This year the German National Tourist Office will take a closer look at the many different traditions and customs in Germany and the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in 2017. With the euro reaching the lowest exchange rates with the U.S. dollar in over 10 years, there has never been a better time to travel to Germany.
Germany is easy to reach. Every week, there are hundreds of nonstop flights from the U.S. to Germany. The excellent infrastructure makes traveling the country simple – from high-speed trains to rental cars, buses and domestic flights, your groups can take in as much of the diverse offerings as possible.
When it comes to hospitality, Germany has something for every group. From designer hotels to sleeping under the vines at one of Germany’s wine hotels, your group will find exactly what it is looking for. Germany has boasted one of the lowest average hotel rates in Europe for many years. Now, the record-low euro-to-dollar exchange rate makes Germany an irresistible value and affordable travel destination for your group.
Find all the information you need for planning a group trip to destination Germany on the official website (www.germany.travel) of the German National Tourist Office.
Discover the footsteps of Martin Luther in Germany
On Oct. 31, 2017 it will be 500 years since Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses condemning the corrupt practice of indulgences to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg. Ahead of the anniversary in 2017, you can already discover the history of the Reformation on eight routes running right across Germany. Featuring 36 authentic Luther sites, these routes present different perspectives on the life and legacy of Martin Luther. The paths that you follow offer illuminating insights into history and culture and a wonderful opportunity to enjoy Germany’s beautiful scenery and warm hospitality. The history of the Reformation can be discovered on the 745-mile Luther Trail in Germany.
The most prominent Luther sites are Eisleben, where Luther was born and where he died; Wittenberg, Luther’s home for more than 35 years; and Wartburg Castle in Eisenach, where Luther translated the New Testament into German.
The house where Luther was born and the house where he died are both in Lutherstadt Eisleben. They are among the most important Luther memorials and, thanks to recent excavations, provide exceptional insights into life in the late Middle Ages. A visit to Eisleben’s churches is like taking a stroll through Luther’s life: he was christened at the Church of St. Peter and St. Paul, he was a vicar at St. Anne’s Church and he held his last sermon at St. Andrew’s Church. The Luther Trail in Eisleben connects all the sites associated with Luther and presents them in an engaging way.
Lutherstadt Wittenberg, a Protestant place of pilgrimage, is regarded as the cradle of the Reformation. It was here that Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the door of the Castle Church. Although there is, in fact, no historical evidence to support the public display of the theses, the town has clearly been shaped by the historical legacy of the Reformation right up to the present day. The famous sites of the Reformation in Wittenberg are among the most important places in German history. Luther’s former home is probably the world’s largest museum dedicated to the history of the Reformation. The Church of St. Mary, where Luther preached and shared both bread and wine during Holy Communion for the first time, and the Castle Church, where Luther’s grave is located, attract visitors from all over the world every year.
Martin Luther, Johann Sebastian Bach and Saint Elisabeth of Thuringia are some of the great names associated with Eisenach, the home of Wartburg Castle, on the northern edge of the Thuringian Forest. Wartburg Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage site, proudly occupies a hilltop and is visible for miles around. The castle has a late-Romanesque inner ward. Luther found refuge here in 1522 under the pseudonym of “Squire George” and translated the New Testament into German. He knew Eisenach well, having been a Latin scholar at St. George’s School from 1498 to 1501. An exhibition about this formative period can be seen at the house where he lodged with the Cotta family, now the Luther House.
Lucas Cranach the Younger
The 500th anniversary of the birth of Lucas Cranach the Younger in 2015 is a wonderful opportunity for art aficionados from all over the world to discover works created not only by this great artist but also by his father, Lucas Cranach the Elder. Along with Albrecht Dürer, the Cranachs are considered the most important painters and printmakers from the Renaissance period in Germany. The numerous portraits of Martin Luther, Katharina von Bora and Philipp Melanchthon as well as other reformers and princes have iconic status and are like a who’s who of the Reformation.
Please find more information and exhibitions about Cranach at www.cranach2015.com.
Events and Exhibitions 2015 – 2017
- Reform and Revolution – Forging New Paths: Zwickau – Oct. 31, 2015-Jan. 25, 2016. Exhibition at the Max Pechstein Museum
- Thuringian Bach Festival: all over Thuringia – March 18-April 10, 2016
- Luther and the Germans: Wartburg Castle in Eisenach – May 4 to Nov. 5, 2017
- Luther Effect: Berlin – April 12-Nov. 5, 2017
- Luther Wedding: Lutherstadt Wittenberg – June 10-12, 2016 / June 9-11, 2017
- 36th German Protestant Kirchentag in Berlin and Wittenberg – May 24-28, 2017
For a complete overview of all Luther events, please visit www.visit-luther.com/events/events-alle.html
Please download the Luther 2017 eBrochure at www.germany.travel/en/ebrochures.html.
You can find videos and pictures about Luther sights in Germany at www.germany.travel/en/specials/luther/galerie-4674.html
For general travel information about Germany, please visit www.germany.travel and download e-brochures with a lot of itinerary ideas. And sign up for Germany’s trade e-newsletter to keep up to date on events and sales tools.