On The Golden Road - From Prague to Nuremburg

Prices from £1,995


28 Apr 2020 - 3 May 2020
Duration: 5 nights
Ref: 20TALE
With: Thomas Abbott


Prices from £1,995
Single Supplement: £395
Deposit: £200

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Charles IV, Count of Luxembourg by birth, King of Bohemia by inheritance and Holy Roman emperor by election, is one of the most captivating mediaeval rulers. Born in 1316 and educated at the court of his godfather Charles IV of France, the young prince grew into an extraordinary diplomat and great lover of arts and sciences and is considered the greatest German emperor of the late Middle Ages. Charles transformed Prague into the capital of the Holy Roman Empire. His name relates to many of the best-known monuments and institutions of Prague: Charles University, Charles Bridge, St Vitus cathedral and the new town with Wenceslas Square at its centre. To connect his capital with his favourite imperial city of Nuremberg, Charles incessantly acquired territory to create an imperial thoroughfare between Bohemia and Franconia. This came to be known as the Golden Road, for centuries the most important ceremonial and economic connection between the two cities. This Art Pursuits Abroad study tour will give you the opportunity to study Charles’ life in the context of the turbulent 14th century and the art of his time, while highlights of our Prague visit will be Charles’s architectural legacy created by the famous workshop of the Parler family.


“Charles IV was an extraordinary ruler and the most generous of art patrons. As Holy Roman emperor and King of Bohemia, he transformed Prague, leaving behind a legacy of architectural treasures.”

Tom Abbott is an independent art and architectural historian. He graduated in Psychology and Art History at Carleton College, Minnesota, and studied at the Louvre School of Art History in Paris. He is a specialist in architectural history from the Baroque to the 20th. In 1987 he moved to Berlin leading tours mainly in Germany, specialising in the German capital.


Late morning flight from London City Airport to Prague, and coach transfer to your hotel in the city centre. En route to the hotel we will discover the truly imperial dimensions of Charles’ New Town, followed by an introductory lecture in the hotel. First of three nights in Prague.


A day spent on foot discovering the Prague of Charles IV. Our walk will include the Stone Bell House, assumed home of Charles’s mother Elisabeth with a hidden frescoed chapel. Continue to study the amazing architectural treasures of Prague’s sacred architecture: the Tyn Church with its famous Parler sculpture, the spacious Church of Our Lady of the Snows, founded by Charles as an ambitious parish church for his urban planning and the secluded cloister of the Minorite Monastery of St James. After lunch we cross Charles Bridge and walk uphill to the Hradčany for a visit of the Old Royal Palace and St Vitus Cathedral, whose preciously inlaid Chapel of St Wenceslas is only rarely open to visitors.


Morning walk to the Convent of St Agnes, home of the Czech National Gallery’s outstanding display of mediaeval Bohemian art. Here we concentrate on works from the era of Charles IV, the International Gothic period. This beautiful and soft style particularly favoured elegant Madonna and Child compositions in sculpture and in painting and represents the Bohemian riposte to French courtly sophistication. Free afternoon for independent exploration. Third and final night in Prague.


Drive along the Golden Road from Prague to Nuremberg. Not far from the boundaries of the latter lies Lauf an der Pegnitz. This unspoilt half-timbered town with its many water mills is nestled along the Pegnitz River. Situated on an island in the river is Lauf Castle, a mid 14th-century fortification built by Charles IV as a station en route to Prague. The outstanding feature of this castle is the hall of arms with 112 coats of arms of the Kingdom of Bohemia, which only came to light under layers of paint in 1934. Continue to Nuremberg for a late afternoon arrival at our hotel for the first of two nights.


Leave the hotel on foot for a full-day exploration of Charles’s favourite city. Our walk will kick off with the Imperial Castle, followed by the main market square with its ‘beautiful fountain’ and Church of Our Lady, both laid out at the instigation of the emperor and his heirs. The afternoon will be spent at the Germanisches National museum, where we will discover artefacts related to the period of Charles IV, as well as a Carolingian jewelled cross, an Ottonian book cover and late mediaeval tapestries. Final night in Nuremberg.


Return to the Germanisches National museum for another guided visit of the highlights of its outstanding and wide-ranging collections focussing on paintings and lime wood sculptures from the Age of Dürer. After lunch, we transfer by coach to Munich airport for a late afternoon flight to London City Airport.


Specific fitness requirements for this Study Tour:

This tour involves a fair amount of walking across uneven ground. You must be fit and surefooted to make the most of this tour. If you would like to find out more about the physical ‘difficulty level’ of the tour, please ring or email us.

Please note that all our Study Tours involve a significant amount of standing and walking, often across uneven ground, over cobbled streets, or up and down steps and inclines. While we do not have an upper age limit for participants, we require you to have a level of fitness which does not spoil other participents' enjoyment of the holiday and you should be able to walk at a reasonable pace and / or stand for at least thirty minutes without aid or requiring a rest.

If you are in any doubt as to whether a particular tour is suitable for you, please ring us to check before placing your booking.


Twin/double share: £1995 per person
Double room for sole use supplement: £395
'No flights' price: £1795
Deposit: £200


  • Flights with British Airways from London City Airport to Prague and return flights from Munich to London City Airport
  • Private coach transfers and excursions
  • Three nights’ bed and breakfast in the 5* Hotel Paris Prague and Two nights’ in the 4* Hotel Victoria Nuremberg
  • Two dinners and one lunch
  • Guided visits to sites listed in the programme
  • Services of the Lecturer and Tour Manager
  • Detailed programme and study notes
  • All entrance fees, taxes & gratuities for coach drivers & waiters

Hotel Paris, Prague *****

Built in 1904, the five star Hotel Paris retains many original features, including Art Nouveau metalwork and ceramic mosaics. Located in Prague’s Old Town, it is close to many of the historic sites of the city. This family-run hotel has a café with Art Nouveau panelling, a restaurant, gym and spa with a sauna and steam room. Rooms are fully equipped with tea and coffee making facilities, safe, TV, minibar, air conditioning and WiFi.

Hotel Victoria, Nuremberg ****

The independently owned, four star Hotel Victoria was established in 1896 and offers excellent service. Located in Nuremberg’s Old Town, the hotel’s modern interior has a lobby bar and outdoor terrace. Rooms feature a safe, TV, hairdryer, minibar and WiFi.