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.
Sail through Central Europe’s splendid capitals and charming towns in Hungary, Slovakia, Austria and Germany. Then travel to the Bavarian village of Oberammergau for the performance of the Passion Play. Performed once a decade, the Passion Play is a stunning theatrical event with a history dating back to 1634. The perfect blend of adventure, relaxation, and inspiration, this is truly a once in a lifetime experience.
The river cruise begins in Budapest, then sets sail for Bratislava, the Slovakian capital. Continue to Vienna, the world’s most livable city before continuing to Linz and the cobblestones streets of Passau. After docking in Innsbruck you will have 2 nights there before driving to Oberammergau for the Passion Play performance.
Continue to Munich for the conclusion of the tour.
Archdeacon Emeritus Ray McInnes and his wife Glenys have had over forty years’ experience serving the Anglican Church in Parish Ministry. Ray and Glenys both retired from full time work last year. Ray was previously the Vicar at the Albert Park parish for 12 years during which time they successfully led four Christian pilgrimages and tours overseas.
They have a passion for travel and enjoy sharing new experiences and places with fellow travellers. Their daily reflections in this context often become a highlight of the journeys they lead. As always, their contribution to the journey is teamed with the marvellous support and planning of the Mission Travel/Selah Team.
Ray and Glenys recently cruised the River Danube and look forward to revisiting with fellow travellers this beautiful part of the world and adding to it the famous Passion Play at Oberammergau staged only once every ten years.
The Very Revd Dr Andreas Loewe has been Dean of St Paul’s Cathedral, Melbourne, since 2012. He is passionate about people, and prays that the Cathedral may be a place where many can experience the transforming love of God.
Andreas’ academic research centres on theology, as well as ecclesiastical and music history. He enjoys thinking about the Bible and Theology, in particular the way in which Scripture can be communicated through music, and has published widely in the fields of ecclesiastical history and music.
He is a Fellow and Lecturer at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. Prior to coming to St Paul’s Cathedral, Andreas was Senior Chaplain of Trinity College, The University of Melbourne, and Gavan Senior Lecturer in Theology at Trinity College Theological School, the University of Divinity, where he taught undergraduates and graduates, and mentored students preparing for Anglican ministry.
Andreas grew up in Germany and was educated in the United Kingdom. He is widely travelled, especially throughout Europe, fluent in German, and takes great pleasure in introducing people to his homeland.