Enjoy a five-day exploration of Anabaptist and Mennonite heritage in Belgium and the Netherlands. Experienced heritage tour leader and Dutch Mennonite, Ayold Fanoy, will bring the stories of Anabaptist leaders and martyrs to life. Hear about, and see sites important to the life of Dirk Willems, who courageously saved his persecutor’s life, though it meant his own death. Discover the stories of faithful and passionate Anabaptists who lived and died in Antwerp, Ghent (Belgium), and Delft (The Netherlands). This shorter heritage tour can be combined with our 7-day Tulip Time Cruise April 21- or personal travel.
Anabaptist Story Tour
Saturday, April 17 Antwerp, Belgium
Meet your tour leader and group at the Amsterdam Airport to begin the Anabaptist heritage portion of the tour. Begin your journey by traveling to the scenic town of Zaanse Schans. With buildings modeled from the 18th-19th century and a landscape dotted with windmills you’ll think you’ve stepped out of time. After lunch you’ll head onward to Asperen. Dirk Willems was a Dutch Anabaptist famous for escaping prison and rescuing his pursuer only to later die a martyr. Today, head for the village of Asperen, where Willems’ tragic story took place. Visit the cell in the church tower of Asperen where Dirk was locked up after his second arrest. Transfer to a hotel in Antwerp—your home for the next 3 nights.
Sunday, April 18 Antwerp
On a guided tour of the city centre of Antwerp, you may visit Rubens House museum, Grote Markt, and the Cathedral of Our Lady. Also, hear Anabaptist stories from the famous book Martyrs Mirror—which was first published in 1660. During free time this afternoon, visit some fine art museums, the Plantin Moretus museum, or other sights that interest you.
Monday, April 19 Antwerp
Travel to the town of Ghent to reflect at Gravensteen Castle—the site of several Mennonite martyrdoms. Later, transfer to Bruges and take a walking tour of this charming UNESCO world heritage city. In the afternoon, relax or shop on your own for lace, table runners, and tablecloths—or irresistible Belgian chocolate.
Tuesday, April 20 Aalsmeer
Journey to the quaint village of Delft to see the Royal Delft pottery factory. During free time in downtown Delft, you may want to browse a lovely weekly market. Today, Ayold will tell you Anabaptist stories related to Delft. This afternoon in Volendam, learn about the Volendam Eel Smokehouse and the family that has operated it for generations, be sure to sample some eel. Afterwards you’ll head out on foot to walk the Volendam village Dyke. Take in the peaceful shoreside and investigate the boardwalk shops. Before heading to your hotel, visit Edam village where you’ll find the hidden Mennonite church; and the beautiful houses that come right up to the canals.
Wednesday, April 21
Get up early this morning, to see the world’s largest flower auction at Aalsmeer. Enjoy coffee at Ayold’s church and connect with some church members. Visit the home and museum of Corrie ten Boom. Later, tour the Haarlem Mennonite Church. With some free time to before you are due at the Amsterdam Cruise Terminal; you could visit the Frans Hals Museum, the Teylers Museum, or the Bavo Church. The Frans Hals Museum boasts over 12,000 pieces of historic, contemporary and modern art. The Teylers Museum has exhibits from art to coins to fossils and even music – this gallery was established in 1778 and provides wonderful insight into the history of Haarlem. Admire the gothic architecture of the Bavo Church and step inside to see marvelous stained-glass windows, paintings, and a beautiful organ, that Mozart played.
For further information, please contact us. We would be happy to be of assistance.
*Header Photo by Moe Cage