THE YOUNG BACH
MÜHLHAUSEN – WEIMAR, 185 KM
July 28 – August 4, 2024, 8 days
This tour leads us in six stages through the places where Johann Sebastian Bach grew up within an extended family that had already made a name for itself in Thuringia as a family of musicians until we reach Weimar, where Bach lived for many years as a court musician. Along the way, we will pass through Eisenach, Ohrdruf, Mühlhausen and Arnstadt, the towns where Bach was born, went to school and gained his first experience as an organist and court musician. We will also visit Wechmar, the home of Bach’s ancestors, as well as Gotha and Erfurt, where Bach performed cantatas and inspected organs. You will experience cycle routes rich in diversity, including passing through the famous Hainich National Park, the Thuringia Town Chain Cycle Route and the Gera Cycle Route.
DAY 1, SELF ORGANIZED ARRIVAL AND MÜHLHAUSEN
We meet at 2 p.m. at the hotel in Mühlhausen and explore the medieval town together. Young Bach had his second employment here. We visit the Divi Blasii church with an organ tour guided by cantor Oliver Stechbart and St. Mary’s Church as well as the city archive, where we will see the certificate of Bach’s employment.
DAY 2, MÜHLHAUSEN – EISENACH, 45 KM
On our way to Eisenach we cycle through UNESCO World Heritage Hainich National Park, famous for its primeval beech forest. Enjoy the geographical center of Germany in Niederdorla and fantastic views of the Thuringian Basin. In the afternoon, we take a tour around the city where Johann Sebastian Bach was born. Explore the original places, streets and alleys where young Bach grew up.
DAY 3, EISENACH – GOTHA, 40 KM
In the morning, we visit the Bachhaus Eisenach. In the afternoon we depart from Eisenach and cycle along the Hörsel, passing through the gentle rises and falls of the mythical Hörsel hills until we reach Gotha. Here we stay at the foot of the castle-mountain of Friedenstein Castle.
DAY 4, GOTHA – WECHMAR – OHRDRUF 20 KM
In Gotha we visit Friedenstein Castle, where we will see the castle´s chapel and the world´s oldest baroque theatre, the Ekhof Theatre, with its original stage machinery. 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. In the afternoon, we bike the short distance to Ohrdruf, and stay overnight in a hotel right next to the grounds of Ehrenstein Castle.
DAY 5, OHRDRUF – ARNSTADT, 25 KM
Today 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.
We briefly stop in the Thuringian forest and reach Arnstadt in the early afternoon. Following Bach’s footsteps, we walk around the historic city center and then make our way towards Bachhaus Arnstadt and the Bach Church to hear organ music and an introduction to the history of the building.
DAY 6, ARNSTADT – DORNHEIM – ERFURT, 27 KM
We visit the Bach exhibition at Arnstadt’s Schlossmuseum (Palace Museum). We start cycling by following along the way Bach’s wedding party took to his wedding church in neighbouring 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. In the evening you can stroll around the “Thuringian Rome” individually.
DAY 7, ERFURT – WEIMAR, 25 KM
In the morning you are shown the most important places of interests concerning Bach. After the city tour, we reach our destination Weimar on a short stage along the “Thuringian city-chain”. 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 baptized.
DAY 8, WEIMAR
In the morning we finish the tour musically with an organ guiding in Herder Church. After this there is some time to explore the city and the settings of Weimar Classicism and afterwards everyone will embark on their individual journey home. We wish all guests a safe journey!
We have developed a sustainable tour concept and pay our tour guides, musicians and local partners fair wages.
INCLUDED IN THE PRICE:
- 7 nights at mid-range hotels incl. breakfast
- lunch packs (on cycling days)
- Guided tour
- Luggage transport from first to last hotel
- All entrance fees to museums and churches: City hall-archive Mühlhausen, Church Marien Mühlhausen, Church Divi Blasii Mühlhausen, Bachhaus Eisenach, Ekhof-Theater Gotha, Chapel of Friedenstein Castle Gotha, Bachstammhaus Wechmar, Veit Bach Mill Wechmar, Ehrenstein Castle Ohrdruf, Michaelis Church Ohrdruf, Bachhaus Arnstadt, Palace Museum Arnstadt, Traukirche Dornheim (Wedding Church)
- City tours in Eisenach, Ohrdruf, Arnstadt, Erfurt, Weimar
- Organ tours and organ concerts in Church Divi Blasii Mühlhausen and Bach Church Arnstadt, Wender organ and Herder Church Weimar
- Opening Concert in Mühlhausen
- Sheet music and information leaflets on Bach’s compositions
- List of equipment
Double room per person: 2090,- €
Single room supplement: 220,- €
- Rental touring bike; all bikes include bike bags and locks: 115,- €
- rental e-bike; all bikes include bike bags and locks: 260,- €
- Rental helmet: 35,- €
GROUP SIZE AND MINIMUM NUMBER OF PARTICIPANTS:
The minimum number of participants for our tours is 15. If the minimum number is not reached, we reserve the right to withdraw from the tour contract. The corresponding declaration must be sent to you at least 29 days before the scheduled beginning of the tour.
The average group size is approximately 15 to 25 people.