Need help with your booking call 01280 733 483

Expert: Tom Abbott Tom Abbott

Land of the Blue Rider

The symbiosis of art and nature in the land between Munich and Garmisch-Partenkirchen provides an intense experience. Lakes, moors and woods are bathed in ever-changing light, and occasionally the entire Alpine mountain range to the south appears in infinite hues of pastel blues. This atmospheric palette was not lost on artists of the Expressionist group of the Blue Rider — Vassily Kandinsky, Gabriele Münter and, above all, Franz Marc who coined the term of ‘das Blaue Land’. They were drawn to this enchanted landscape around Murnau, and no fewer than four museums in the area provide a stunning overview of German Expressionism. Somewhat paradoxically, the country which inspired their radically modern style on the eve of World War I is a land steeped in tradition on which powerful abbots and fabled princes have left their mark. The glorious churches which dot the countryside have given the area its other epithet: ‘Pfaffenwinkel’ — priests’ corner. Their onion domes are a characteristic feature, sometimes marking ancient monasteries, sometimes pilgrimage churches set in lush meadows. With its sumptuous, nature-inspired ornamentation, Bavarian Baroque perfectly complements the lush landscape. Even in the tiniest villages, the style manifests itself. Economic prosperity after the recovery from the Thirty Years’ War gave rise to a flood of architectural commissions and continued well into the 19th century, when the Bavarian kings built their extravagant castles. Our Study Tour will allow you to enjoy the natural and artistic highlights of this reassuringly old-fashioned part of the world.

7 days from £3,500pp Departure Dates

Your Tour Includes

  • Return flights from London Heathrow to Munich
  • 6 nights’ bed and breakfast at the 5-star Hotel Alpenhof Murnau on Staffelsee
  • 3 evening meals and 3 lunches included
  • Guided visits to sites listed in the programme
  • Services of your expert lecturer and Tour Manager
  • Detailed programme and study notes
  • All entrance fees, taxes and gratuities for coach drivers and waiters
Experts
Tom Abbott

Tom Abbott

Tom Abbott studied psychology and art history in the US before completing his graduate research in the history of art and architecture in Berlin, where he now lives. Tom also studied at the Louvre School of Art History in Paris and has lectured around the world, specialising in architecture and art from the Renaissance to the Baroque and beyond.

Itinerary

Overview

Morning flight with BA from London Heathrow to Munich. By coach to Kloster Schäftlarn south of Munich, for a Brotzeit, a ‘light’ savoury lunch in the pleasant beer garden. A visit to the church will introduce you to the joyful exuberance of Bavarian Baroque and Rococo architecture, designed and embellished here by Munich’s finest court artists.  Stroll through the little Prelates Garden before continuing to Murnau and your five-star hotel.

Includes Lunch

Included Highlights

Kloster Schäftlarn

Overview

In the morning, coach excursion through the ‘Pfaffenwinkel’, stopping at some of the region’s most outstanding religious foundations: Wessobrunn and Steingaden, two mediaeval abbeys in Baroque ‘dress’, the former once training ground of many 18th-century stucco artists, above all Dominikus Zimmermann. Continue to Füssen, past the castles of Hohenschwangau and Neuschwanstein, fairy-tale creations for King Ludwig II of Bavaria. The dazzling pilgrimage church of the Wies, set in the midst of luxuriant meadows against a stunning Alpine panorama, epitomises Rococo art.

Includes Breakfast

Includes Dinner

Included Highlights

Neuschwanstein Castle

Overview

A day dedicated to the German Expressionist artists of the Blue Rider and their contemporaries. At Bad Kochel visit the Franz Marc Museum, with an outstanding collection housed in a contemporary building. In Murnau, the Schlossmuseum features works by Gabriele Münter and Vassily Kandinsky, as does the idyllic ‘Russian House’ where the couple spent much time between 1908 and 1914.

Includes Breakfast

Included Highlights

Murnau am Staffelsee Day 3

Overview

Morning walk through a dramatic gorge (a cable car alternative is available) to one of the majestic summits surrounding Garmisch-Partenkirchen to enjoy the stunning scenery and a view of the Zugspitze, Germany’s highest mountain. At the top, a light lunch will be provided in a typical mountain hut, before returning to Garmisch-Partenkirchen by cable car. Free afternoon in Murnau.

Includes Breakfast

Includes Lunch

Included Highlights

Garmisch-Partenkirchen Day 4

Overview

A boat excursion on the Starnberger See, weekend domain of Munich’s rich, will take us to Bernried, and the Buchheim Museum whose collection centres on works by artists of the Expressionist association of The Bridge (‘Die Brücke’), founded in Dresden in 1905. The museum in Penzberg focuses again on artists of the Blue Rider group active in this area. Landscape, nature, art and culture come together singularly in a lake district of scenic beauty where painters of the early 20th century discovered a new means of pictorial expression, developing with particular intensity the vivid and powerful images of Expressionism in all its facets.

Includes Breakfast

Includes Dinner

Overview

All-day coach excursion: at Schloss Linderhof, Ludwig II’s first and most complete fantasy creation, experience the over-the-top Louis XIV revival palace and explore the beautiful gardens and follies, such as a Turkish Kiosk and an extravagant grotto, the latter created as the enchanted abode of Venus for Wagner’s early opera Tannhäuser. In nearby Oberammergau, world-famous for its passion play, walk through the historic centre past the many painted house façades. From there, continue to the Benedictine monastery at Ettal, a 14th century foundation rebuilt in the 1700s with a spectacular domed church at its centre.

Includes Breakfast

Includes Dinner

Included Highlights

Schloss Linderhof Day 5

Overview

By coach to Munich for a visit to the Lenbachhaus with its famous collection of German art of the 19th and 20th centuries. After lunch, transfer to Munich airport for our flight to London Heathrow.

Includes Breakfast

Includes Lunch

Accommodation

You will stay for six nights at the Alpenhof Murnau on Staffelsee.

Alpenhof Murnau

Set in the Bavarian Alpine countryside, this spa hotel offers breath taking views of the Bavarian Alps and is set in beautiful grounds has an outdoor pool and terrace, as well as a luxurious health centre with indoor pool. The restaurant serving Bavarian cuisine and there is a bar and lounge area. The elegant rooms feature satellite television, safe, bathrobe, slippers, complementary internet connection and hairdryer.

Hotel Facilities

Need further information? Fill in our enquiry form and we'll get back to you as soon as we can

General
  • 5 Star
Room
  • Safe Box
  • Free Wifi
Hotel
  • WiFi Available