Grow in your appreciation for the faith and faithfulness of Anabaptist forebears as you discover the origins of the Anabaptist movement in Switzerland, southern Germany, and France on the first leg of this epic heritage tour. Reflect at important sites as you hear the stories of Felix Manz, Pilgram Marpeck, Conrad Grebel, and other early Anabaptist leaders. Consider the contrast between Anabaptists who held fast to the principle of biblical nonresistance—even to the point of death—and radicals who turned to violence to protect their beliefs. Also, see European cultural and natural sights including the Rhine River Valley and the Köln cathedral.
Epic European Anabaptist Heritage Tour – High Countries
Monday, June 7 Zurich
Meet your tour leaders in Zurich. After getting settled, our group will take a walking tour of Switzerland’s largest city. Visit the site of the first re-baptism on January 21, 1525, and Conrad Grebel’s home. Reflect at the site where Felix Manz, along with five other Anabaptists, was executed by drowning. Also visit Grossmünster, one of the four major churches in the city and the birthplace of the Swiss-German Reformation. Situated on the Limmat river, Grossmünster is one of Zurich’s most recognizable landmarks. This evening, enjoy a group dinner and orientation.
Tuesday, June 8 Zurich
Today we’ll venture into the countryside outside Zurich to see the Milchsuppe Monument learning about the “soup that stopped a war.” We’ll also worship and remember our spiritual ancestors in the Anabaptist Cave at Bäretswil—a former secret worship site.
Wednesday, June 9 Zurich
This morning, walk 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. Visit the Rhine Falls, Europe’s largest waterfall and a spectacular backdrop to the nearby Wörth Castle. Return to Zurich for the night.
Thursday, June 10 Alzey
Today we’ll head for Strasbourg to hear the story of Pilgram Marpeck, the Menno Simons of the South, and leader of the local Anabaptists. As you marvel at the Strasbourg Cathedral from the city square, remember that for 227 years (1647 to 1874), this was the tallest building in the world. Next, we will drive to the city of Alzey, Germany. If time permits, we will see Alzey Castle, which was built in the 13th century. Although it was badly destroyed during the Palatine succession, it has since been restored and converted to a local district courthouse.
Friday, June 11 Alzey
In the fabulously fertile Palatinate region, we’ll visit the semi-communal Mennonite village of Weierhof, including the Mennonitische Forschungsstelle, Germany’s only major Mennonite archives. Stop in Worms at the Reformers’ Monument to learn more about Martin Luther and other important reformation leaders.
Saturday, June 12 Köln
Drive to the historic town of Bacharach, noting Stalheck Castle that looms above the city. The quaint township is dotted with long, narrow laneways and runs parallel to the Rhine River. Later, relax and enjoy the scenery, including castles and ruins, on a Rhine River cruise from Boppard to Oberwesel. Disembark and travel to Köln (Cologne) to see the marvelous twin-towered cathedral and historic city square in this 2000- year-old urban settlement.
Sunday, June 13 Amsterdam
Our first stop today is in Münster, Germany. On a walking tour, gain greater insight into the darker times of Anabaptist history. Hear about the violent uprising of radical Anabaptists during the Münster Rebellion. See the cages that were once used to imprison Anabaptist leaders which still hang from the St. Lamberti Church tower today. Menno Simons reclaimed nonresistance as an essential teaching of the church, but the violence of these radicals spoiled the testimony of Anabaptism for hundreds of years. Continue on to Amsterdam for the night.
Monday, June 14
Fly home or continue on to part 2 of the Epic European Anabaptist Heritage Tour: Low Countries
For further information, please contact us. We would be happy to be of assistance.