Jan Hus Prague Pre-Tour, Elbe River Cruise, and Life of Luther Post-Tour



Full ITINERARY: July 27th to August 10th, 2017  

Day 1, July 27th (Pre Tour) - Arrival in Prague

Guests arrive at Václav Havel Airport Prague and will be greeted by Sovereign Guardian Angels who will provide welcome amenities as you wait to be loaded into private luxury sedans that will deliver you to our Prague hotel.

Upon arrival at the hotel, guests are pre-keyed into their appointed rooms and will be given the Day 1 European Tour newsletter that will identify the day's events at the Sovereign guest reception desk. We will then enjoy a full dinner and first night's lecture with your Ligonier Teaching Fellows.

HOTEL:  Luxury Accommodations

Day 2, July 28th (Pre Tour) - Prague

Our morning walk begins at Bethlehem Chapel where Jan Hus, an important precursor to Martin Luther and Jan Calvin, preached before being excommunicated and burned at the stake in Constance.

Here we'll explore anti-papal sentiment in Prague and greater Bohemia in the 15th and 16th centuries. We'll also consider the arrival of the Habsburg dynasty in Prague during this period and how their patronage of the Jesuits—who converted Bethlehem Chapel into apartments, impacted the city, leading to the Bohemian Revolt and 30 Years War.

We will continue through the Old Town Square, where the leaders of the Revolt were executed in 1621. Ominous crosses in the pavement mark the event.

We'll look more deeply at the Jesuit movement and the Papal Counter-reformation, exploring a wide range of issues, from the Jewish reaction to this conflict, to pogroms and how Catholic leaders like the Habsburg Rudolf II, moved his court from Vienna to Prague.

HOTEL:  Luxury Accommodations



Day 3, July 29th (Pre Tour) - Prague

After a full breakfast, we'll head to St. Nicholas Cathedral, a fantastic example of Baroque architecture built to embody the Counter-Reformation.

Here we will dig deeper into the ideological war between Protestants and Catholics as it simmered into the 17th century. We hope to come away with a deeper sense of the conflict and struggle that makes this one of the most fascinating time periods in Prague's history.

We'll focus on the figure of Charles IV (1346 - 1378), the 14th century Holy Roman Emperor who centered his empire in Prague and re-made it as a Paris-style cultural capital. We start at Prague Castle, which overlooks the river and the rest of the city. Although predating Charles, much of this structure was reworked by him, including St. Vitus Chapel, a masterwork of Gothic architecture.

Prague was home to a Lollard congregation. The Lollards were followers of John Wycliffe, another pre- Reformation Reformer alongside of Hus. Paul Crawer, a member of the Lollard church, studied medicine at Prague, then went to Scotland as a medical missionary. He was burned at the stake at St. Andrew's in 1433. Lectures by the Ligonier Ministries Teaching Fellows will remind us of the labors and sacrifices of these faithful servants of the past.

HOTEL:  Luxury Accommodations

CRUISE ONLY GUESTS - Arrival into Prague (Hotel rates to be forthcoming):

For those guests that are not joining us on the German Reformation pre-cruise tour, and are only participating in our River Cruise, you will arrive today and be met by Sovereign personnel at Prague International Airport for your quick transfer to our official Ligonier Ministries hotel.

You may wish to enjoy Prague on your own for dinner tonight. Additional pricing for guests joining on the last night of Ligonier's Pre-Cruise tour group's dinner will be provided at final payment.



Day 4, July 30th (Cruise Embarkation) - Prague to Decin via Litomerice

We will board luxury motor coaches and ride to Decin with a visit in Litoměřice, one of the prettiest towns in the Czech Republic. We will see St. Stephen's Cathedral, the Jesuit Church, historic Market Square and many residential buildings from the Baroque, Renaissance and Gothic periods. The tour ends with a tasting of Bohemian beers.

After free time to have lunch and explore on your own, we will board our ship and enjoy a welcome reception and dinner.




Day 5, July 31st (Cruise) - Saxon, Switzerland

This morning we will cruise through the magnificent soaring rock formations of the Saxon Switzerland region, and then dock at the spa town of Bad Schandau.

From here we make our way to the famous rock tower known as the Bastei (bastion) to enjoy stunning panoramic views of the Elbe. Return aboard for dinner and a lecture during our evening cruising.




Day 6, August 1st (Cruise) - Dresden

Awaken in Dresden, nicknamed "Florence on the Elbe," and embark on a tour just after breakfast. Drive through the 19th-century residential area to the Dresden Castle complex; enter the Green Vault to see a comprehensive collection of the Saxon monarchs' crown jewels.

Continue on foot to see Zwinger Palace, Semper Opera House and the Frauenkirche, the great testimony to Lutheran Protestantism, with its distinctive bell-shaped dome that survived World War II bombings but collapsed the following day, and was later rebuilt.


Day 7, August 2nd (Cruise) - Meissen & Torgau

After an early breakfast, we will arrive in Meissen where we'll stop in at the Meissenware factory, producers of fine porcelain since the early 1700s. During the Reformation, the town council closed all cloisters in 1523.

Citizens of Torgau destroyed the paintings and statues of saints in the churches and stormed the Franciscan monastery during the period of iconoclasm under the direction of Andreas Karlstadt. After Luther had driven Karlstadt from Saxony in 1524, he enforced the expulsion of Karlstadt's followers in Torgau in 1529.

We will visit the grave site of the beloved Katharina von Bora, wife of Martin Luther, who is buried in St. Marien, Torgau. We will also learn of the Torgauer Artikel, a draft of the Augsburg Confession composed by Luther, Melanchthon, Bugenhagen and Jonas in the electoral superindenture in 1530 (Wintergrün). The Lutheran Formula of Concord was written in Torgau in 1576.




Day 8, August 3rd (Cruise) - Wittenberg

Our journey now takes us to Wittenberg, located in northeastern Germany on the Elbe River. Five hundred years ago, in 1517, Martin Luther nailed the 95 Theses to the castle church door in Wittenberg, igniting the Protestant Reformation.

Luther taught at the University in Wittenberg for years as well. During our time in Wittenberg, enjoy a guided walking tour of the Reformation Museum/Luther House, St. Mary's Church where he preached, and Castle Church where he posted his 95 Theses. Also visit Martin Luther's Tomb, the home of Philipp Melanchthon, Martin Luther's right-hand man and a scholar of the early Reformation.


Day 9, August 4th (Cruise Disembarkation) - Wittenberg – Dessau – Magdeburg - Berlin

Today, we will travel via luxury coaches to Dessau, which was the last of the principalities to adopt the Reformation when Prince George III officially professed the Lutheran doctrine in 1534. Prior to then, the Catholic widow and regent princess, Margaret of Münsterberg, had resisted the reform movement with all of her strength.

In 1525 she founded the 'League of Dessau' (Dessauer Bund), an alliance of Catholic rulers who stood against the proliferation of Luther's teachings. As a preacher, Martin Luther paid frequent visits to St. Mary's church in Dessau. In 1545, Luther ordained George III of Anhalt-Dessau as Bishop of Merseburg, whereby the latter became the only German prince to serve as an official member of the Lutheran clergy.

Our final journey takes us to a town rich with Lutheran heritage: Magdeburg. Martin Luther attended school in Magdeburg, where he was exposed to the teachings of the Brethren of the Common Life.

In 1524, he was called to Magdeburg, where he preached and caused the city's defection from Catholicism. The Protestant Reformation had quickly found adherents in the city, where Luther had been a schoolboy. The rule of the archbishop was replaced by that of various administrators belonging to Protestant dynasties.

In the following years Magdeburg gained a reputation as a stronghold of Protestantism and became the first major city to publish the writings of Luther.

HOTEL: Luxury Accommodations



Day 10, August 5th (Continued Cruise Tour) - Berlin – Potsdam and UNESCO Site

After breakfast, travel to Potsdam where "The Big Three" — Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill (replaced on July 26 by Prime Minister Clement Attlee), and U.S. President Harry Truman—met in Potsdam, Germany, from July 17 to August 2, 1945, to negotiate terms for the end of World War II.. Tour Sanssouci Palace, a perfect example of German rococo architecture, built by Prussian king Frederick the Great, who left his father's calvinist legacy, in the 18th century.

HOTEL: Luxury Accommodations


Day 11, August 6th


The Museum Island was a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its unique ensemble of buildings and cultural artefacts. The opening of the Altes Museum in 1830 made historically significant collections and art accessible to the general public for the first time. The museum collection includes the original Ishtar Gate, the Processional Way, the Market Gate of Miletus, and the bust of Nefertiti.

HOTEL: Luxury Accommodations


After a traditional German Breakfast, we will explore Luther's home town of Eisleben. Martin Luther was born in Eisleben in 1483 and also died here in 1546. He spent most of the intervening years elsewhere, in cities like Erfurt and Wittenberg, but Eisleben always remained a place for which Luther retained a special affection.

It is thus quite poetic that he happened to be in his hometown to settle a dispute, when he died. Eisleben is a small city in Saxony—Anhalt, Germany, with a population of about 21,000. Since 1946, Eisleben's official name has been Lutherstadt Eisleben ("Luther-City Eisleben"), in honor of its close association with the great reformer Martin Luther.

We will briefly stop at St. Andrew's church where Luther gave his last sermons.

HOTEL: Contemporary Accommodations



Day 12, August 7th


After enjoying a continental breakfast, Sovereign's Guardian Angels will assist you to your private chauffeured cars to depart to Berlin Tegel Airport.



A student at Erfurt’s famous university between 1501 and 1505, Luther first studied the "seven liberal arts", then theology and, at his father’s wish, jurisprudence. But a dramatic personal incident brought about a radical change in Luther’s life: terrified by a dreadful storm close to the city, during which he was struck by lightning, he took monastic vows and entered the Augustinian Monastery on 17 July 1505. In April 1507, Martin Luther was ordained as priest in Erfurt Cathedral.

HOTEL: Contemporary Accommodations

Day 13, August 8th (Post Tour) - Weimar to Eisenach

Today we head to Eisenach and visit Wartburg Castle, including the Great Hall, the Elizabeth Hallway and the Luther Room where Martin Luther, disguised as a knight, translated the New Testament into German. This evening you will have the opportunity to enjoy a local rustic "Luther feast" in Eisenach. We will also visit the Bach House in Eisenach, Thuringia, Germany, a museum dedicated to the composer Johann Sebastian Bach who was born in the city. The museum displays around 250 original exhibits, among them a Bach music autograph.

HOTEL: Contemporary Accommodations

Day 14, August 9th (Post Tour) - Weimar - Berlin

After a full breakfast, we will head back on the autobahn for Berlin where you will have an afternoon free to explore Berlin before we end our time together at our last dinner lecture.

HOTEL: Luxury Accommodations



Day 15, August 10th (Post Tour) - Departure from Berlin

For those of you flying home, Sovereign will be arranging all of your transfers from our hotel to Berlin International Airport.


We would also like to invite you to join Ligonier for a special event, which falls conveniently after our Reformation Study Tour & Cruise on August 11th, 2017: The Ligonier Wittenberg Conference with  W. Robert Godfrey, Steven Lawson, R. Albert Mohler, Matthias Lohmann, and Steffen Mueller: http://www.ligonier.org/events/2017-regional-conference-wittenberg/.  It promises to be an encouraging and edifying time of remembering the past and looking to how it informs our future.  All cruise and tour guests will receive complimentary admission.


Please Note: Schedule of tour events is subject to modification without notice.

To fully participate in this tour, you must be able to walk long distances, have good balance capabilities and be able to walk on uneven terrain. There will also be some climbing involved as well as long periods of standing. Due to the historical nature of some of our destinations, not all facilities will be ADA compliant.