Advertorial – Considered by many to be the beating heart of Europe due to its central location, Austria, Hungary and the Czech Republic are interconnected by the arteries of the Danube River and vividly alive with history and culture. Join us as we journey across the cities of Budapest, Vienna, Salzburg, and Prague on this memorable trip that is sure to leave you with stories, memories and new friends! Also, no trip to Central Europe this year would be complete without experiencing the Passion Play in Oberammergau, Germany, which occurs only once every decade.
We begin our journey in Budapest, Hungary’s capital city, which offers an unmatched combination of culture, gastronomy and world heritage sights. In the past, it was two cities called Buda and Pest located on either side of the Danube River. Hilly Buda and flat Pest are now connected by the iconic Chain Bridge. We’ll enjoy a panoramic tour of this stunning city, with its rich architectural and historical heritage. Take a walk through Heroes’ Square, noted for its impressive statues featuring important Hungarian leaders, such as the Seven chieftains of the Magyars. We’ll move on to the stunning Hungarian Parliament Building, currently the largest building in all of Hungary. For a beautiful view over the city, we drive up to the Gellert Hill on the Buda side. We finish off our day with a tour of Matthias Church and the Fisherman’s Bastion, before settling in for a quiet dinner next to the Danube River.
Vienna is the Austrian city where Beethoven lived most of his life and composed many of his most famous symphonies. What better way of celebrating the 250th anniversary of his birth than in the city that continuously inspired him? We’ll enjoy a musical journey through Vienna that touches upon not only Beethoven’s life, but also that of Schubert, Mozart, Haydn and Strauss. During our visit, we’ll also see Austria’s magnificent state buildings, including the historic parliament, city hall, and university, plus the national theatre and museums. Our city exploration continues past the Imperial Palace, a stately structure that evolved over the centuries and is now home to Austria’s president, and a visit to Schönbrunn Palace, which is a superb example of Austrian Baroque architecture. In the evenings, we’ll enjoy dinners at traditional Viennese restaurants and even take in a concert at the Schönbrunn Palace.
From ancient salt mines and medieval castles to Austria’s highest peaks and biggest glaciers, the province of Salzburg offers something for everyone. Wander the city’s streets and follow in the footsteps of one of the 18th century’s most talented composers, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, while experiencing first-hand what he brought to the Cultural Age. Designated a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site, Salzburg was ruled for centuries by Prince Archbishops. This city is known as the “Rome of the North” and has many magnificent monuments from the Baroque and Renaissance periods. Highlights of our walking tour of this architecturally impressive city include Mozart’s birthplace, the Fortress Hohensalzburg and Salzburg Cathedral. Salzburg is also famous for being the filming site of The Sound of Music, so don’t be surprised if your find yourself humming along to your favourite songs during our visit.
Since the Middle Ages, Prague has been considered not only one of the most beautiful cities in the Czech Republic, but arguably one of the most stunning in the world. This historic city of golden stone and architectural grace offers a mix of Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque and Rococo treasures. In the past, it has been called “the city of one hundred spires” and “the crown of the world.” Prague’s Historic Centre is a UNESCO World Heritage site and the largest historic city centre in the world. At 865 hectares, it’s also a bustling cultural metropolis. Also of an impressive scale is Prague Castle. Extending over 750,000 square feet, it’s the world’s largest ancient castle complex and is currently the Guinness World Records title holder for this incredible feat. During our exploration of this city, we’ll move through centuries of Czech history and heritage in magnificent châteaux, impressive palaces and fascinating churches.
The highlight of our journey is the Passion Play in Oberammergau, which has been a tradition since 1633. Every 10 years, this unique theatrical production is performed, depicting the Passion of Christ from His entry into Jerusalem to the Resurrection. When stricken by the plague in 1633, the people of Oberammergau made a plea to God to spare them and pledged to act out the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ once every decade. The play’s home is within a theatre built in 1930, which features an open-air stage that utilizes the natural grandeur of the region as the backdrop while the 4,800 seat audience is covered. The environs of Oberammergau are not only renowned for the Passion Play and the great scenic beauty, but for exterior house painting depicting religious scenes and adding great charm to the area.
Don’t miss your chance to be part of this remarkable journey across the wondrous Heart of Europe this summer. Each city offers a feast for the senses, whether it be observing the exquisite architecture, indulging in the delectable cuisine, or relishing the sweet sounding music. Contact one of Craig Travel’s Sales Specialists at 1-800-387-8890 ext. #200 to reserve your spots, as there are only a few seats left on our May 22nd and July 3rd departures!