|Starts||03 September 2020|
|Finishes||17 September 2020|
|Air & Tour||AUD $8,790 twin share *|
|Single Room||AUD $1,580 Supplement|
|Prepaid Tips||$195 per person|
|Deposit||$800 non-refundable deposit|
* Costs have been based on prices as at 28 February 2019 and must remain subject to possible change in the unlikely event of significant exchange rate variations, airfare increases and minimum group size (20) contingencies. Further note that an additional Single Room Supplement may apply subject to final Oberammergau Accommodation being allocated.
|AIRFARES: Economy class airfare from Sydney to Budapest & Munich return (N.B. Airlines taxes are included on standard itinerary and subject to fluctuations). ACCOMMODATION & MEALS: Based on superior 4-star hotel accommodation throughout with breakfast & dinner daily. MISCELLANEOUS INCLUSIONS: Category 1-3 Passion Play tickets • Deluxe Air-Conditioned Motor coach with driver • Full Time local Tour Director • Local Guides • Sightseeing and entrance fees throughout itinerary • porterage of 1 piece of luggage per person at hotels. NOT INCLUDED: Passport • Other Visas (if applicable) • Prepaid Tipping • Other meals not stated • Items of a personal nature including phone calls, laundry, beverages, etc. • Travel insurance (Harvest will recommend a special group policy rate).|
Join Fr Robert Borg of The Lakes Parish, on a once-in-a-decade adventure from Budapest to Oberammergau through the glorious countryside of Eastern Europe. The hills will be alive with the sounds of pilgrimage as we weave a blessed path into the Bavarian alps to culminate with the world famous Passion Play in Oberammergau.
Fr Robert Borg
Lakes Catholic Parish
12 Nights / 15 Days: Budapest (2) / Bratislava / Vienna (2) / Melk Abbey / Prague (2) / Svata Hora / Altotting (2) / Salzburg (2) / Innsbruck / Oberammergau Passion Play (2).
Today we fly into Budapest known as the ‘Paris of the East’. Upon arrival we are met and transferred to our centrally located hotel.
Situated on the opposite banks of the Danube, the former twin cities of Buda and Pest are linked by a series of graceful bridges.
Our tour today in Budapest begins with a visit the stunning Basilica of St Stephen which holds the mummified hand of St Stephen, the first King of Hungary. Following Mass, we continue on to view the decorative Parliament building, Heroes Square, the 118-foot-high Corinthian column dedicated to the Roman Catholic Church, the 13th century Church of St Matthias and the Fisherman’s Bastion. Finish our tour with a panoramic view of the city from Gellert Hill and Mass at the Rock Cave. Enjoy some free time this afternoon before embarking on an enchanting Dinner Cruise on the River Danube to see the city’s architecture gloriously illuminated.
This morning we cross the border into the Slovak Republic and follow the Danube onto Bratislava where we meet our guide for a tour of this small but historical city including the Rococco-style Grassalkovich Palace, Primate’s Palace the neo-classic residence of the Archbishop of Esztergom, visit also the striking St Martin’s Cathedral for Mass.
Following some free time for lunch we travel west through the Austrian countryside onto Vienna. Once home to the powerful Hapsburg family, the city was the Imperial capital and thrived during this era as the centre of art, architecture and music.
Today we meet our guide for a wonderful exploration of this awe-inspiring city where we will visit Schonbrunn Palace including a stroll through the manicured gardens. We see the Opera House, Old Town Hall, take a stroll through Graben Square as well as visit and celebrate Mass at St Stephen’s Cathedral. Following dinner, we return to Schonbrunn Palace where in the Orangery we enjoy a concert with a fine selection of masterpieces by Mozart and Strauss.
This morning we travel west to the Benedictine Melk Abbey for Mass where this impressive baroque building was declared the “Best Historic Destination of the World”. Enter the magnificent marble hall, precious abbey library and the church with its unique frescoes! Also overlooking the beautiful Danube River, the Abbey contains the tomb of St Coloman or Stockerau.
We then continue crossing the border into the Czech Republic as we journey north to the golden city of Prague famous for its Gothic and Baroque architecture and ranked as one of the most beautifully preserved cities in Europe.
Today we embark on a tour of Prague. Visit St Vitus Cathedral, the city’s most distinctive landmark which houses the crown jewels and the tomb of ‘Good King’ Wenceslas. Continue on to the Hradcany area and the Prague Castle.
We celebrate Mass today at the Church of Our Lady Victorious where we come face to face with the stunning Holy Infant of Prague. This wax figure has an impressive record of miracle cures and is one of the most revered images in the Catholic world.
Cross the historical Charles Bridge built in 1400 and continue on to the Old Town area including Wenceslas Square, Celetna Lane, Old Town Square (with its random network of streets dating back to the 13th century), the Town Hall with the astronomical clock and Tyn Cathedral. Time permitting, we also visit Strahov Monastery and Loreto Church.
Departing Prague this morning we travel to nearby Svata Hora (Holy Mountain). Towering high above an old mining town, this baroque complex of buildings consecrated to the Virgin Mary has long been considered the spiritual heart of Bohemia. The church itself has, in addition to the Miraculous statue of Our Lady, many magnificent works of art and frescoes along with its world-renowned silver altar. Following Mass, we journey east to the famous Marian Shrine of Altötting, in the heart of Bavaria.
Altötting has been the spiritual centre of Bavaria and for more than 500 years the most significant place of pilgrimage in Germany. More than one million pilgrims and visitors per year seek the “Black Madonna” which is kept inside the Chapel of Grace.
This morning we have the privilege of celebrating Mass here at the shrine and come as pilgrims before the “Black Madonna” to seek her intercession and motherly protection. Also see here the Jerusalem Panorama, a monumental cyclorama of the crucifixion of Jesus, along with the Treasury and Pilgrimage Museum.
Close by we will visit the town of Marktl, the birthplace of Joseph Ratzinger who went on to become Pope Benedict XVI. Many visitors make the pilgrimage to his former house, which is now a museum.
The afternoon is at leisure back in Altotting, giving us time for private retreat, reflection or just time to relax.
Travel south by coach this morning through some of the most breathtaking scenery in southern Bavaria. We visit the Benedictine Abbey at Frauenworth situated on an island and founded in 772AD. Crossing the border into Austria, we will stop and enjoy the Hallein Salt Mines where we can enter on little trains to see this wondrous underground world of salt.
We continue nearby to Mondsee, where the hills will surely come alive with the “Sound of Music”! Our visit includes St. Michael’s Church – scene of the wedding between Maria and Captain Von Trapp. Also enter Hellbrunn Palace, a unique world of trick fountains and in the garden, see here the Pavilion where Liesl sang “Sixteen Going On Seventeen.” On the outskirts of Salzburg, we visit the hilltop shrine of Our Lady of Maria Plain for Mass, where pilgrims have been coming for three centuries to pray to a miraculous image of the Virgin Mary.
Finally, we arrive in Salzburg where we will proceed to our hotel for check-in.
This morning we visit Nonnberg Convent and admire the magnificent Byzantine frescoes in the choir, some of the oldest in Austria. The convent is more famous for having the real Maria Von Trapp from “The Sound of Music” enrolled as a novice. Continue on to the huge domed Salzburg Cathedral for Mass which can be seen from all over the city. We see the bronze font with reliefs of saints and where Mozart was baptised – many of his works were performed here for the first time.
Stroll through Residenz Platz and into Mozart Platz where we can view a statue of the great composer. We will visit the Mozart House where the family lived between 1747 and 1773. On a side street we see one of Europe’s most revered objects – The statue of the Christ Child of Loreto which miraculously cured the sick.
Remainder of the afternoon is at leisure to wander the Mirabell gardens, the backstreets, boutiques or just enjoy a coffee and a strudel.
Following breakfast, we travel south to the charming city of Innsbruck, where its most breathtaking treasures are the grandeur of the high snow-capped mountains. Upon arrival we ascend the mountains by Hungerburg Funicular where we have tremendous views of the whole valley to the Italian border. Enjoy a visit to the Hofkirke which features giant figures surrounding and representing the family of Maximilian I. The old townhouses with their rich stucco ornaments, reliefs and frescoes provide a fantastic backdrop to our next stop, the Dom St. Jacob for Mass where we see at the high altar the picture of “Madonna and Child” by Lucas Cranach the Elder – miracles have been attributed to this picture. We also see the famous Goldenes Dachl where the golden roof consists of 2,657 gilded copper roof tiles. In the late afternoon we arrive into the beautiful village of Oberammergau, home to the world-renowned Passion Play.
Every ten years affords pilgrims the great privilege of witnessing the world-renowned Passion Play of Oberammergau. For over 300 years this picturesque village in the Bavarian Alps has re-enacted the passion of Jesus, and people of every religious denomination have been drawn to this cherished spectacle.
The history of the Oberammergau Passion Play begins in 1633. During the Thirty Years’ War, after much suffering and also many deaths caused by the plague, the surviving population of Oberammergau vowed that they would perform the “play of the suffering, death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ” every ten years if they were spared from extinction. At Whitsun in 1634 they kept their promise for the first time. As early as the middle of the 18th Century spectators came to Oberammergau from all parts of Germany, attracted by the great power and mystique of the play.
In 2020 the village will perform the play for the 42nd time, maintaining the continuity of this unique world-famous event. Over 2000 participants bring the story of Jesus of Nazareth to the ears and eyes of the audience in a five-hour presentation on the imposing open-air stage. Almost half of the inhabitants of Oberammergau enact with great devotion the story of Jesus, whose message gives billions of people hope and strength. The play covers the period of Jesus entering Jerusalem and continues up to his death on the Cross and his resurrection.
Today is the highlight of our pilgrimage when we attend the world-famous Passion Play.
Meal Code: (B) = Breakfast (L) = Lunch (D) = Dinner
“The Harvest Pilgrimage was an amazing experience, it has strengthened my faith and also given me the opportunity to meet wonderful people who are now close friends. This pilgrimage was a highlight in my life and has created for me many wonderful memories”