Route of two Popes - Poland, Czech Republic, Austria, Germany (14 days)
Jan Pawel II
Poland, Kalwaria Zebrzydowska
Poland, Pieniny mountains
Poland, Pieniny mountains
Poland, Tatra mountains
See Route of two Popes on a larger map
The Pope John Paul II, born Karol Jozef Wojtyla (May 18, 1920 - April 2, 2005), was the Head of the Roman Catholic Church for almost 27 years, from 16 October 1978 until his death. He was the first non-Italian to serve in the Holy See since 1523. His reign was the third-longest in the history of the Papacy. John Paul II became known as the "Pilgrim Pope" for having travelled greater distances than had all his predecessors combined. According to John Paul II, the trips symbolized bridge-building efforts between nations and religions, attempting to remove divisions created through history. Poland, as his motherland, was the most frequently visited country. He came here 8 times out of 104 pastoral visits he did outside of Italy. This tour will remind you about his personality and take you to his favourite places in Poland, a country where all began.
During this journey you will also visit important places from the life of Pope Benedict XVI, Pope John Paul’s II successor and a former Pope. We will start by visiting places of his childhood and youth like Aschau am Inn, Salzburg and the Alps. This region of great natural beauty boasts some the oldest and most beautiful landscapes of Central Europe. Pope Benedict XVI also spent many years in Munich where he was appointed the Archbishop of Munich and Freising. Follow the footsteps of an outstanding theologian and a very special person!
Arrival to Warsaw; welcome dinner.
Explore Warsaw, the Polish capital and its main sights. Stroll through the manicured greens of Lazienki Royal Park with its monument of the famous composer Frédéric Chopin, Island Amphitheatre and the neoclassical Palace on the Water. Transfer to the old Jewish quarter and see the remnants of the former Jewish Ghetto and Holocaust memorials like Umschlagplatz and the Monument to the Ghetto Heroes. In the Old Town, a UNESCO Heritage Site, walk along the cobbled streets from the Royal Castle past St John’s Cathedral through the Market Square and Barbican to the New Town, soaking up the medieval atmosphere. Continue onto the Saxon Gardens and Pilsudski Square, the site of John Paul’s II celebrated mass during his first pilgrimage to Poland, when he spoke the famous words: "May the Holy Spirit descend and renew the face of the Earth, this Earth.." – a message which became true after the fall of communism in Poland. Dinner and overnight in Warsaw.
Monday Warsaw – Czestochowa – Krakow
Transfer from Warsaw to Czestochowa, home to the most important Polish shrine of Virgin Mary which attracts millions of pilgrims each year and was also visited by Pope John Paul II. Visit the monastery of Jasna Gora with the famous altar of the Black Madonna, the monument to the parents of the Pope and the inscription on the door in his honour. We continue our journey towards Krakow. Overnight in Krakow.
Tuesday Krakow – Wieliczka – Krakow
Krakow, the former royal capital, fully deserves its position on the first ever published UNESCO World Heritage List. The city has many links to John Paul II who lived here in his youth and later was appointed the Bishop and Metropolitan of Krakow. Visit the Wawel Hill with the XIV century cathedral and the Wawel Royal Castle with an arcaded courtyard – the former seat of Polish kings. Our tour continues through the Market Square in the Old Town with its iconic landmarks such as Sukiennice Cloth Hall, St Mary's Church and Town Hall Tower. Continue onto the medieval fortifications of Barbican with Florian's Gate. In the afternoon visit the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Krakow-Lagiewniki blessed by John Paul II. Although it is the newest sanctuary in Krakow it attracts thousands of pilgrims due to the relics of St Faustina buried here. Visit the monastery where St Faustina Kowalska lived and the basilica with the famous image of Merciful Jesus. Free time to attend a mass at the shrine. Dinner and overnight in Krakow.
Optional: In the afternoon depart for Wieliczka, home to the oldest operating salt mine in the world (UNESCO) where you can see magnificent chapels, charming underground lakes and original excavation tools and equipment. You will visit stunning underground chambers on three levels, adorned with beautiful sculptures made of salt, as well as the salt museum. Transfer back to Krakow.
Wednesday Krakow – Auschwitz-Birkenau –
Wadowice – Kalwaria Zebrzydowska – Wroclaw
Thursday Wroclaw – Prague
Explore Wroclaw - City of a Hundred Bridges. Its rich history and medieval atmosphere attract millions of tourists every year. Start at the main entrance of the 13th century Cathedral of St John the Baptist located on the Ostrow Tumski island - the oldest part of Wroclaw. Walking along the Odra riverbank we ascend the “Polish Hill” which offers splendid views over the city. The nearby Panorama of the Battle of Raclawice Museum presents one of the biggest 360 degrees panoramic battle scenes in the world. The next highlight on our route is Aula Leopoldina – a representative baroque lecture hall at the Wroclaw University. A stroll down the medieval cobblestone streets leads to the Market Square, one of the largest in Europe, surrounded by old tenement houses with the gothic Town Hall in the centre. In the afternoon transfer to Prague. On arrival check-into the hotel. Overnight in Prague.
In the morning explore Prague, the capital of Czech Republic for over twelve centuries and one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. Periods of great prosperity intertwined with the less favourable times shaped its unique atmosphere. You will appreciate the richness of historical monuments dating back to the most remote and romantic times and admire variety of architectural styles. Enjoy the free afternoon to explore this magnificent city at your own pace. Overnight in Prague.
Saturday Prague – Pilsen – Regensburg
We leave Prague and make our way towards Munich. En route we stop at Pilsen, the Western Bohemian capital approx. 90km outside Prague, visited by tourists from all over the world – this historical town is renowned for brewing one of the world’s most famous beers. We visit the Pilsner Urquell brewery which gave start to the famous type of Pils lager. We continue to Regensburg, old town full of architectural and historical heritage (UNESCO), located at the confluence of the Danube and Regen rivers. Thanks to the little damage the town suffered during WWII a lot of its buildings to this day remain perfect examples of gothic and roman architecture, with St Peter’s Cathedral standing out among them. In this ancient town free from the Roman Rule we will also see Germany’s oldest bridge and the famous 179 A.D. gateway Porta Praetoria. Overnight in Regensburg.
Sunday Regensburg – Altötting – Aschau am Inn – Marktl
We transfer to Altötting, a destination of many pilgrimages of Joseph Ratzinger, and a site of cult of the German Black Madonna. We visit the Chapel of Mercedes from IX century where you can find the famous sculpture of the Virgin with the Child. In the panoramic museum we will see a painting representing Jerusalem in the times of Christ. On Brother Conrad’s Square we will find „Pope’s Linden Tree” planted by Pope John Paul II during his visit here in 1980. We will also visit the Basilica of St Ana. We continue our journey to Marktl, the birthplace of Benedict XVI. We will visit his childood home as well as the Church of San Oswaldo where Pope Benedict XVI was baptized. Overnight in Marktl.
Monday Marktl – Salzburg
Tuesday Salzburg – Traunstein – Chiemsee – Füssen
Our first stop of the day will be in the town of Traunstein. On arrival we visit Joseph Ratzinger’s family home and the “Sailer Keller” – a cellar where he performed his first service. Enjoy a free afternoon or alternatively take an optional tour. Dinner and overnight in the hotel in Füssen.
Optional: Herrenchiemsee Palace is nestled on a 240-hectare island on the Chiemsee Lake, called the "Bavarian Sea" by the Germans, only accessible by a boat. It was a third grand palace – alongside with Neuschwanstein and Linderhof – built by Louis II and without a doubt it is his most impressive creation, inspired during the monarch’s visit to Versailles.
Wednesday Füssen – Munich
Transfer to Munich. Enjoy a guided tour of Munich, one of the most important places in the life of Pope Benedict XVI. We will visit “Our Lady’s Church” and the Archbishop’s Palace where Benedict XVI conducted his office as the Archbishop of Munich and Frising. We will see the Nymphemburg Castle and park, the famous Glockenspiel’s Organ, the Olympic Village, the impressive Renaissance St Michael’s Church with the biggest barr vault of the region, a gothic cathedral with preserved stained glass dating from 14th to 16th century, the Marienplatz, etc. Dinner in a local restaurant. Overnight in Munich.
Thursday Munich – Freising – Neuschwanstein – Munich
Today the first destination will be Freising where we will visit the University where Benedict XVI studied theology and philosophy. In the afternoon we will visit the fairytale-like Neuschwanstein Castle built by the “Mad King” Louis II of Bavaria. In the afternoon we return to Munich. Overnight in Munich.
Transfer to Munich airport and departure. End of tour.
Price per adult