TOUR EISENACH – LEIPZIG
(this classic tour will be offered again in 2019)
DAY 1, WELCOME TO EISENACH!
Upon your self-organized arrival, we meet at the hotel in Eisenach at 2pm. 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.
DAY 2, EISENACH – OHRDRUF, 60 KM
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 as well as the original mill, formerly owned by great-grandfather Veit Bach. Come evening, we bike the short distance to Ohrdruf, and stay overnight in a hotel right next to the grounds of Ehrenstein Castle.
DAY 3, OHRDRUF – ARNSTADT, 25 KM
In the morning, we explore Ehrenstein Castle and the idyllic village of Ohrdruf. Bach stayed here as a pupil with his elder brother. A unique highlight is the preserved library within the tower of Michaelis Church which holds hymnbooks and books of sermons dating back to Bach’s time. After a brief stop in the Thuringian Forest we reach Arnstadt. Following Bach’s footsteps, we walk around the historic city center and then make our way towards Bach Church to hear organ music and an introduction to the history of the building.
DAY 4, ARNSTADT – DORNHEIM – ERFURT – WEIMAR, 52 KM
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 couples are still getting married on the same bench as Bach did!), 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
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
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, 60 KM
The next morning brings a guided tour of the chapel of Neu-Augustburg Castle. Later, we cycle east towards the White Elster. If the weather is nice, we stop at the baroque castle Wiederau for lunch, and enjoy coffee and cake whilst listening to a cantata dedicated to Wiederau. Afterwards, the tour continues on the Elster bikeway through the Leipzig lake district to the last stop of the tour, Leipzig.
DAY 8, LEIPZIG
After an extensive tour around the city’s many Bach sites, there is an opportunity to visit the Bach Museum and explore the city individually. In the afternoon we listen to a motet in St. Thomas Church with the famous Thomaner choir.
DAY 9, DEPARTURE
After breakfast, everyone will embark on their individual journey home. Alternatively, you can join our shuttle to Eisenach.