CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE PILGRIMAGE

Overview

If you are uncertain whether the Pilgrimage places in Eastern and Central Europe are worth it, this tour might give you the right answer. Visiting historical city centres in combination with the uplifting and holy atmosphere of many chapels, churches and basilicas – all that and a lot more will leave you with unique impression that cannot be obtained anywhere else. You will have a chance to see the famous Infant Jesus of Prague, admire the beauty of Hallstat and see the amazing charnel house there or visit the most famous pilgrimage place of Austria – Mariazell or the third largest Catholic pilgrimage site in the world – Jasna Gora in Poland.

If you really want your soul to feel a true spiritual connection with our Lord, let it be on this journey full of holy and majestic places throughout Central Europe.

Itinerary

Arrival in Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic. Prague is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe – a city of domed rooftops, soaring steeples and countless spires.  It is well-known for its splendid and well preserved Gothic and Baroque architecture.
We will have a traditional Czech dinner in a monastery brewery

Accommodation: 4* hotel in the historical centre of Prague. 
 

In the morning we will celebrate Holy Mass in the Church of Our Lady Victorious. This is an important pilgrimage site in Prague well-known for its statue of the Infant Jesus of Prague.
In the afternoon, we will tour the castle area, which includes the castle, the gothic St. Vitus Cathedral and the Prague Loretto - the Marian pilgrimage site. We will continue across the oldest of Prague’s bridges – the medieval Charles Bridge (built in the 14th century) to the Old Town Square with the Town Hall, the Astronomic Clock and Gothic Tyn Church, correctly referred to as the Church of Our Lady Before Tyn, which dominates one side of the Old Town Square.

Accommodation: 4* hotel in the historical centre of Prague. 

 

Morning departure from Prague. Our first stop will be Cesky Krumlov, a UNESCO heritage listed small city in the south of the Czech Republic. We will walk along its narrow cobbled streets and admire the Gothic church, Baroque and Renaissance buildings dated back to many centuries ago.
Our tour will continue to Salzburg in Austria. We will arrive late in the evening and have dinner at the hotel.

Accommodation:  4* hotel in central Salzburg

Salzburg – beautiful natural scenery, admirable architecture, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Sound of Music... all these are the highlights of Salzburg. The city has a long and rich history and is one of the most famous and most frequently visited places in Europe. The Romanesque Cathedral, the Nonnberg Convent of Benedictine nuns, the Hohensalzburg Fortress and the Hellbrunn Palace justify its high reputation.
We will take a coach and walking tour based on the film The Sound of Music, which includes historical centre and also the places where the famous movie was shot.

Accommodation: 4*hotel in Salzburg

After breakfast, we will cross the border to Germany to Berchtesgaden where we will take an original and authoritative tour of the Eagle’s Nest, Obersalzberg and Bunker System. Hitler’s home and headquarters - the second seat of the 3rd Reich’s power – were located at Obersalzberg, at the foot of the Eagle’s Nest Mountain. The mountain-top “Eagle’s Nest” was built as a teahouse for Adolf Hitler’s 50th birthday. The underground bunker system gives an idea of the monumental scale of the former headquarters.
Transfer to Hallstat.

Accommodation:  4* hotel in Hallstat
 

On day five, we will visit Hallstatt, a breath-taking town of the Salzkammer region situated, in a narrow valley under the Alps on the bank of the lake Hallstätter See. 
We will take a boat trip on the historic glacial lake – make sure you have your cameras ready!!
Later in the afternoon our tour will continue to Mariazell which is the most important pilgrimage site in Austria and one of the most important in Europe.  

Accommodation: 4* hotel in Mariazell

 

In the morning, Holy Mass will be celebrated at the Basilica – the lady Chapel or Chapel of Miracles which houses the miraculous wooden image of the Virgin Mary. You will have free time to enjoy the peaceful and holy atmosphere of this place.  
In the afternoon we will continue our tour to Heiligenkreuz, the oldest continuously occupied Cistercian monastery in the world. After seeing the remarkable premises of the monastery, we will listen to the monks reciting the liturgy of the hours and have dinner in a restaurant within the monastery grounds. The monastery was founded in 1133 by Margrave St Leopold III of Austria.
Transfer to Vienna.

Accommodation:  4* hotel in central Vienna 
 

The capital of Austria and for many centuries the capital of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy is a splendid city with a rich history, admirable architecture, extensive royal sites, culture, music and wine ... these are the characteristics of Vienna.
Morning Holy Mass in the Votive church (Votivekirche), a Neo-Gothic church established to commemorate a failed assassination attempt on Emperor Franz Joseph by a Hungarian nationalist in 1853. The church was created to thank God for saving the Emperor´s life and dedicated on the silver jubilee of Emperor Franz Joseph and his wife Empress Elisabeth in 1879.
Afterwards we will take a bus + walking tour to see the most remarkable monuments of Vienna. The spectacular Stephen´s Cathedral, the most important religious building in Vienna, where you can see the miraculous image of Our Lady of Mariapoch is a highlight. The historic centre is rich in architecture with the Baroque townhouses and beautiful gardens. We will admire the monumental Parliament building, the City Hall, the State Opera House, Holy Trinity Column, St. Peters church, Hofburg Palace. And afterwards we can enjoy our lunch in a restaurant in the historical centre. Free time in the afternoon to stroll along the narrow streets and lanes of Vienna.
Optional in the evening: Strauss & Mozart Concerts at Kursalon.

Accommodation:  4* hotel in central Vienna

 

In the morning we will take a Grand tour of Schoenbruun,  the summer residence of the Habsburg family: a splendid baroque palace with extensive baroque gardens, and a ZOO which is the oldest in the world. We will also taste the world famous strudel at the royal bakery (with demonstration of how to make it).
Departure to Bratislava.
On the way we will stop to see Roman ruins which are being brought back to life at Carnuntum. On the ruins of the roman city from the beginning of the 1st millennium there are newly built buildings – houses and a spa - which look exactly like they were almost 2 millenniums ago - using the traditional materials and the techniques of the 4th century ...You won’t find anything like it even in Rome!
Arrival to Bratislava and a dinner in a restaurant in the centre.

Accommodation:   4* hotel in the centre of Bratislava

 

Morning Holy Mass in the famous Blue Church. This gem of a church close to the centre of city is Bratislava's most attractive Art Nouveau (Secession) building. It is astonishingly blue from its pews to the roof.
The official name of this Catholic church, built at the beginning of the 20th century and dedicated in 1913, is the Church of St. Elisabeth of Hungary.
After this we will take  Bratislava sightseeing tour (bus + walking) to see the Castle, historical centre including the St Michael’s Gate, St Martin’s Cathedral and Academia Istropolitana – the first university in the old Hungarian monarchy, the Primatial Palace, the Old Town Hall, the Opera House and Slavin, a monument to the Second World War.
Free afternoon to enjoy the cosy atmosphere of the smallest of the Danube capitals.
Dinner in the restaurant of the rotating TV tower in the Lesser Carpathian Mountains above Bratislava with beautiful views over the city and its environs.

Accommodation: 4* hotel in the centre of Bratislava
 

 

From Bratislava we will cross the border to Hungary to make a full day trip to Pannonhalma, the Benedictine Archabbey. The monastery of the Benedictine Order, gently dominating the Pannonian landscape in western Hungary, was founded in 996 and had a major role in the diffusion of Christianity in medieval Central Europe.  The most precious is the 13th century gothic church and a famous library. And something which has been characteristic for the abbey in Pannonhalma for centuries: vineyards and the wine production. We will have a chance to taste some of their excellent wines! Transfer to Budapest.

Accommodation: 4* hotel in the centre of Budapest
 

It is immediately apparent why many think Budapest is the most spectacular and attractive of the capitals on the Danube. It spreads along the both banks of the river, which are connected by many bridges. The Danube at night with dozens of boats and the illuminated bridges is an unforgettable view. 
In the morning we will make a tour to both districts. Buda and Pest. In Buda we will visit the Castle District and the Citadel on the hills above the Danube and then cross over to Pest to admire the Basilica, the Synagogue & the Opera House.  The Citadel is situated on Gellért Hill, which was named after Saint Gerard.
Optional: in the evening during our Danube River boat cruise we will experience two important ingredients in the spirit of Hungary: traditional food and gipsy music.

Accommodation: 4* hotel in the centre in Budapest
 

In the morning the Holy Mass will be celebrated at the Basilica of St. Stephen – one of the most important Catholic shrines in Hungary. The church is named after Saint Stephen I. of Hungary, the first King of Hungary (c. 975–1038), whose "incorruptible" right hand is said to be housed in the reliquary. You will have the rest of the day free to explore the city or be spoilt in one of the famous Budapest spas (spa treatments will be arranged based on the individual choice).

Accommodation:  4* hotel in the centre of Budapest
 

We will cross the border into Slovakia again. On the way we will stop at other important Hungarian historic sites - Esztergom and Visegrad.
Visegrád is a small castle town located north of Budapest on the right bank of the Danube. Visegrád is famous for the remains of the Early Renaissance summer palace of King Matthias Corvinus of Hungary and its medieval citadel.
Esztergom is one of the cities with the longest and richest history in Hungary. The Primatial Basilica is the seat of the Catholic Church in Hungary and the country’s most important church. Being built on Castle hill above the Danube, right next to the border with Slovakia, you can enjoy a beautiful view of two countries from the dome of the Basilica. In the afternoon we will continue across the border to Slovakia to overnight in an old mining city in central Slovakia.

Accommodation: 4* hotel in the centre of Banska Stiavnica

Banska Stiavnica is one of the best preserved of the old royal towns in Slovakia with historical gold and silver mines dating back to the 17 century. Architectural highlights include the Holy Trinity Column, well preserved mine works and a Baroque Calvary on the hill above the city, which is a key tourist attraction in the region.
We will walk along the narrow lanes of Banska Stiavnica and explore the mine passages under the town. After that we will take a short drive to the neighbouring village of St Anton to visit the manor house Antol, former summer residence of the Bulgarian tsar Ferdinand Coburg. In the Chapel of the Manor a Holy Mass will be celebrated. In the afternoon we will test how skilled we are in handcrafts. Experts in traditional crafts will give you a short course.
In the evening we will taste traditional Slovak dishes and enjoy a colourful show of local folklore and mining traditions performed by a local group.

Accommodation: 4* hotel in the centre of Banska Stiavnica
 

Transfer to northern Slovakia. Our first stop will be in a village under the Tatras, Liptovsky Jan. In an Early Gothic church from the 13th century we will celebrate Holy Mass which will include an ancient pipe organ recital
High Tatras – a short trip to the second largest of the Tatras glacial lakes Strbske Pleso. We can admire the smallest alpine type mountains in the world. 
Transfer to Levoca, dinner at the hotel.

Accommodation: 3* hotel in Levoca (member of the Historical hotels of Slovakia association)
 

This small town in northern Slovakia is home to some of the pearls of Slovak culture and architecture. The most famous is the tallest wooden altar in the world, carved by Master Paul. This is in the gothic church of St. James.
The Basilica Minor on the hill above the city is one of the most important pilgrimage places in Slovakia. Pope John Paul II granted the church this status in 1984. The area also includes other sites: Spis Castle – the largest castle in Central Europe, the Early Gothic church at Zehra (13th century), which has well-preserved frescos.
At first we will take the tour to the castle and environs. After having lunch at the castle courtyard we will take a sightseeing tour of Levoca including the Late Gothic church of St. James.

Accommodation: 3* hotel in Levoca (member of the Historical hotels of Slovakia association)

 

We will drive to the northern border and further to Poland. The Salt mine Wieliczka is one of the special highlights of the tour. In this unique world-class attraction, we will take a Pilgrimage tour, which includes Holy mass in one of the chapels carved out of salt in the mine. Lunch will be served in the tavern of the mine.
Transfer to Krakow.

Accommodation: 4* hotel Krakow - Old town
 

Krakow is the real highlight of our pilgrimage tour. Pope John Paul II was ordained in the crypt of Wawel Cathedral and celebrated his first Mass here. He also served as the city’s Archbishop. We will make a visit to the castle and the cathedral. 
In the afternoon we will draw inspiration from the Shrine of Divine Mercy, where Our Lord appeared to Sr Faustina Kowalska (she was a Polish Sister of Mercy). Holy Mass will be celebrated in one of the chapels of this important pilgrimage site. 

Accommodation: 4* hotel in Krakow

 

From Krakow we continue our Central Europe pilgrimage tour to Auschwitz – the biggest Nazi concentration camp which has been preserved as a monument to Hitler’s policies of genocide. We will see Auschwitz I and Auschwitz II-Birkenau and the martyrdom bunker of St Maximilian Kolbe, a catholic priest whose name became a symbol of self-courage and self-sacrifice at the camp. Here we will pray and try to find self-reflection of his martyrdom.
We will continue to Wadovice - the birth place of Karol Wojtyla (St John Paul II). We will spend the night in Jasna Gora.

Accommodation: 4* hotel in Czestochowa

Jasna Gora – The Pauline monastery is the third largest Catholic pilgrimage site in the world and one of the most popular. We will celebrate a Holy Mass in the chapel where the miraculous icon is housed. We will have lunch in the monastery refectory and depart to Olomouc.

Accommodation:  3* hotel in the centre of Olomouc

 

Our last day we will spend in the town of Olomouc - the hometown of the oldest Moravian university and the second oldest in the Czech Republic. In this city with a unique student yet historical atmosphere we will visit the gorgeous Neogothic St. Wenceslas Cathedral, see the Column of Holy Trinity (which is listed in UNESCO Heritage list), stroll around lively Bezruč park and if the weather is nice we could also visit recently renewed rose garden. Those of you who are brave (and fit) can walk up more than 200 stairs to enjoy the view of the whole town from the St. Moritz tower, which is 46 m high. 

In the afternoon we will transfer to the airport.
 

Dates & Prices

Dates Price Availability
On Request 2300 € /p.p. (for groups of min. 25 pax.,other groups on request)
On Request The price includes: accommodation in dbl room with full board in 3*/ 4* hotels, incl. special dinners, all bus inland transfers, English speaking tour manager, local guides as required, sightseeing, admissions, cultural programme in accordance to the i

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