On this classic Anabaptist heritage tour in Europe, visit significant sites that will bring to life the stories of Menno Simons, Jacob Hutter, Pilgram Marpeck, Dirk Willems, Jakob Amman, and other important Anabaptist leaders. See the historic Dutch village of Zaanse Schans, take a cable car up Stockhorn mountain, reflect in a cave where Anabaptists worshipped in secret, and stay in the homes of generous, hospitable locals in the town of Berlikum. Also explore art and culture in the Netherlands, Germany, France, Switzerland, and Austria. Experienced tour leader and former Hesston College Professor John Sharp will guide you on this journey of discovery and fellowship.
European Anabaptist Heritage Tour
Tuesday, August 17 Amsterdam / Zaanse Schans / Asperen
Arrive in Amsterdam and meet your fellow travellers at the hotel. Visit Zaanse Schans, a historic Dutch village with traditional Dutch Mennonite 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.
Wednesday, August 18 Amsterdam
Following an early breakfast, tour the impressive Aalsmeer flower auction where 20 million flowers from around the world are traded daily! Browse the Rijksmuseum, known for its collection of Dutch Golden Age works, to see pieces by world-renowned artists like 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, August 19 Friesland
Cross the 22-mile Afsluitdijk to Friesland to learn about the Menno Simons story. Visit the hidden church at Pingjum, and the Menno Simons monument at Witmarsum—the village where he was born. Visit Leeuwarden. Tonight, you will be hosted in homes by Mennonites in Berlikum.
Friday, August 20 Münster
Over breakfast, say goodbye to your new friends at Berlikum, then travel to Münster, Germany. Take a walking tour to gain greater insight into the darker times of Anabaptist history. Hear about the violent uprising of radical Anabaptists during the Münster Rebellion. Visit the city museum to see the room of the Anabaptist uprising. See the cages where the bodies of Anabaptist leaders were displayed—the cages still hang from the St. Lamberti Church tower today.
Saturday, August 21 Köln (Cologne) / Rhine River / Worms
Begin the day in Köln, with a visit to the twin-towered Gothic cathedral. Drive to the historic town of Boppard. Relax and enjoy the scenery on a Rhine River cruise from Boppard to Oberwesel. Visit the Luther Monument in Worms to learn more about the Reformation.
Sunday, August 22 Bammental / Sinsheim
Worship this morning with the Bammental congregation. Later, step into the cellar at Steinsfurt where 53 Anabaptists worshipping in secret were arrested. Climb the Steinsberg Tower for a panoramic view of farms and villages. See other local sites related to Anabaptist history as time allows.
Monday, August 23 Alsace / Strasbourg
Drive through the Alsace region where Jakob Amman lived to hear more of the Amish story. Have lunch in the quaint town of Riquewihr, known for its narrow streets and half-timbered houses. Travel to Strasbourg where Pilgram Marpeck was a leader of the local Anabaptists to learn more of his story. Then spend the remainder of the afternoon exploring Strasbourg on your own or relaxing in a local café.
Tuesday & Wednesday, August 24 & 25 Emmental
During two days in the Emmental region, there’s so much to do and see! Visit Langnau and gain a better understanding of local history during a visit to the cultural museum. Tour the church at Erlenbach in the Simmental where Jakob Amman was baptized. Take a cable car up the Stockhorn mountain for fabulous panoramic scenic views. Visit Trachselwald Castle, a fortress once used to imprison Anabaptists. See the historic Reformed church at Würzbrunnen which has an abundance of Anabaptist stories. At a cemetery and Reformed church in Steffisburg, learn about connections with the Amish.
Thursday & Friday, August 26 & 27 Zürich
Zürich and its surrounding area are central to the story of how the Anabaptist movement began. Over two days in this region, become familiar with the earliest days of Anabaptism. 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. Spend time in the old city of Zürich for an Anabaptist walking tour of sites related to the birth of Anabaptism in 1525. Visit a former secret worship site, the Anabaptist Cave at Bäretswil, for worship and reflection. Continue visiting other relevant sites as time allows.
Saturday, August 28 Innsbruck
Travel to Austria and learn about the Jacob Hutter Anabaptist story in Innsbruck. Enjoy apple strudel on the famous Maria Theresien Strasse. Visit Hutter Park to see a memorial to Anabaptist martyrs—twelve boulders arranged in a circle to represent the communal life of the Hutterites. Tonight you can attend an optional Tyrolean folk show to experience authentic local music, dancing, and more.
Sunday, August 29 Rattenberg
Travel to Rattenberg to hear about Pilgram Marpeck, the Menno Simons of the South, who left his home to escape arrest as an Anabaptist. See Marpeck’s house, now a lead crystal blowing facility, where you can marvel at this historic artform and its beautiful results. Later, spend a sobering but meaningful time at Dachau, one of the notorious concentration camps of World War II. The memorials, film and visual displays will remind us of the atrocities committed. Travel to Munich for the night.
Monday, August 30 Augsburg
On a tour of Augsburg, learn about the strong Anabaptist presence in this city in the earliest days of Anabaptism, and about the Martyrs’ Synod which worked to form a common foundation of beliefs.
Tuesday, August 31
Depart for home from Munich with new insights and connection into your Anabaptist heritage.
For further information, please contact us. We would be happy to be of assistance.