Grow in your appreciation for the faith and faithfulness of Anabaptist forebears as you trace the historical movement of the Anabaptists from The Netherlands to northern Germany to Poland on part two of the epic heritage tour. Reflect at important sites as you hear the story of Menno Simons and other Dutch Mennonites as they spread out along the Baltic coast all the way to the Vistula Delta in Poland. Visit former Mennonite villages in Poland, where Mennonites lived for generations. Also enjoy cultural experiences in these countries including a boat ride in Amsterdam, a train ride across northern Germany, and a tour of Marlbork Castle in Poland.
Epic European Anabaptist Heritage Tour – Low Countries
Monday, June 14 Amsterdam
On a morning walking tour, see the best of what the capital of the Netherlands has to offer. See Singel Mennonite Church, which was built in 1608. In the afternoon, visit Zaanse Schans, a historic Dutch village with traditional Dutch Mennonite houses, working windmills, and artisans crafting things like wooden shoes and cheese. Later, climb aboard a riverboat for a leisurely tour of Amsterdam’s canals.
Tuesday, June 15 Leeuwarden
Cross the famous Afsluitdijk, a massive 32 kilometer causeway and dam that protects the Netherlands from the harsh North Sea. On the way across, we’ll stop at the Lely monument, which celebrates Cornelis Lely, the Mennonite engineer responsible for Zuiderzee Works (including Afsluitdijk). Then travel to the village of Witmarsum the birthplace of Menno Simons. As we tour the area, we’ll visit churches and worship sites important to Menno Simons, including St. Victory Church in Pingjum.
Wednesday, June 16 Lubeck
This morning, we will travel to Bremen, driving across scenic countryside reclaimed from the sea (polders). During lunch in Bremen, see if you can spot the unique statue of the “Bremen Town Musicians” made popular in Brother Grimm’s fairy tale in the Marktplatz that is the core of the city. Next, we head to Bad Oldesloe, where we will visit the Menno house and memorial where Menno is buried. Our final stop today is the town of Lübeck, a UNESCO world heritage site which features lovely Gothic brickwork.
Thursday, June 17 Gdańsk
Relax on a train from Lubeck to Gdańsk. Stretch your legs and get some fresh air on two brief stops.
Friday, June 18 Gdańsk
Today, we’ll visit the former Danzig Mennonite Church. On a tour of the historic city centre of Gdańsk, see a museum in the town hall and the Church of St. Mary. This afternoon you can tour a WWII Museum or Polish villages connected to your ancestors.
Saturday, June 19 Gdańsk
Immerse yourself in the Mennonite history of Poland during visits to the Tiegenhagen cemetery and Nowy Dwor (Tiegenhof) with its Mennonite Museum. Next, we’ll tour Malbork Castle, once the fortress of Teutonic Knights who came to Poland in the 1300s and built this expansive, fortified monastery. Enjoy lunch at the castle before exploring more historic Mennonite centres including eu muensterberg, featuring stately farm homes; and Heubuden, once the centre of a large Mennonite community, and its cemetery.
Sunday, June 20 Warsaw
We may stop in Montau today. We’ll have lunch in Toruń—the birthplace of famous astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus. There may also be time for a walking tour in the world-class city of Warsaw—including the City Centre, a UNESCO World Heritage site. During the Warsaw Uprising, over 85% of the city was destroyed, but in the following years, the Old Town was rebuilt in its historic urban and architectural form to preserve one of the most important embodiments of Polish culture. You may also choose to explore POLIN, a historical museum which presents the 1000 years of Jewish life in the Polish lands.
Monday, June 21
Depart for Zaporizhia, Ukraine for the next leg of the Epic European Anabaptist Heritage Tour: Far Countries or return home
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