Advent in the Alps and Beyond

Christmas Markets in Germany & Austria

Advent in the Alps and Beyond

Advent in Austria is still a time of peaceful reflection, but the Christmas markets which started in the Middle Ages create a perfect festive and traditional atmosphere.

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Krakow, Budapest, Bratislava, Vienna and Prague

Central and Eastern Europe

Imperial Capitals: Krakow, Budapest, Bratislava, Vienna & Prague

These Eastern European capital cities have been restored from their Communist-era drabness to join Vienna in the front rank of European travel destinations.

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The Emerald Isle


The Emerald Isle

Ireland has always been a land of legend and folklore, steeped in the mysticism of its Celtic history. Come and explore the truth behind the legends - the spectacular landscapes, the ancient castles and some true Irish hospitality.

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Bunratty Ireland






St. Peters Rome

Ponta Vechio Italy

Wartburg Germany



History of the Reformation

Martin Luther and more...

Lutheran congregations in North America today naturally trace the foundations of their Christian worship to the events 500 years ago, which led to Martin Luther's break with the established Church.

Back in Europe of the Middle Ages the events which became known as the Protestant Reformation were in fact the culmination of centuries of reaction against Christianity's involvement in politics.

There were those who paved the way for Martin Luther and challenged the omnipotent power of the Church and its hierarchy:

  • John Wycliffe in England democratized access to the Bible by translating it into the common tongue and supported the revolutionary idea, that the Church should be poor as in the days of Christ
  • Jan Hus in Prague dared to suggest that the Church was not the Pope and his appointees, but consisted of the entire body of believers, led by Christ Himself. One hundred years before Luther, Hus condemned the sale of indulgences as the path to salvation.

The immediate events leading up to nailing the 95 Theses to the church door in Wittenberg were nothing less than Luther's own very personal struggle with questions of faith and salvation, which finally provoked a global movement for reform and even revolution.

The Door of the 95 Theses
The famous church door in Wittenberg
Photo used with permission of WittenbergKultur e.V 

Luther's act of defiance encouraged the efforts of Reformers in other parts of Europe and led to the rapid spread of the Reformation through the likes of John Calvin, Ulrich Zwingli and John Knox.

While these tremors were shaking the very foundations of the established church, they were paralleled in secular life by an increasing rebellion against the old power structures of the feudal system and resulted in the German Peasants' War in 1524.

The underlying idea for both the religious and secular radicals was the same: the issue of free will, whether in terms of faith or in social and economic status.

It was the struggle over this ideal, which resulted in the development of the various congregations of the Reformed Church and the introduction of the Catholic Counter-Reformation.

The conflict led to further bloodshed, wars and persecution, which produced the first waves of emigration to the New World and became the roots of the Lutheran and Reformed congregations in North America today.

Find Out More About Tours During The Luther Decade

If you are interested in tours of the Luther Country in Germany or have further questions then feel free to call Trans World Travel on 800 323 8158 or alternatively contact us by email using the button below. One of our experienced staff will be happy to help you.

Trans World Travel, Inc.

734 Central Avenue • Highland Park • Illinois • 60035
Tel.: (847) 432-2400 • Toll-free: (800) 323-8158
Fax:(847) 432-8675

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