05.00 (5am) check-in at Dublin airport T2 for Aer Lingus flight to Frankfurt departing at 07.00 and arriving at 10.10. Drive to Wurzburg and check into hotel for 2 nights, dinner, bed & breakfast.Afternoon tour of the city includes : Cathedral of St Kilian, the Kapelle (church of the Visitation, where we celebrate Mass), City Hall, Wurzburg Palace, Marianberg Fortress, and Wurzburger Stein (a vineyard dating from 7th cent. with connections to St Kilian). Return to hotel for dinner & overnight.
Feast Day of St Kilian. This morning we begin the celebrations with Mass in the Cathedral of St Kilian. The Relics of St Kilian are taken in Procession through the streets of Wurzburg today, the first day of harvest-time in Germany. The festival is one of the biggest in Franconia, with rides, stands, processions and of course, beer tents. St Kilian was born in Mullagh, Co Cavan in 640 AD and was Bishop of Franconia. Return to hotel for dinner & overnight.
After breakfast, depart for Frankfurt. Celebrate Mass in St Bartholomews Cathedral. On our city sightseeing tour we see : the Romerberg buildings, St Pauls Church, Alte Opera House, Main Tower, Stadel Art Museum, Festhalle exhibition centre, HQ of the European Central Bank, the Bull & Bear, and the Zeil central pedestrianised shopping street. This afternoon we visit the Tower and ruins of Frankenstein Castle.
Check into hotel for 1 night, dinner, bed & breakfast.
After breakfast, depart for the Rheinland. This morning we enjoy a wonderful cruise on the River Rhein from Rudesheim to Boppard. Passing through the Loreley Valley we see : Niederwald Monument, Ehrenfels Castle, Rheinstein Castle, Reichenstein Castle, the towns of Lorch and Bacharach, Pfalz Island, Oberwesel with Schonburg Castle above, at the Loreley Reefs hear the legend of the 7 virgins, St Goar, Rheinfels Castle, Mouse Castle, the “Hostile Brothers”, and disembark at the town of Boppard.
Drive into Koblenz where, at the confluence of the Rhein and Moselle, we see the Deutsches Eck – monument to Emperor William I. Across the river we can see the Ehrenbreitstein Fortress. Celebrate Mass in the near-by Basilica of St Castor, where we see also the shrine of St Rizza. On our way to our hotel, we see the Electoral Palace and the City Hall (formally a Jesuit College). Check into hotel for 1 night, dinner, bed & breakfast.
Morning drive to Maria Laach Abbey, originally built by the Benedictines, later acquired by the Jesuits, then returned to the Benedictines. Celebrate Mass here. The Abbey played a leading roll in the Liturgical Movement in the early 20th century. Afternoon drive to Rhondorf and visit the grave of the West German Chancellor Dr Konrad Adenauer. Continue to Bonn – once the Capital of West Germany and see Beethovenhalle, Koenig Museum, and Godesburg Castle. See the Basilica of Bonn, and outside, see the heads of Cassius & Florentius. Drive to Cologne and check into hotel for 2 nights, dinner, bed & breakfast.
Visit the Cathedral for Mass, and a guided tour. See the shrine of the Maji containing their Relics. On our city sightseeing tour of this 2,000 year old city, we see the Church of St Martin, the Medieval Gates, City Hall, Hohenzollern Bridge, Cologne Tower, Ludwig Museum, and Colonius TV Tower. Afternoon interesting visit to Haus 4711, the home of Eau de Cologne – the miracle water. Watch the Carillion, with its historical equestrian figures, moving to the notes of the Marseillaise. Return to hotel for dinner.
Morning free in Cologne. Mid afternoon drive to Dusseldorf for our final pilgrimage Mass in the Basilica of St Margareta. 19.00 check-in at Dusseldorf airport for return Aer Lingus flight to Dublin, departing at 21.00 and arriving at 21.50.