When: May 28—Jun 09
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500 Years of Anabaptist Faith, Art & History Tour

On this commemorative Anabaptist heritage tour in Europe, visit significant sites that will bring to life the stories of Menno Simons, Pilgram Marpeck, Dirk Willems, Jakob Amman, and other important Anabaptist leaders. Connect past to present by joining Anabaptists from around the world at a 500th anniversary celebration of the first adult baptisms in Zürich, organized by Mennonite World Conference. Reflect in a cave where Anabaptists worshipped in secret, take a cable car up Stockhorn mountain, see the historic Dutch village of Zaanse Schans, and stay in the homes of hospitable locals in Menno Simons’ hometown, Witmarsum. Along the way, experience the cultural richness that Switzerland, France, Germany, and the Netherlands have to offer. Mennonite archivist Conrad Stoesz will guide you on this journey of discovery and fellowship. Conrad is passionate about preserving and sharing Mennonite history and archives. He has been the archivist at the Mennonite Heritage Archives since 1999, is on the board of the Mennonite Historical Society of Canada, and is the co-editor of Mennonite Historian magazine.

At A Glance


  • May 28 – June 9, 2025
  • 13 Days

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Itinerary

May 27     (pre-tour)
We suggest arriving a day early to help your body adjust to the time change.

May 28      Zürich   D
Zürich and its surrounding area are central to the story of how the Anabaptist movement began. Over three days in this region, become familiar with the earliest days of Anabaptism. Today, spend time in the old city of Zürich for an Anabaptist walking tour of sites related to the birth of Anabaptism in 1525.

May 29    Zürich  B
Gather with Anabaptists from around the world to partake in the 500th anniversary celebration, hosted by Mennonite World Conference. Expect workshops, musical concerts, theatrical performances, panel discussions and more scattered throughout the downtown. The day will culminate in an ecumenical worship service that recognizes the many steps toward reconciliation that have occurred in recent decades and an act of public witness.

May 30    Zürich  B
Travel to the municipality of Schleitheim where the first Anabaptist confession was forged in 1527. Visit the local museum to gain more insights into this history. Enjoy lunch at the famous Rhine Falls. Visit a former secret worship site, the Anabaptist Cave at Bäretswil, for worship and reflection.

May 31 & June 1     Bern   B, D
During two days in the Emmental region, there’s so much to do and see! The charming town of Bern is a renowned UNESCO World Heritage site. take a walk through this quaint town and see the well-known clock tower, cathedral, and illustrious bear park. Reflect at the harbour, where a group of Anabaptists were exiled from Bern. Visit Trachselwald Castle, a fortress once used to imprison Anabaptists. See the historic Reformed church at Würzbrunnen which has an abundance of Anabaptist stories. At a cemetery and Reformed church in Steffisburg, learn about connections with the Amish. Visit the 12th-century Thun Castle and the picturesque municipalities of Schangnau and Eggiwil. Visit Langnau Mennonite Cemetary to see familiar names. Tour the church at Erlenbach in the Simmental where Jakob Amman was baptized as an infant in 1644. Take a cable car up the Stockhorn mountain for fabulous panoramic scenic views.

June 2    Strasbourg  B
Have lunch in the quaint town of Riquewihr, known for its narrow streets and half-timbered houses. Drive the famous wine route through the Alsace region to Strasbourg where Pilgram Marpeck was a leader of the local Anabaptists. Spend the remainder of the afternoon exploring Strasbourg on your own or relaxing in a local café.

June 3     Sinsheim   B, D
In the Kraichgau region, step into the cellar at Steinsfurt where 53 Anabaptists worshipping in secret were arrested. Climb the Steinsburg Tower for a panoramic view of farms and villages. See other local sites related to Anabaptist history as time allows.

June 4     Worms   B, D
Visit the Weierhof: a semi-communal Mennonite village in the Palatinate, and be introduced to the Weierhof archives. Later, relax and enjoy the scenery on a Rhine River cruise from St. Goar to Boppard. Transfer to Worms for a walking tour, including a stop at the Luther Monument.

June 5    Münster   B, D
Begin the day in Köln, with a visit to the twin-towered Gothic cathedral. Then travel to Münster, Germany and take a walking tour to gain greater insight into the darker times of Anabaptist history. Hear about the violent uprising of radical Anabaptists during the Münster Rebellion. Visit the city museum to see the room of the Anabaptist uprising. See the cages where the bodies of Anabaptist leaders were displayed—the cages which still hang from the St. Lamberti Church tower today. Optional activities for the afternoon include visiting an outdoor museum or renting bikes to ride around the old city.

June 6    Berlikum  B, D
Travel to the Netherlands, stopping at Giethoorn on the way: a charming town known as the “Venice of the Netherlands”. Learn about the Menno Simons story with stops at the hidden church at Pingjum and the Menno Simons monument at Witmarsum. Visit Leeuwarden. Tonight, enjoy the warm hospitality of your host family in Berlikum.

June 7    Amsterdam   B, D
Cross the 22-mile Afsluitdijk. Visit Zaanse Schans, a historic Dutch village with traditional Dutch Mennonite houses, working windmills, and artisans crafting things like wooden shoes and cheese. Finish the day with a visit to Asperen to hear the story of Dirk Willems.

June 8    Amsterdam  B, D
Following an early breakfast, tour the impressive Aalsmeer flower auction where 20 million flowers from around the world are traded daily! Browse the Rijksmuseum, known for its collection of Dutch Golden Age works, to see pieces by world-renowned artists like Rembrandt, Vermeer, and Jan Steen. Be sure to see the museum’s collection of Mennonite works too! Visit the Singel Mennonite Church, then climb aboard a river boat for a leisurely tour of Amsterdam’s canals.

June 9    Departure   B
Depart for home from Amsterdam with new insights and connections into your Anabaptist heritage.

 

FAQs

Q: How much walking will I do on this tour?

A: This tour is rated as “Active”. Expect up to 2-3 hours of walking each day including well-paced walking tours with regular breaks. Please consider if this level of activity will be feasible for you before you register. Read more about our activity levels here.

 

Please note: itinerary is subject to change.

Check the pricing page for what is included and excluded in the tour fare.

For further information, please contact us. We would be happy to be of assistance.