Exploring Leipzig: The Bach Festival

June 9-22, 2020
Trip Status: CLOSED
Registration closes December 10, 2019
Minimum participants: 5
Tour Cost: $5500
Activity Level: Moderate

Saint Thomas Church in Leipzig

This trip has really captivated me since last October when I visited Leipzig to have a look-see. Leipzig was the European epicenter of music, with Bach, Mendelssohn and Wagner all living there at different times; with the famous poets Goethe and Schiller (the Ode to Joy guy) writing there, and it currently remains musically active with the Gewandhaus and its Kapellmeister Andris Nelsons and the incredibly musically active Sankt Thomas Kirche, where Bach was once Kapellmeister.


We will start our trip in Eisenach, where Bach was born and schooled and where Luther holed up in the Wartburg castle to translate the Bible into German – and to escape persecution from the Catholic Church. Richard Wagner also stayed in the Thuringia town for a while, where his Tannhaeuser opera gathered in his mind. (There is also an auto museum: various cars were made there from 1896 to 1991 when the Trabi-like Wartburgs were no longer desirable.)


Ten days in Leipzig will give us ample time to get to know the very walkable town and experience its intriguing alleys and markets. We’ll visit the Bach Museum and Mendelssohnhaus , as well as the Grassi instrument museum and the Kunsthalle. 

And of course, we will indulge our senses with splendid music, thanks to the Bach Festival. We’ll hear the gamut of Bach’s known work: sonatas, cello suites, passions, masses, cantatas, motets, fugues, partitas, and organ music (in the Sankt Thomas Kirche where Bach worked for so many years).


We’ll have to balance all this heady culture with good food, beer, and wine. Then we’ll walk that off in the botanical gardens.


In Eisenach, we will be staying at the Romantik Hotel auf der Wartburg inside the castle walls, so bring your torches!. In Leipzig, we will be staying at the Innside Melia, from which you can look out the breakfast room windows and see the Sankt Thomas Kirche across the street.


Bach Museum, Eisenach

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Eisenach, Germany


Wartburg Castle

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Nikolaikirche organ in Leipzig



Joan Hill
Owner, Host, & Director

Years ago, it was suggested to Joan that she might offer an art program, and she jumped at the chance of a lifetime. Bringing together all of her life's passions, the development and administration of Artful Journeys is an exhilarating process for Joan.


Joan was born and raised in the apple country of the Hudson River Valley in New York; her father was a gentle, very tolerant, educated land surveyor, and her mother was the efficient business administrator and home engineer. The youngest of four children, Joan was encouraged to pursue anything she wanted, but also to do her best. Sometimes that was very difficult, especially succeeding three very accomplished siblings.


New Town Hall, Leipzig



Trip cost is $5500/ THIS TRIP IS CLOSED
  • Includes all accommodations, meals, transportation in Europe, event and museum entry fees, and teacher and admin fees.

  • $950 single supplement. 

  • Not included are personal purchases and pampering.

  • NOTE: A deposit of $500 is required upon registration to secure a place on this Journey.

  • Airfare to and from Germany is not included to enable travelers to use their “travel points,” upgrade flight arrangements, or to extend their trip.

  • Travel insurance is strongly encouraged. Please see the Travel Insurance Form.

For details or questions, please click here to contact Joan Hill.