7 days - 6 nights - from € 619 p.p. Historic Highlights of the former East
   

 

 

 

When the Iron Curtain was lifted from East Germany, it revealed to the world a wealth of historical, architectural and cultural treasures. Americans and Western Europeans have been fascinated with exploring its larger cities, but many of these areas were bombed during World War II and rebuilt without much thought to history and heritage while under Communist control. Still, many smaller cities can offer a better view of pre-war Germany, and often travelers will find that the prices are often lower in these cities than in their Western counterparts. Come experience such fascinating cultural differences by exploring the former East's more recent history as well as its glorious days in the Renaissance and medieval times.

 
Day 1 - Mainz

Arrive at Frankfurt International Airport (or at Mainz Main Train Station) to start your tour. Taxi transfer to your hotel in the Historic Highlights City of Mainz, located near Mainz Main Train Station.
"Live Mainz" - The state capital of Rhineland-Palatinate can probably best be understood under this motto. Because Mainz, the city at the confluence of the Rhine and Main and in the middle of the largest German wine-growing area, combines a way of life, a zest for life and a rich, age-old culture in an almost proverbial manner. Enjoy your arrival day in Mainz and explore the City which the Romans laid the foundations more than 2000 years ago.

 
Day 2 - Erfurt

Take the train to the Historic Highlights City of Erfurt. Erfurt became a pilgrimage destination of sorts with the reunification of Germany. Thousands of Americans poured into this former East German city to see where Martin Luther studied, to bow heads where he prayed, to walk the same medieval streets and even to sleep where he slept. Luther came to the University of Erfurt as a student in 1501, served as a monk in the Augustinian Monastery starting in 1505 and was ordained as a priest in the St. Mary's Cathedral in 1511. At almost every turn, there's a reminder of the man who launched the Reformation. But there is far more to this city than Luther. The compact Altstadt makes for easy exploration of its many neighboring historic sights. The Domberg (Cathedral Hill) thrusts impressive twin cathedrals above the city's rooftops. The hike up the 70 steps from the Domplatz is worth it to see the treasures of the 14th-century St. Mary's Cathedral and the 13th-century St. Severus. The Fischmarkt (Fish Market) is the center of the historical city. Next to the neo-Gothic City Hall (1870-75), with its numerous of lovely mural paintings depicting the history and legends of Thuringia and Erfurt, you will find a number of town houses once owned by rich woad merchants. A few steps further there is the notable renovated classical facade of the Kaisersaal (1715), the former old university ballroom. It was here, that Napoleon I. met Tsar Alexander I. at the Erfurt Congress in 1808. The Krämerbrücke (Merchant's Bridge), built in 1325, is completely covered by houses on both sides. The original 62 narrow houses on the bridge have over time been amalgamated to form the present 32 houses, and it is recognized as the longest bridge of its kind in Europe. The Augustinerkloster (Augustinian Monastery), dating back to 1277, houses an exhibition that shows the life and work of its resident of six years, Martin Luther. Also not to be missed is the Petersberg Citadel, one of the few of nearly completely preserved Baroque Citadels in Europe. Today it stands as impressive proof of the art of European fortification construction from the 17th to the 19th centuries. This beautiful city has bloomed into the reputation of Europe's "Flower City." A city of parks and gardens, it boasts Germany's largest flower bed (6,000 square meters) in the ega-Park. The "ega" is a gardening exhibition center built around the 500- year-old Cyriaksburg fortress and is a testament to man's ability to find harmony with nature in landscape gardening. Just behind the train station, City Park rises with a series of stone terraces. The old Brühl Park, built as a refuge for nobility in the 18th century and now gone quite literally to seed, is being tamed and manicured.
Your hotel is located close to Erfurt main station.

   
  Day 3 - 5 - Potsdam & Berlin

Take the train to the Historic Highlights City of Potsdam. Extensive landscapes of castles, palaces and sprawling parks are the main attraction for palatial Potsdam. From the 17th through 20th centuries, Prussian kings commissioned the best artists of their time to build elaborate palaces and gardens in Potsdam, a center of Prussia and home of the royal residence. In the 19th century, renowned landscape architect Peter Joseph Lenné unified these riches into such a harmonious landscape that UNESCO placed it on the list of World Heritage Sites in 1991. For most visitors, it's Sanssouci Park that's the prime attraction. It covers 724 acres - compared to Central Park's 840 - and has three palaces: Sanssouci Palace, the New Palace and Charlottenhof Palace. A king who joined his troops on the battlefield, Frederick the Great commissioned Sanssouci Palace in 1747 as a summer palace where he could have a respite from battle sans souci - without worry. Visitors today still benefit from his stately escape, so check your worries at the palace gates to enjoy splendid gardens and a collection of breathtaking architecture and adornment. Most of what visitors see is the ornate original - not reconstructions or duplicates - and perhaps Germany's most impressive example of rococo architecture. The walls, ceilings, and doors of every room were all richly and intricately embellished and furnished. In front of the palace, vineyard terraces stretch in geometric shapes down into the park. Many visitors to Sanssouci Park neglect the smaller but exquisite New Garden, with two charming palaces: the Marble Palace and Cecilienhof, built in 1917 in the style of an English country estate. Although Cecilienhof is the youngest of the Hohenzollern palaces, it carries perhaps the greatest direct significance for Americans and modern Europe. It was here that the victorious powers of World War II met from June 17 to August 2, 1945 for the Potsdam Conference. Churchill, Truman and Stalin enjoyed the calm and luxurious surroundings of the Cecilia Court Palace as they discussed how to partition post-war Germany. There is plenty to explore in Potsdam regarding its former Communist rule. Signs still remain from those times, which after all ended not even 2 decades ago. As recently as 1994, the city still had 60,000 Russian soldiers. And you are now free to wander the former "Forbidden City," a walled-off villa district once controlled by the KGB. The draw of nearby Berlin for those interested in former East Germany is natural, but many visitors opt to overnight in Potsdam and take day trips to Berlin instead of the other way around. Room rates and restaurants are considerably less expensive and the atmosphere more cordial. You can be in the heart of Berlin within 25 minutes by S-Bahn or train. Be sure to set aside some time to walk around the Baroque Old Town, especially the Dutch Quarter with its gabled brick houses and Brandenburg Street, a pedestrian shopping boulevard lined with antique stores and shops. Gain some of the best views of the parks and palaces from the lakes and river. Relaxing cruises are available of different lengths and routes, from 90-minute lake tours to full-day excursions from Potsdam to Berlin and back.

   
  Day 6 - Daytrip To Rostock

 

 

 

 

Download this Dream Route as PDF

After exploring the sights, tastes and history of two of its more southerly neighbors, come taste the salty air and experience the nostalgia of old-time sailboats in coastal Historic Highlights City of Rostock. Once the center of the Hanseatic League, this "Gateway to the North" has preserved much of its charm from its days of booming commerce in medieval times. Rostock has kept its importance as a trade center to this day, as well as its status as a college town. Its university, founded in 1419, is the oldest in Northern Europe. The prosperity of its maritime merchants is evidenced by the remarkable medieval and Renaissance architecture in Rostock's Old Town. There's the 1490 Hausbaumhaus, one of the few wooden structures remaining in the city. The Marienkirche (St. Mary's Church) continues to cast a dramatic shadow, but today the 355-foot steeple of the Petrikirche tops the skyline. Adjacent to the Marienkirche stands the 13th-century Rathaus, with its 18th-century baroque makeover. Traditional gabled patrician houses line Wokrenterstrasse. Some of the original city wall still remains, especially along the parklike Wallstrasse. The lively Kröpelinerstrasse in the pedestrian zone is usually bustling with window-shoppers and friends chatting at sidewalk cafes. At its midway point, the Universitätsplatz (with its Fountain of Happiness) is a magnet for students, children and other young people. Leave behind the bustle of business in Rostock for its smaller, slower neighbor, Warnemünde. Part of Rostock since 1323, this quaint town has retained the charm of the fishing village it has historically been while attracting luxury-seekers as a seaside resort today. A boat seems the most appropriate transportation to get to a town so tied to the sea, so catch one from Rostock that will follow the Warnow to its wide mouth at the Baltic. After disembarking at Warnemünde, it takes barely three minutes to walk from the boat landing to the town center, crossing the Alter Strom - the old channel where fishing boats lie tied to cleats as their crews sell from tables heaped with fish. Crossing the footbridge over the Alter Strom, visitors are rewarded with a walk through narrow alleys lined with centuries-old gabled fishermen's houses. Built in 1897, the nearly 100-foot brick Warnemünde Lighthouse offers a superb panoramic view of the town and the harbor entrance. At its base is a plaque honoring the former coast guard station that served as "the last house until Denmark." Walk past the Lighthouse to the Westmole, a 1,600- foot breakwater topped with a wide cement walkway. It extends out into the Baltic and provides the best vantage point for watching ships make their way to sea. A promenade also runs from the Lighthouse along the beach.
 

 
Day 7 - Potsdam / Berlin for Departure
Enjoy your last day of the tour. A taxi will take you to any Airport in Berlin or to Potsdam main station.
 

Book This Tour

INCLUDED

  • Airport Transfers

  • 6 nights accommodation

  • All train transportation in first class

  • Sightseeing at leisure

  • Tour package with valuable information, maps and brochures

  • Some entrance fees

7 days / 6 nights independent tour

€679 per person - based on double occupancy


Alternatively:

AVIS rental car instead of 1st class train travel:

€619 per person - based on double occupancy

Information & Travel Agent Services

(800) 949-6362 or (310) 324-5500

833 W Torrance Blvd, Ste 111 ● Torrance, CA 90502

www.nonstoptravel.netinfo@nonstoptravel.net

CST:1018469-10

 


Tours designed & operated by
TOEUROPE GERMANY
Lessingstrasse 13
· 35789 Weilmunster · (Frankfurt/Germany)
www.toeurope.eu
· info@toeurope.eu