In the 17th century one of history's most devastating wars took place - the Thirty Years’ War took place in central Europe. It remains one of the longest and most brutal wars in human history, with more than 8 million casualties resulting from military battles as well as from the famine and disease caused by the conflict. The war lasted from 1618 to 1648, starting as a battle among the Catholic and Protestant states. It gradually developed into a more general conflict involving most of the European great powers. These states employed relatively large mercenary armies, and the war became less about religion and more of a continuation of the France–Habsburg rivalry for European political pre-eminence.
From the war, poverty and disease spread and thousands died as a result of the Bubonic Plague. In the small village of Oberammergau, the death rate among adults had risen from one person per 1000 per year in October 1632. During this time the suffering the citizens of Oberammergau made a sacred that every 10 years they would perform
“The Play of the Suffering, Death and Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ”
if God would protect them from the plague. After their vow, the adult death rate slowly subsided to one in the month of July 1633. The villagers believed they had been spared and thus kept their part of the vow when the play was first performed in 1634.
The Protestant Reformation is a movement that has shaped Christian faith and life in ways that remain critical and relevant for today. We invite you to participate in a unique tour which will enable you to engage with the vital biblical truths rediscovered at the Reformation as well as experience the world famous Passion Play in Oberammergau.
Discover the life and work of great heroes of faith such as Martin Luther, John Calvin, Johannes Gutenberg, and Ulrich Zwingli, and be inspired and encouraged in your own faith.
The tour commences in Germany’s vibrant capital city of Berlin. The following days will be spent exploring the picturesque and historic Luther towns of Wittenberg and Erfurt, as well as enjoying a relaxing morning cruise on the beautiful Rhine River. After some shopping in the medieval town of Rothenburg we will visit the fascinating city of Nuremberg, site of many important events associated with World War 2. We will then travel to Oberammergau for the Passion Play ( a play that is only held every 10 years and has been running since the 1600s). Continue to Switzerland to experience the history and beauty of Zurich and Geneva, key cities for the Swiss Reformation and the work of Calvin, Zwingli and the Anabaptist movement.