TOUR TO THE MDR MUSIC SUMMER
EISENACH – LEIPZIG INCL. MÜHLHAUSEN AND KÖTHEN, 310 KM
JULY 19, 2019 – JULY 29, 2019
DAY 1: INDIVIDUAL ARRIVAL AND EISENACH
Upon your self-organized arrival, we meet at the hotel in Eisenach at 2 pm. Afterwards, we take a tour around the city where Johann Sebastian Bach was born and visit the Bachhaus Eisenach. Explore the original places, streets and alleys where young Bach grew up. In the evening we will listen to a concert of the MDR Music Summer with the LOrfeo Baroque Orchestra and the famous soprano Dorothee Mields in the St. Georg Church, Bach´s baptistery.
DAY 2, EISENACH – WECHMAR – ARNSTADT, 45 KM CYCLING
We depart from Eisenach and cycle along the Hörsel, passing through the gentle rises and falls of the mythical Hörsel hills. Around noon we arrive at Friedenstein Castle in Gotha. Having recollected our strength during the break, we continue the trail towards Wechmar, the Bachs’ place of origin. There we visit the ancestral home of the Bachs, housing the largest family tree of the musicians’ family. The bus will then transfer us to Arnstadt, where we will visit a concert in the Bach Church with Mendelssohn Chamber Orchestra and the pianist Ragna Schirmer.
DAY 3, TRIP BY TRAIN TO MÜHLHAUSEN
In the morning you can join the service in Arnstadt. Kantor Jörg Reddin will introduce us to the history of the organ and the building afterwards. After a visit to the Bachhaus Arnstadt we take a train to the 70 km distant Mühlhausen where young Bach had his second employment. We visit St. Mary’s Church as well as the city archive, where we will see the certificate of Bach’s employment. In the late afternoon we will hear a concert with Ensemble 1684 and Gregor Meyer in the Divi Blasii Church before travelling back to Arnstadt.
DAY 4, ARNSTADT – DORNHEIM – ERFURT – WEIMAR, 52 KM CYCLING
The next morning, we visit the Bach exhibition at Arnstadt’s Schlossmuseum (Palace Museum). Around noon we depart to see Bach’s wedding church in nearby Dornheim. After a guided tour of the church (where Bach fans from all over the world are still getting married today), we continue on our way along the Gera towards Thuringia’s capital, Erfurt. Here you are shown the most important places of interests concerning Bach and stroll through the city centre before reaching our destination for the day, Weimar.
DAY 5, WEIMAR – BAD SULZA, 35 KM CYCLING
In Weimar, you are guided around the surviving Bach sites, such as the city castle and city church, where many of Bach’s children where baptised. After this there is some time to explore the city. During the afternoon, we take the idyllic Ilm Valley bike trail going past castles, such as the summer residence of Weimar’s dukes and duchesses. Finally, we get to the Thuringian Wine Gate and the spa town of Bad Sulza, where weary cyclists can recover in the local thermal baths.
DAY 6, BAD SULZA – NAUMBURG – WEIßENFELS, 40 KM CYCLING
A few kilometres onwards, we leave the Ilm behind and for the rest of the day follow the trail along the Saale, passing by romantic castles until we reach Bad Kösen with its impressive graduation works. Further on our way, the route leads us along the lower vineyards of Saale/Unstrut until we arrive in Naumburg. There, a guided tour of the famous Hildebrandt organ awaits us, which conveys the singularity of Bach’s sound ideal until today. After lunch we cycle to Weißenfels to visit the Heinrich Schütz House. Finally, we stop off to the sounds of Bach’s Hunting Cantata at the Jägerhof, the place it was performed for the first time.
DAY 7, WEIßENFELS – LEIPZIG, 45 KM CYCLING
The next morning brings a guided tour of the chapel of Neu-Augustusburg Castle. Later, we cycle east towards the White Elster. The tour continues on the Elster bikeway through the Leipzig lake district to Leipzig. In the afternoon we visit the Bach Museum, the evening is at your free disposal.
DAY 8, LEIPZIG – HALLE A.D. SAALE, 40 KM CYCLING
We leave Leipzig behind and cycle along the dikes of the White Elster until we reach the city centre of Halle. Here, the George Frideric Handel Museum awaits us, Handel being one famous Bach contemporary.
DAY 9, HALLE A.D. SAALE – KÖTHEN, 50 KM CYCLING
We continue to the final stage of the trip which leads us across the Petersberg (“Mount Peter”) and further along the Fuhne to the residential city of Köthen. Here we listen to a concert in the Bach-hall of the city palace with Simone Rubino at the drums.
DAY 10, KÖTHEN – LEIPZIG, BY TRAIN
In Köthen, Bach held his fourth post. We spend the morning at the Bach exhibition in the city palace and later on discover Bach’s traces during a tour of the city. The train will take us back to Leipzig. We will guide you to the most important Bach sites in the city centre and visit a concert in St. Thomas Church with Bach´s Missa in G Major conducted by Thomaskantor Gotthold Schwarz in the evening.
DAY 11, DEPARTURE
After breakfast everyone will embark on their individual journey home. Alternatively, you can join our return shuttle to Eisenach.
INCLUDED IN THE PRICE:
- Nights at mid-range hotels incl. breakfast and lunch packs or picnics (on cycling days)
- 5 concerts of the MDR-Musiksommer (see description of the tour); here you can find information about the concerts
- All entrance fees to museums and churches: Bachhaus Eisenach, Chapel Castle Friedenstein Gotha, Bachstammhaus Wechmar, city hall-archive Mühlhausen, Church Marien Mühlhausen, Bachhaus Arnstadt, Palace Museum Arnstadt, Traukirche Dornheim (Wedding Church), Heinrich Schütz House Weißenfels, Chapel of Neu-Augustusburg Castle Weißenfels, Bach Museum Leipzig, George Frideric Handel Museum, City Palace Köthen
- City tours in Eisenach, Mühlhausen, Weimar, Köthen, Leipzig
- Organ tours and organ concerts in Bach Church Arnstadt, Wender organ and in St Wenzel Naumburg, Hildebrandt organ
- Luggage transport from first to last hotel
- List of equipment
- Sheet music and information leaflets on Bach’s compositions
- Double guiding
Prices: 1590,-€ p.P. double room, single room supplement 220,-€, incl. all concerts
- Rental trekking bike (60,-€) or rental e-bike (180,-€); all bikes include bike bags, locks, tools and helmet
- Return shuttle from Leipzig to Eisenach (incl. person, luggage and individual bike) (40,-€)