A Journey of Faith to Eastern Europe
Moderate – High
Join us on a pilgrimage to Eastern Europe where we will have the opportunity to travel to Warsaw, Krakow, and Czestochowa to see the Black Madonna, before we continue to Prague, Vienna and Budapest.
Book With Confidence
All new travel bookings automatically come with our Book with Confidence Travel Plan*—free of charge. This plan gives pilgrims the ability to move their booking to another destination or simply a different available departure date in our vast travel portfolio, no questions asked. They just need to let us know 120 days* before departure and we’ll waive all penalties and get them booked on a new pilgrimage.
*The Book with Confidence Travel Plan allows for any new booking made with Holy Land Travel Center to be changed to a different destination or to another available departure date. Notice of change in travel plans must be given 120 days before departure; standard cancellation penalties will apply for full cancellation without rebooking or changes made within 120 days to departure. Applicable price and eligible promotions for the new tour will apply; if new trip is less expensive, a future travel credit will be issued for the difference in price. Cannot be applied to Passion Play Pilgrimages. No cash value. Credit is fully transferable. Offer reliant on space availability. Effective 10.7.2020. May be withdrawn at any time. Additional restrictions may apply; see Travel Terms & Conditions for details.
After arrival in Warsaw we are met by our representative and transferred to our hotel. Delighting the “new” Warsaw, which has been lovingly restored after the devastation of World War II.
We begin with morning mass at St. Stanislaw Kostka Church, where martyred Solidarity priest Father Popieluszko worked and is buried. Visit the bustling Old Town Square, where horse-drawn carriages carry visitors past beautifully rebuilt Baroque house and Renaissance-style storefronts. Traditional Polish cafes and shops surround the square, which has been restored to its 13th-century charm. Stroll the streets of this historic area, which is mostly closed to traffic, and explore its beautiful churches and castle. See the birthplace of Madame Curie, Chopin’s monument and the Royal Castle (exterior view) which was the residence of Polish Kings.
Warsaw / Krakow
Depart Warsaw and drive to Czestochowa, a city which has been for the last 600 years the principal center of the Catholic religion in Poland and is a shrine for pilgrims. Visit Jasna Gora Monastery with religious, historic and artistic value, and participate in the unveiling of the Black Madonna. Our guide will show us the Gothic Chapel of Our Lady in which hangs the famous Black Madonna icon on a magnificent silver and ebony altar. Tour the treasury and celebrate mass at the Shrine. After Lunch proceed to Auschwitz for a guided tour of the infamous death camp where millions were killed during World War II. Continue to Krakow, our home for the next three nights.
Following breakfast, proceed to Wawel Hill and celebrate mass at the Church of St. Stanislaw, Poland’s second most important pilgrimage shrine. Visit Krakow’s cathedral which serves as the nation’s spiritual capital and has witnessed most of the royal coronations and funerals of the last millennium. See the Cathedral’s Treasury and continue to Krakow’s Old Town to see Kanonicza Street where Pope John Paul II resided while living in Krakow. Visit the courtyard of the Collegium Mauis; see the ancient Market Square and Cloth Hall. This afternoon, stop at Lagwienikitovisit St. Faustina Shrine before returning to Krakow.
This morning we drive to Wieliczka to see the oldest salt mine in Europe, a world-class tourist attraction. Itis a unique place where many generations of Polish miners have created a world of underground salt lakes with a rich interior of decorated chapels including the famous Blessed Kings Chapel, plus other galleries and workings made of salt. Wieliczka salt mine is listed by UNESCO as a World Cultural Heritage Site. Then proceed to Wadowice, birthplace of Karol Wojtla, the late Pope John Paul II. His museum is in his family house. Continue to a place that was a popular pilgrimage place for the Pope when he was a young man Kalwaria Zebrzydowska, where in the 17th century the Palatine of Krakow founded a Franciscan Monastery. The church has very rich Baroque decorations. On the slope of the hill and in the valley is an architectural ‘Way of the Cross’ comprising 42 Mannerist and Baroque chapels and some small Calvary churches.
Krakow / Prague
Depart this morning for the Czech capital of Prague. En route stop at Velehrad to visit the Shrine in memory of the two missionaries from Byzantium, “Cyril and Methodius”, who brought Christianity to the Czech lands. In 1985 His Holiness Pope John Paul II conferred the “Golden Rose” on Velehrad, a Papal distinction conveyed to only three other venerable places of pilgrimage; Lourdes, Guadalupe and Czestochowa. Continue to the “Golden City” of Prague, one of Europe’s most attractive capitals.
The town is famous for its Gothic and Baroque architecture. Wonder at the graceful enormity of Prague Castle and St. Vitus Cathedral, the Church of Our Lady of Victory and the statue of the Infant Jesus of Prague. After mass, cross the historic Charles Bridge, built in 1400, and admire its Baroque statuary. Continue to the Loreto Shrine, one of the most important places of pilgrimage in Eastern Europe. Recall the timeless masterpieces of Mozart, Wagner and Berlioz while viewing the city’s many theaters and opera houses.
Prague / Vienna
Depart Prague this morning and take a scenic ride through the countryside to Cesky Krumlov and enjoy a walking tour of this beautiful Renaissance town. Then continue our drive into Austria until reaching the imperial city of Vienna for dinner and overnight.
A wealth of treasures awaits us in Vienna – one of Europe’s most dynamic cities. Our tour of Vienna includes visits to the Town Hall, the State Opera House, Belvedere Palace which is the former residence of the Prince of Savoy, St. Stephen’s Cathedral, St. Charles Church, Hofburg Palace, and the Kaisergruft. The highlight of the tour is a visit to the magnificent Schoenbrunn Palace with its 1,400 elaborately decorated rooms and gardens.
Early this morning we visit the Melk Abbey, one of the most imposing architectural masterpieces north of the Alps and a focal point in the formative years of Austria’s history. 1989 was the 900th anniversary of the day on which Melk was given over to Benedictine monks. Immediately following our visit to the Melk Abbey, we enjoy a cozy passage on board ship in the Wachau region, which was included in the UNESCO world heritage list for its exceptional beauty. Among the highlights are the Melk Abbey, the Schönbühel Castle, and the town of Dürnstein with its blue tower. The cozy board restaurant serves local specialties, such as apricot dumplings, and excellent wines from the Wachau to round off the trip on the waves of the Danube. We end our cruise in Krems, we then transfer to Vienna for an evening at leisure.
Vienna / Budapest
This morning we will depart Vienna and drive to Bratislava, the capital of Slovenia. Here we will visit the picturesque Old Town, Michael’s Gate, Bratislava Castle, and St. Martin’s Cathedral. Then continue on to lovely Budapest, the capital of Hungary, which straddles the Danube River. The Buda Hills rise on one side of the river, housing the city’s ancient past and Pest is on the other side, modern and inviting. The two are linked with a series of elegant bridges.
This morning we will visit Hero’s Square, one of the largest and most inspiring spaces in Budapest, with its towering stone column and statue of the Archangel Gabriel. Then celebrate Mass in St. Stephen’s Basilica where we will celebrate Mass. Next, discover the magic of Fishermen’s Bastion, with seven stone towers overlooking the famous river, and the distinctive Castle District with St. Mathias Church. This evening, enjoy a farewell dinner and folklore show at a local restaurant.