Prague

 

Sample Itinerary: Germany and the Czech Republic

 

Day 1 – USA to PRAGUE

Depart your home airport for Prague

Day 2 – PRAGUE-DRESDEN

Arrive in Prague. Travel from the airport by coach to Dresden. Drive through the scenic “Switzerland of Saxony and arrive in Dresden by 12.00. Have lunch, check into our hotel, then time to rest. Enjoy a brief walking tour to get acquainted with the splendors of this the beautiful Baroque city, which has risen from the ashes to become again one of Germany’s most beautiful cities. The “Florence on the Elbe” has had to recover from the destruction of horrific air raids in 1945 and the negligence of the post-war communist regime. Most impressive are the Frauenkirche, the Zwinger Palace and the Semper Oper.

Day 3 – DRESDEN

This morning we visit the newly dedicated Frauenkirche, which is the most scientifically restored building in the world. (They used computers to determine where each stone should be, even after the church lay in ruins for over 40 years.) We go inside the Zwinger Palace to marvel at the collection of the Gallery of Old Masters, which includes works by Raphael, Titian, Botticelli, Duerer, Rubens, Rembrandt and El Greco, to name a few. After lunch we meet our partner choir and rehearse with them. Evening concert. Dinner afterwards.

Day 4 – DRESDEN-LEIPZIG-HALLE

We have the opportunity to sing during the morning church service. Afterwards load the bus and travel the short distance to Leipzig for lunch. Leipzig is a musical mecca. Here Bach wrote much of his greatest music. His tomb is in “his” church, the Thomas Kirche. We’ll visit this church and the Nikolai Kirche, where Bach also served. Here in Leipzig is Wagner’s birthplace. Here is the world-renowned Gewandhaus Orchestra, where many works of Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms and Mendelssohn were first performed. And in the 20th century this city distinguished itself with its brave stand against the communist tyranny in the former East Germany. Here in Leipzig were the first demonstrations in 1989, eventually leading to the fall of the Berlin Wall. From Leipzig it’s a short drive to Halle, another musical mecca. Dinner and overnight in Halle. {insert day details here}

Day 5 – HALLE

Morning walking tour of Halle. This is Haendel’s birthplace, and his birth house is now a wonderful museum which we will visit. After lunch meet and rehearse with the host choir. Concert in Halle and dinner with the host choir members.

Day 6 – HALLE-BAYREUTH-BAMBERG

This morning we travel through the beautiful countryside of northern Bavaria and stop off for lunch and a visit to Bayreuth, Wagner’s Valhalla and the site of the renowned Festspiele. From here it’s a short drive on to Bamberg, one of the most beautiful small towns in Europe. Its magnificent artistic heritage has been miraculously protected from the ravages of war. Since the 11th century Bamberg has been a city of cultural importance and architectural treasures.

Day 7 – BAMBERG

Morning walking tour to discover this cultural jewel and find out what really happened to Kunigunde! Lunch and free time on your own before we meet and rehearse with the local choir. Concert and dinner afterwards with the choir.

Day 8 – BAMBERG-PRAGUE

Travel through beautiful Bavaria to “Golden” Prague, aptly named for its gleaming gilded spires. It presents a unique blend of Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque architecture, and was fortunate to survive World War II almost intact. Check into our hotel for dinner and overnight.

Day 9 – Prague

Discover Prague, city of soaring cathedrals, lavish palaces and dramatic bridges. This morning we experience the mysterious, dreamy atmosphere of the Old City with it’s Jewish quarter and cemetery. This is also Kafka’s Prague and your chance to discover this intriguing writer. Lunch on your own and free time. Dinner is followed by a delightfully innovative performance of Don Giovanni, believe it or not, as a puppet show. Return to hotel.

Day 10 – PRAGUE

This morning we spend above the rooftops of Prague in the 1,000 year-old Hradcany Castle and its charming district. Admire the St. Vitus Cathedral, stunning in it’s beauty and significance. Also find out how several people were thrown out a window here, providing the spark that started the Thirty Years’ War. Lunch on your own and free time. Attend a concert at Mozart’s home in Prague, now a museum. Farewell dinner.

Day 11 – PRAGUE-USA

Transfer to the airport for the flight home.