TOUR TO THE KÖTHEN BACH FESTIVAL: WEIMAR – KÖTHEN
WEIMAR-KÖTHEN, 225 KM
This tour will be operated in 2024 again!
On this journey, you will experience all the locations where Bach perfected his skills: we will accompany you via Weimar and Leipzig to Köthen, where he had an excellent court orchestra at the palace of Count Leopold that inspired him to compose his now famous virtuosic instrumental music. The festival “Köthener Bachfesttage” pays tribute to this highlight of Bach’s oeuvre with a range of unconventional concerts in and around Bach’s places of activity in the Anhalt residence town.
DAY 1, SELF ORGANIZED ARRIVAL AND WEIMAR
We meet at 3.30 pm. at the hotel in Weimar. If you booked a rental bike, we already meet at 2.30 pm. 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.
DAY 2, WEIMAR – NAUMBURG, 58 KM
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. 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.
DAY 3, NAUMBURG – WEIßENFELS, 20 KM
In Naumburg a guided tour of the famous Hildebrandt organ awaits us, which conveys the singularity of Bach’s sound ideal until today. You can also visit the city with the famous dome individually. After lunch we cycle to Weißenfels. Here we will get a guided tour in the chapel of Neu-Augustusburg. 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 4, WEIßENFELS – LEIPZIG, 60 KM
The next morning we visit the Heinrich Schütz House. 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. If the weather is nice, we stop for a bath in the lake Cospuden. The evening is at your free disposal.
DAY 5, 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 6, LEIPZIG – HALLE A. D. SAALE, 40 KM
We leave Leipzig cycling along the dikes of the White Elster. If the weather is nice, we take a lunch break with a bath at a lake. Afterwards we will reach the city center of Halle, check-in into our hotel and visit the Museum of the eldest Bach Son, the Wilhelm-Friedemann-Bach-House, and the George-Frederic-Handel- Museum, Handel being one famous Bach contemporary. We spend the evening together at a restaurant next to the Saale-river.
DAY 7, HALLE A. D. SAALE – KÖTHEN, 45 KM
We continue to the final stage of the trip to the residential city of Köthen after a stop at the lake Edderitz. In the evening we will visit a concert of the Köthen Bach Festival at the J.-S. Bach-Saal. We recommend that you book further concerts of the festival for the days in Köthen individually directly via Köthen Bach Festival. See the complete festival program here.
DAY 8, KÖTHEN BACH FESTIVAL
Today we begin with a short tour to the nearby Nienburg, where we will listen to a concert of Bach by Bike ensemble at the Monastery Church. In the afternoon back in Köthen, there are many opportunities for exploring the city. Here, Bach held his fourth post. We listen to concerts at the hall of mirrors in the palace and at Bach´s home church St. Agnus in the evening.
DAY 9, KÖTHEN BACH FESTIVAL
On Sunday morning there is a service with a Bach cantata and time to visit concerts of the festival individually. We spend the late morning at the Bach exhibition in the city palace and later on discover Bach’s traces during a tour of the city. In the afternoon, we visit concerts at the Musicalien-Kammer in the palace, the Old Dirstrict Court and the final concert of the festival at St. Jacob´s Church. We will spend the evening together and will have a special baroque dinner like in Bach`s time.
DAY 10, DEPARTURE
After breakfast everyone will embark on their individual journey home. Alternatively, you can join our return shuttle to Weimar.
If a festival has to be cancelled due to the pandemic, the tours will naturally be adapted to the situation, we will do our best to provide a replacement programme in cooperation with our many musical partners at the locations, and the discrepancy in the tour price will be refunded.
We have developed a sustainable tour concept and pay our tour guides, musicians and local partners fair wages.
INCLUDED IN THE PRICE:
- 9 nights at mid-range hotels incl. breakfast
- lunch packs or picnics (on cycling days)
- 1 dinner on the last day in Köthen (Bach Menu)
- Guided Tour
- Luggage transport from first to last hotel
- all entrance fees to museums and churches: St Wenzel Church Naumburg, Heinrich Schütz House Weißenfels, Chapel of Neu-Augustusburg Castle Weißenfels, Bach Museum Leipzig, Wilhelm-Friedemann-Bach-House Halle, Handel-HouseHalle, City Palace Köthen, Church St. Agnes Köthen
- City tours in Weimar, Leipzig, Köthen
- Organ tour and organ concert in St Wenzel Church Naumburg, Hildebrandt organ
- 7 concerts of Köthener Bachfesttage:
- Friday, 2.9., 7 pm: Nr. 32 BachKollektiv, Bach-Saal
- Saturday, 3.9., 11.30 am: Nr. 39 excursion concert, Bach by Bike Ensemble, Klosterkirche Nienburg
- Saturday, 3.9., 5 pm: Nr. 52 Bach dances, BachKollektiv, hall of mirrors
- Saturday, 3.9., 7 pm: Nr. 54 Martina Gedeck & Mayumi Hirasaki, Church St. Agnus (cat. 1)
- Sunday, 4.9., 2.15 pm: Nr. 62 short concert: Bach and improvisations, old district court
- Sunday, 4.9., 15 pm: Nr. 67 short concert: musical guided tour, Neue Musicalien-Kammer palace Köthen
- Sunday, 3.9., 5 pm: Nr. 70 final concert, Church St. Jacob (cat. 1)
- Sheet music and information leaflets on Bach’s compositions
- List of equipment
Double room per Person:
Single room supplement:
- Rental touring bike or rental e-bike; all bikes include bike bags and locks:
- Rental helmet:
- Return shuttle from Köthen to Weimar (incl. person, luggage and individual bike) on Monday September 6, 2022 at 9 am: upon request
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.