POLAND including the International Chopin Competition, October 01 to 17, 2020
Join us for an intimate exploration of Poland’s multifaceted history and culture, from Krakow through Wroclaw, Poznan, and Torun to Warsaw, where you will experience one of the world’s most important showcases for keyboard artists – the International Chopin Piano Competition!
 
Please read the tour description in the right column below and details of contents and prices to the left.
Then, get your reservation and deposit in right away: advance interest has been exceptional
and the tour is limited to 22 participants
.

Sessions of the International Chopin Competition
 
Knowing that tickets for the final stages of the Chopin Competition are limited and in very high demand, we applied for 25 seats at two sessions of Stage III and for the first of the three "Finals" concerts more than a year in advance. We received an option for 20 tickets for each of the two sessions of Stage III that take place on October 16, at which each finalist plays a one-hour recital of Chopin works; we can guarantee that everyone can attend at least one session, while anyone interested in attending both the morning and afternoon sessions will almost certainly be able to. However, we were granted only five (5) seats for the Finals Concert on October 18, at which 3 or 4 contestants will each perform one or the other of the Chopin concertos, with orchestra.  For that reason, we will select, at random, five of those who indicate on their reservation forms that they wish to stay on for the optional two-day extension in Warsaw, who will receive those tickets. Anyone who does not receive a ticket for the concert on the 18th will have the option of accepting a refund for the cost of the concert ticket or of withdrawing from the extension altogether. Given the high demand for those tickets, we do not advise staying on in Warsaw in the hope of finding a ticket "on the street" the day of the performance. The performance of Mozart's Requiem on Saturday, October 17, is free of charge and is something of a celebratory "mob scene."  Go early, and you will get a seat (whether with a view or not); go later, and you will probably get in but have to stand.
 
Additional Performances

Although we have no details concerning other performances yet, we do know that: 

              * We will be in Krakow on the weekend that traditionally marks the opening of both the opera and              
                 symphony season. We will attend one or both, as available.
              * Wroclaw has an active concert life; we will probably be able to attend something of interest there.
              * The Poznan Philharmonic season-opening concerts take place while we are there; we will definitely attend.

We are confident that we will be able to provide tickets for at least two major performances, in addition to the Stage III sessions at the Chopin Competition.
CONTENTS AND PRICES

Prices, per person


Basic 15-night tour
(17 days, including travel days)
  $ 4,275 sharing a double
$ 5,350 single occupancy


 
Two-night Extension
$ 400 sharing a double
$ 625 single occupancy



Prices are stated in
U.S. Dollars

calculated on an exchange rate of $1.10 to the Euro.




Package prices include
Accommodation in these
four and five-star hotels:


Grand Ascot Hotel, Krakow

A.C. Hotel, Wroclaw

Hampton Poznan Old Town

Romantic Palace Spa Hotel

Sofitel Victoria, Warsaw

(Click on a hotel name
to visit its own website,
with room details and photographs.)




  Two additional nights in Warsaw optional
(a limited number of performance tickets will be distributed by lottery)




Breakfast each day

  11 lunches or dinners
(drinks included)

Airport transfers

Ground transport by
private coach

  At least three performances
(rebate if any fail to materialize)

  Tours with expert guides as described to the right



Additional performances
that may become available
will be provided at additional cost



Suggested Flights:

United/Lufthansa and Delta/Air France
Both alliances offer schedules that involve only a single change of planes each way.
(Numerous other options are availble with 2 changes, including on American and British Air.)

Plan to depart the U.S.
on October 1,
arriving in Krakow
around noon on Oct. 2


Return from Warsaw
  on Oct. 17/19,
arriving in the U.S. the same afternoon

If there is sufficient interest,
we will arrange a Group Air Package with Lufthansa
 

Advantages of
Group Air:


♦Best available prices
♦Prices locked in
♦Advance payment
not required
♦In case of delay or cancellation,
the group is usually
rebooked together

If you wish to participate
in group air arrangements,
please indicate the class of service you prefer on your reservation form.
We need to request group rates as soon as possible.




You may tentatively reserve space by submitting the online reservation form, accessed via the button below; we will send you a final reservation form. Your place on the tour will be confirmed
when we receive that form, completed and signed,
along with your deposit.

TOUR CONTENTS


Thursday October 1: Depart Houston on the airline of your choice or with our group on Lufthansa. (see the column at the left for more information on flights)

Friday October 2: You should plan to arrive in Krakow near noon, where we will meet and escort you to our hotel. We are planning for a short orientation walk late this afternoon, prior to our welcome dinner.

October 2 to 6, Krakow
Poland’s former royal capital, Krakow managed to escape much of the damage that ruined historical landmarks in other parts of the country during times of war. One of the first urban UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Old Town is a maze of cobbled lanes and alleys, historic merchant houses, and sprawling squares facing beautiful medieval churches. Our walking tour along the Royal Route begins at the northern end and continues south through the Old Town center toward Wawel Hill, location of the former royal residence and church (Wavel Castle and Cathedral).

A half-day tour will be dedicated to sites related to Jewish life in Krakow. The Jewish quarter of Kazimierz, another UNESCO World Heritage site, is home to seven synagogues, a museum, and a 16th-century cemetery. We will visit the famous Remah Synagogue, the museum of the Jewish life in Krakow at the Old Synagogue, and Oskar Schindler’s Factory, now a museum that chronicles wartime Krakow.

Another half-day will take us out to Oswiecim, the site of the largest Nazi concentration and extermination camp, nowadays the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum. At least 1.3 million people were deported here, and about 1.1 million perished; the majority (28 nationalities in all) were Jews brought from all over Nazi-occupied Europe.  We see the remains of the old barracks, the gas chambers, prison blocks, and crematoriums, and visit memorials dedicated to the victims and survivors.

In your free time in Krakow, we suggest that you explore the Czartoryskich Museum, which houses Leonardo da Vinci’s Lady with an Ermine, Renaissance tapestries and decorative arts, as well as works by Rembrandt, Holbein, Jordaens, Giordano, Pieter Brueghel the Younger, Lotto, Cranach the Younger, and Andrea Mantegna.

October 6 to 9, Wroclaw
On the way to Wroclaw, we will stop in Opole for a quick tour and lunch. The historic capital of Upper Silesia, Opole is one of the oldest cities in Poland and a significant center for Poland’s remaining German minority. It has a picturesque old town and a beautiful riverside panorama of historic houses, nicknamed “Little Venice.” The town hall on the market square reminds one of the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence. The Museum of Opole Village nearby is a large open-air exhibition of picturesque old wooden houses, windmills, and a church relocated from a regional village.

Wroclaw, the historic capital of Silesia and Lower Silesia, became part of a reconstituted Poland in 1945, after centuries under Bohemian, Hapsburg, and Prussian rule.  Named European Capital of Culture in 2016, the city boasts a beautifully restored Old Town and a handful of islands spread across the center, with a total of 120 bridges and footbridges. The heart of the city is an architectural gem, a testimony to the city’s rich past: the town hall is among the most splendid Gothic-Renaissance buildings in Central Europe. St. Mary Magdalene’s Church has one of the oldest and most beautiful Romanesque portals in Central Europe, while the magnificent Baroque main building of Wroclaw University showcases captivating illusionist paintings and rich stucco decoration in its ceremonial Leopoldine Hall.  The Jesuit University Church is a perfect example of Habsburg Counterreformation style, with spectacular sculptures and intricate wall and ceiling frescoes.

There will be time for you to explore Wroclaw on your own; you may want to visit the UNESCO World Heritage listed Centennial Hall, a landmark in the history of reinforced concrete architecture, constructed according to the plans of architect Max Berg in 1911–1913. 

A day trip from Wroclaw will take us to Ksiaz Castle and the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Swidnica and Jawor, the largest timber-framed religious buildings in Europe. Swidnica and Jawor were two of the three places in Catholic Silesia where Protestantism was allowed by the Peace of Westphalia of 1648, following the Thirty Years’ War. The Lutherans built three churches from wood, loam and straw outside the city walls, without steeples or church bells; of the three, only the huge wooden Churches of Peace in Swidnica and Jawor survived.  

The magnificent Ksiaz Castle is undoubtedly one of the greatest monuments in the region. The third largest castle in Poland and known as “The Pearl of Lower Silesia,” it is nestled in the picturesque valley of the River Pelcznica. The castle displays many architectural styles, and it once hosted distinguished guests such as John Quincy Adams, Winston Churchill, and the emperors of both Germany and Russia.

October 9 to 11 Poznan
En route to Poznan, we will visit Goluchow Castle, after which you’ll enjoy free time to explore Kalisz, Poland’s oldest town.  Located in a picturesque park on the river Trzemna, Goluchow Castle stuns with its exquisite French Renaissance architecture and beautifully furnished interiors. Originally a defensive structure, the castle was gradually transformed it into a beautiful noble residence; In the 19th century, owner Izabela Dzialynska opened her home to the public as a museum, exhibiting her collection of paintings, sculptures, furniture, and ancient artefacts. Since much of the collection was moved or stolen during World War II, the museum today is a mixture of the surviving items of the original collection together with newly acquired artifacts.

Formerly a stop on the amber trade route from the Baltic, Kalisz was rebuilt after the near-total destruction in World War I. The small city has an attractive main square and town hall, Gothic and Baroque churches, and fragments of city walls, evoking the richness of small city life in this part of Poland. You will have time to stroll through the town on your own and grab a bite to eat before continuing to Poznan.

Poznan is known as the city where Poland was born: on an island on the River Warta 1,200 years ago, three legendary Slav brothers, Lech, Czech and Rus, united their tribes into a nation. Rebuilt after the immense damageof the war, the main square can easily take a few hours to properly explore and enjoy. Its highlight is the faithfully reconstructed town hall, hailed as “the most beautiful Renaissance town hall north of the Alps.” The building's most attractive feature is the facade with its colonnaded three-story loggia, featuring medallions with ancient figures and paintings of Jagiellon dynasty rulers. Near the Town Hall, there are graceful 15th-century merchant houses with characteristic arcades, where once merchants sold fish, candles and salt. Among the 10 museums that you can explore on your own are the Literary Museum of Henryk Sienkiewicz, Winner of the Nobel Prize in 1905, and the Museum of Musical Instruments, with over 2,000 items, including one of Chopin’s pianos. Nearby is the palace where the 19-year-old composed his breakthrough Polonaise in C for Duke Antoni Radziwill's two daughters.

In your free time, you can explore Poznan Cathedral on Ostrow Tumski (Cathedral Island). Poland's first king, Boleslaw the Brave, built what remains a national shrine, attracting pilgrims from all over Poland. Its greatest treasure is the dazzling Golden Chapel, with the glittering tombs and effigies of the country's first kings. No wonder John Paul II called the city “the most Polish of all.”

October 11 to 13 Torun
On our way to Torun, we will make a stop in Gniezno, the cradle of the Polish state – it was here that the various tribes of the region were first united as Poles in the 10th century. Gniezno’s Cathedral is also regarded as the spiritual home of Poland’s former monarchy, where the first five Polish kings were crowned. The principal highlight of the Cathedral is the Gniezno doors, masterpiece of Romanesque art: a pair of winged bronze doors engraved with scenes from the life of St. Adalbert of Prague, a 10th-century Czech missionary, martyr, and the first patron saint of Poland.

We will be ensconced at a 19th-century palace-hotel in Turzno, near Torun, surrounded by an English-style park. The hotel features relaxing spa facilities with a Finnish sauna, beer baths, massages, and a spa bath. Frederic Chopin visited Turzno twice, in 1825 and in 1827; his stay is honored by the bust funded by the present owners, officially unveiled on the 200th anniversary of the composer's birth.  On our way to the hotel, we will make a stop at the Chopin Center in Szafarnia - a 19th-century manor house where Chopin spent childhood summer holidays - where we will visit the small museum as well as attend an exclusive, brief concert.

Torun, the birthplace of astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus, is one of the most beautiful cities in Poland, boasting unforgettable city panoramas: from the left bank of the River Vistula, you can admire Gothic buildings and fortifications of Old Town, reflected in the water.  Untouched by World War II, Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with gorgeous medieval architecture.

October 13 to 17, Warsaw
On the way to Warsaw, we stop in Lowicz, Poland’s picturesque region of Western Mazovia renowned for folk arts and crafts such as weaving and wood carving.

Known as “The Paris of the North,” Warsaw was deliberately razed to the ground by the Nazis during the Second World War, but painstakingly restored to its former splendor. Our walking tour will include the most important architecture of the Old and New Town: the Royal Castle square with Sigismund's Column, the Royal Castle (residence of Polish Kings and the site of Polish Parliament), St. John's Cathedral, St. Martin church, Market square, the Barbican and city walls, and Warsaw University Library.

Half a day will be dedicated to sites connected to Frederic Chopin. The Art Nouveau Chopin Monument (designed to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Chopin’s birth) is a landmark of Lazienki Park, a favorite place for Varsovians to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. The park’s best-known attraction is the Palace on the Isle, part of a complex that served as summer residence of Stanislaw August, the last king of Poland. He transformed the palace into a villa museum housing the most valuable paintings from his vast collection; today, 140 pieces from the King’s personal collection are on display. The large complex also includes an Old Orangery and a classicist amphitheater loosely inspired by Herculaneum.

We continue to the Baroque Ostrogski Palace, now the Chopin Museum, housing the largest collection of Chopin memorabilia in the world, on five levels of exhibition space. Refurbished in 2010 to mark the 200th anniversary of the composer’s birth, it is one of the most “high-tech” in Europe: there are e-books, audio-visuals, music games, and touchscreen options; micro-chipped tickets can be swiped along different interactive exhibits to allow the visitor to hear music and stories or watch a film – there is even a musical Twister game! The Pleyel grand piano, which Chopin played for the final two years of his life, is the most valuable item on display.

Saturday October 17: Depart for home or remain in Warsaw for the optional extension, departing on Monday the 19th.

Chopin Monument
Chopin Monument
2015 Competition
2015 Competition
Chopin Competition Hall
Chopin Competition Hall
Poznan Philharmonic
Poznan Philharmonic
Krakow
Krakow
St. Mary Basilica
St. Mary Basilica
Wavel Castle
Wavel Castle
Auschwitz-Birkenau
Auschwitz-Birkenau
View of Opole
View of Opole
Wroclaw
Wroclaw
University Aula Wroclaw
University Aula Wroclaw
Centennial Hall
Centennial Hall
Wroclaw Roofs
Wroclaw Roofs
Ksiaz Castle
Ksiaz Castle
Goluchow Castle
Goluchow Castle
Poznan Old Town
Poznan Old Town
Poznan Market Square with Town Hall
Poznan Market Square with Town Hall
Poznan Town Hall (detail)
Poznan Town Hall (detail)
Cathedral Island
Cathedral Island
Gniezno Cathedral
Gniezno Cathedral
Torun Old Town
Torun Old Town
Our hotel in Turzno
Our hotel in Turzno
Warsaw Old Town
Warsaw Old Town
Modern Warsaw
Modern Warsaw
Palace on the Isle
Palace on the Isle
Chopin Museum
Chopin Museum
 
deandaltontours  | 2011
powered by EMERiGOS
web design