Poland, Czech Republic, Austria, Hungary
ARRIVAL IN WARSAW
Arrival in Warsaw and baggage claim. Transfer to the hotel in Warsaw. Dinner at the hotel in Warsaw or in a restaurant in Warsaw. Accommodation in Warsaw.
Morning visit to Warsaw with a local city guide: Lazienki Jaridnes where the Chopin monument is located, the Warsaw Ghetto, the Monument to the Unknown Soldier, Umschlagplatz - place of deportation of Warsaw Jews to concentration camps during the German occupation, the Palace of Culture and Science, Krakowskie Przedmiescie Street, the old city of Warsaw with the Castle (no entrance), St. John's Cathedral and the Market Square. The Old City of Warsaw, totally destroyed during the Second World War and rebuilt with an impressive effort by the Polish people in the post-war years, is listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Free time in the center of Warsaw. In the afternoon visit to "the church in the times of communism" - the church of St. Stanislaus Kostka with the tomb of Blessed Father Jerzy Popieluszko, assassinated in the 80's by the communist political police. Holy mass in the church. Free time in the center of Warsaw.
WARSAW - NIEPOKALANÓW - CZĘSTOCHOWA - KRAKOW
After breakfast departure to Częstochowa. On the way we will stop in Niepokalanów, where we will visit the Basilica of Saint Mary Immaculate, current sanctuary of Saint Maximilian Kolbe. Continuation of the route to Czestochowa, where we can visit the monastery of the Pauline Fathers where the miraculous image of the Virgin Mary of Czestochowa is also called "the Black Madonna": the most important pilgrimage site in Poland. Holy Mass in the Shrine of Jasna Góra. Dinner and accommodation in Krakow.
KRAKOW - ŁAGIEWNIKI
Visit of the city of Krakow, one of the oldest and most beautiful cities in Poland. We will visit Wawel Castle, the cathedral where the young Karol Wojtyla on November 2 In 1946 celebrated his first mass, the Palace of the Archbishops of Krakow, where Karol Wojtyla lived, the church of the Franciscans located in front of the Palace of the Archbishops, where very often the future Pope would pray. We will walk through the old town and visit the Jagiellonica University (Patio of Collegium Maius) where Karol Wojtyla was studying during the years 1938-1939, before World War II. We will also be able to see the largest market square in Europe, the Town Hall tower, the old Cloth Market, the church of the Holy Virgin Mary with the altar of the great sculptor Vito Stoss and a brief visit of the old wall near the Door of St Florian. In 1978 Krakow was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List. We will walk through the Kazimierz Jewish Quarter, the center of religious and social life in Jewish Krakow. Shabbat begins on Friday so we will see the synagogue. Departure for Lagiewniki and visit to the Sanctuary of Divine Mercy, with the famous painting "Jesus, I trust you". During his visit to Poland in 2002 the Pope proclaimed this shrine "the center of Divine Mercy". Thousands of people come to celebrate Mass at this shrine and pray in the chapel where Saint Faustina Kowalska is buried.
KRAKOW - WADOWICE - KALWARIA ZEBRZYDOWSKA - WIELICZKA - KRAKOW
Departure to Wadowice, where we will visit this birth town of Pope John Paul II, including the house where Pope John Paul II was born on May 18, 1920 and the parish church where he was baptized on June 20, 1920. Holy mass in the parish of the Pope. In the afternoon departure to visit the Kalwaria Zebrzydowska Sanctuary, one of the most visited sanctuaries in Poland, inscribed on the UNESCO list in 1999 as a World Heritage Site. Continuation to the Wieliczka Salt Mine, one of the oldest salt mines in the world that has been operating since prehistoric times. This place was visited by Mikolaj Kopernik (Copernicus), Johann Wolfgang von Goethe , Dmitrij Mendeleev, Boleslaw Prus, Ignacy Paderewski, Karol Wojtyla, etc. In 1978 the Wieliczka Salt Mine entered the UNESCO list as a World Heritage Site. The mine forms an underground city, with chapels (St. Kinga's Chapel is the largest underground chapel in the world), lakes, and tunnels. Dinner and Polish folklore concert at a local restaurant.
KRAKOW - OŚWIĘCIM - PRAGUE
Departure for Oświęcim, to visit the Auschwitz-Birkenau museum. Visit (with local guide) the territory of the former Nazi German concentration and extermination camp, built during the German occupation of Poland. In this concentration camp the Nazis murdered more than a million people, most of them of Jewish origin. Today the former Auschwitz concentration camp is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Holy Mass of reconciliation in a sanctuary or convent in Oświęcim. Departure for Prague. Dinner and accommodation in Prague.
In the morning we will tour one of the most beautiful cities in Europe: Prague. Walk on Prague Castle Hill: Loreto of Prague - a place of pilgrimage for more than three centuries. The Prague Castle district is an ensemble of historic buildings, among which the most impressive is St. Vitus Cathedral, the religious center of Bohemia. Below the cathedral is the Mala Strana - a neighborhood with baroque palaces and interesting churches such as that of Saint Nicholas or the Sanctuary of Saint Mary Victorious with the miraculous image of the Infant Jesus of Prague. The church is very close to the famous Charles Bridge, one of the symbols of the city. From this bridge, by order of Wenceslao IV, John Nepomuceno (future saint) was thrown into the river. In the afternoon, we will visit to the Old City: among other interesting monuments, the Old Town Square, where the City Tower is located, the famous Orloj Astronomical Clock, the predominant buildings of the Municipal House or the Church of Tyn. The New Town: St. Wenceslau Square, the site of the revolutions in the late 1980s. Finally, we will visit Jozefov, the old Jewish City, once inhabited by an important Hebrew community. Free time in the center of Prague. Dinner in a restaurant in the center of Prague.
PRAGUE - BRNO - LEDNICE – VALTICE - VIENNA
Departure for Brno. Arrival and visit of Brno, the capital of Moravia. The Czech Republic is divided into three main regions (Czechia, Moravia and Silesia). Brno, the capital of Moravia, has its own dialect. The old city is worth a walk, for its beautiful monuments, including the Cathedral of St. Peter and St. Paul. Continuation to Lednice – Valtice. Visit to the Palace and garden of Lednice, the ancient Property of the Luxembourg family, inscribed on the UNESCO list. Continuation to Vienna.
A city tour includes a panoramic tour of Vienna through the "Ringstrasse", with its sumptuous monuments, such as the Opera, the museums of Fine Arts and Natural Sciences, the Maria Theresa Monument, the Parliament, the City Hall, the National Theater and the Hofburg Imperial Palace. On foot: St. Stephen's Cathedral, Hofburg Palace, the Belvedere Gardens next to the summer palace of Prince Eugene of Savoy. Visit to Schönbrunn Palace (entrance). The palace by its dimensions reflects the greatness and power of the old empire. Built around the city, on top of a hill, it occupies a huge area. Today it is a memory of past times, a resting place for locals and a must-see for tourists. It offers an unforgettable panorama of the city. Free time. Dinner.
VIENNA - BUDAPEST
Departure for Budapest, one of the most photogenic cities in Europe. Its spectacular skyline is dotted with 19th-century architectural marvels that stretch along the banks of the Danube. The two sides of the city, Buda and Pest, are connected by numerous medieval bridges. Highlights in Budapest are the Heroes' Square, the Parliament, the Buda Castle, the Fisherman's Bastion, or the St. Stephen's Cathedral.
BUDAPEST - RETURN
Breakfast at the hotel and free time until the time of transfer to the airport for boarding on the return flight.