the atrocities committed during the Second World War.

Monday, August 3     Mont Sainte Odile

Drive through the Alsace region of France, where Jakob Amman lived, to hear the Amish origin story. Stop in Strasbourg for a city walk featuring the Mennonite history in this area, including learning about Pilgram Marpeck. Have lunch in the quaint town of Riquewihr, known for its narrow streets and half-timbered houses. See medieval and early Renaissance art in the Unterlinden museum in Colmar.

Tuesday, August 4     Emmental

In the 17th and 18th century, the Swiss Jura was a place of refuge for persecuted Swiss Anabaptists from the Emmental and elsewhere. Visit one of the secret Anabaptist caves of worship, known as the Little Church of the Goats. Stop at a cheese factory in Bellelay, and enjoy some of their fine cheeses over lunch. See Bellelay Abbey, a medieval monastery where some residents converted during the Protestant Reformation. At the Swiss Mennonite archives in Jeanguisboden, you’ll see the old Frochauer Bible, copies of the Martyrs Mirror, old song books, and family trees with well-known Anabaptist family names. Then visit another secret Anabaptist meeting place—the Anabaptist Bridge.

Wednesday, August 5     Emmental

Begin the day with a walking tour of Bern, where in 1711 a group of Anabaptists were expelled on three boats on the Rhine. At a cemetery and Reformed church in Steffisburg, learn about connections with the Amish. Visit the Yoder house.

Thursday, August 6     Emmental

Visit Langnau and gain a better understanding of local history in a visit to the cultural museum. See the Langnau Mennonite Church, the oldest in the world, and look for familiar names in its cemetery. Stop at the Kambly Cookie factory in Trubsachen. In Hinterhutten, visit the Täuferversteck (Anabaptist hiding place), a typical Swiss homestead with a hidden room to hide Anabaptists from their persecutors. Then reflect at another secret Anabaptist cave, the Yoder Cave.

Friday, August 7     Emmental

Spend today appreciating the unparalleled beauty of the Swiss Alps. Take a cog rail train or a cable car to the top of a mountain where you’ll see amazing panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.

Saturday, August 8     Neuhausen

In the Emmental region, visit key sites including Trachselwald Castle, a fortress once used to imprison Anabaptists. Hear the story of the Anabaptist Hans Haslibacher and visit the farm where some of his descendants still live today. Stop at the Affoltern cheese factory. Take a wagon ride up the Anabaptist climb (Täuferstieg) near Schleitheim where the first Anabaptist confession was written in 1527. Reflect at a unique monument placed in 2004 by Reformed Church leaders as an act of repentance and reconciliation between Anabaptists and their former persecutors. Learn more at the Schleitheim Museum. Cap off the day with a visit to Schaffhausen and the picturesque Rhine Falls, the largest waterfall in Europe.

Sunday, August 9     Bregenz

Worship this morning at the Zürich Grossmünster, an important site in the history of the Reformation. Spend time in Zürich’s city centre for an Anabaptist walking tour of sites related to the birth of Anabaptism in 1525. Over dinner tonight, reflect as a group on all you have seen and learned.

Monday, August 10

Visit the magnificent Neuschwanstein Castle this morning, then transfer to Munich. Say farewell to your travelling companions as you depart for home from Munich, or continue to Oberammergau in Germany to see the Passion Play.

 

Check the pricing page for what is included and excluded in the tour fare.

For further information, please contact us. We would be happy to be of assistance.

Click here for a printable PDF of the tour itinerary and costs.