TOUR TO THE MDR MUSIC SUMMER
EISENACH – KÖTHEN INCL. MÜHLHAUSEN AND LEIPZIG, 340 KM
JULY 16, 2021 – JULY 26, 2021
DAY 1: INDIVIDUAL ARRIVAL AND EISENACH
Upon your self-organized arrival, we meet at the hotel in Eisenach at 2 pm. If you booked a rental bike we meet already at 1pm. 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 famous Thomanerchor from Leipzig in the St. Georg Church, Bach´s baptistery.
DAY 2, EISENACH – GOTHA – MÜHLHAUSEN, 37 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 our hotel at the garden of Friedenstein Castle in Gotha. Having recollected our strength during the break, we continue by train towards Mühlhausen where young Bach had his second employment. We visit the city archive, where we will see the certificate of Bach’s employment. In the late afternoon we will hear a concert of MDR music summer in the Divi Blasii Church with the recorder-player Dorothee Oberlinger and her ensemble before travelling back to Gotha.
DAY 3, GOTHA – WECHMAR – ARNSTADT, 27 KM CYCLING
In the morning we will visit the chapel of Castle Friedenstein in Gotha and cycle on 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. We continue the trail along the Bach-Cycling-Route to Arnstadt. There we will get a guiding through the three big churches in Arnstadt. Come evening, we visit a concert at the Bach Church with the MDR radio choir and Bach Church-organist Jörg Reddin.
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.
DAY 7, WEIßENFELS – LEIPZIG, 60 KM CYCLING
The next morning brings a guided tour of the chapel of Neu-Augustburg Castle and a visit at the Jägerhof, the place Bach’s Hunting Cantata was performed for the first time. 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. The tour continues on the Elster bikeway through the Leipzig lake district to Leipzig. The evening is at your free disposal.
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.
DAY 9, 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 center of Halle. Here, we visit the Museum of the eldest Bach Son Wilhelm Friedemann-Bach-House and also the George-Frederic-Handel- Museum awaits us, Handel being one famous Bach contemporary.
DAY 10, 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 of MDR music summer with pianist Martin Stadtfeld and a chamber orchestra and spend the evening discovering Bach’s traces during a tour of the city, guided by J. S. Bach in persona and will have a special surprise dinner.
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
- lunch packs or picnics (on cycling days)
- dinner on the last day in Köthen (Bach menu)
- All entrance fees to museums and churches: Bachhaus Eisenach, Chapel Castle Friedenstein Gotha, Bachstammhaus Wechmar, city hall-archive Mühlhausen, Palace Museum Arnstadt, Traukirche Dornheim (Wedding Church), St Wenzel Church Naumburg, Heinrich Schütz House Weißenfels, Chapel of Neu-Augustusburg Castle Weißenfels, Bach Museum Leipzig, George Frederic Handel Museum, Wilhelm-Friedemann-Bach-House
- City tours in Eisenach, Weimar, Leipzig, Köthen
- 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
- guided tour
- List of equipment
- Sheet music and information leaflets on Bach’s compositions
- 4 concerts of MDR music summer:
- Fr, 17.7.20, 7.30 pm, Eisenach Georg St. Church: Thomanerchor
- Sa, 18.7.20, 5 pm, Mühlhausen Divi Blasii: Dorothee oberlinger
- Su, 19.7.20, 5 pm, Arnstadt Bach Church: MDR Radio Choir and Jörg Reddin
- Su, 26.7.20, 5 pm, Köthen Bachsaal: Martin Stadtfeld
PRICES: coming soon
Per person in double accommodation: EUR
Per person in single accommodation: EUR
- Rental trekking bike: EUR
- Rental e-bike: EUR
- all bikes include bike bags, locks, tools
- Helmet: EUR
- Return shuttle from Köthen to Eisenach (incl. person, luggage and individual bike): EUR