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In the Footsteps of Martin Luther and Jesus

The German and Israeli tourism bureaus are marketing ‘spiritual tours’ to celebrate 50 years since the countries have had diplomatic relations

Jonathan Zalman
December 17, 2015

The German National Tourist Office and the Israeli Ministry of Tourism, long-time partners, have created what they’re calling “spiritual tours,” which they’re planning to market to Americans who want to follow in the footsteps of Jesus Christ and Martin Luther, “the men who set the main principles of Christian faith and theology and founded the cornerstones of the Church.”

I spoke with Lisa Hübner of the German National Tourist Office who said that the impetus to create the itineraries, especially the one through Germany, was spawned from discussions about planning for the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. But the partnership with Israel is pegged to a closer date: the 50th anniversary of the complex and controversial establishment of German-Israeli diplomatic relations.

Here’s the suggested Jesus-Israel itinerary:

Nazareth, the cradle of Christianity
– Nazareth village
– Church of the Annunciation
– Synagogue Church
– Walk in a Nazareth souk
– Mary’s Well
– Walk the Gospel Trail, from Mt. Precipice to Iksal
– Cana

– Visit the Sea of Galilee, and ride in a Galilee Boat
– Magdala excavations
– Mount of Beatitudes

– City of David
– Room of the Last Supper
– Jewish Quarter
– Temple Mount
– Western Wall
– Redeemer Church
– Holy Sepulchre
– Garden Tomb
– Mount of Olives
– Garden of Gethsemane

Here’s the suggested Luther-Germany itinerary:

– Reichstag
– Potsdamer Platz
– Bradenburg Gate
– Charlottenburg Palace
– Museums Island
– Berlin Wall Memorial

– Luther House
– Luther Hall
Melanchthon House
– All Saints Castle (location of Martin Luther’s 95 Theses)
– Town Church with Lucas Cranach Alter
– Town Sq.

Eisleben (Where Martin Luther was born, and where he died)
– St. Petri-Pauli Church
– St. Andrew Church
– Market Sq.
– Luther birth home; Luther’s place of death (both are UNESCO sites)

– Augustinian Monastery
– Luther Memorial
– St. Mary’s Cathedral
– St. Severi Church
– Medieval Old Town

Eisenach / Wartburg
– Wartburg Castle

Jonathan Zalman is a writer and teacher based in Brooklyn.