Historical Lithuania and Poland – 12 days/11 nights

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Your Group Leader - Michael Strmiska, PhD in Religious Studies, Boston University   -Assistant Professor of World History, Department of Global Studies, SUNY-Orange (Orange County Community College), Middletown NY (2008 to present).   -Author of Modern Paganism in World Cultures: Comparative Perspectives, including chapter on Modern Lithuanian Paganism.    -American born, with Lithuanian and Czech ancestry.   -Multiple visits to Lithuania and Eastern Europe since 1996, author of published research articles about Lithuanian and Latvian religion, participant in numerous academic conferences in region from 1998 to present.   -Visiting Lecturer in Religion and History at Šiauliai University in Lithuania in 2004-05, as recipient of prestigious Fulbright Grant.     -Organizer of academic conference on Religious Heritage Tourism at Vytautas Magnus University in 2013.   -Visiting Professor in Religious Studies at Masaryk University in Czech Republic in 2015, as recipient of Czech Ministry of Education grant.

Your Group Leader – Michael Strmiska, PhD in Religious Studies, Boston University
-Assistant Professor of World History, Department of Global Studies, SUNY-Orange (Orange County Community College), Middletown NY (2008 to present).
-Author of Modern Paganism in World Cultures: Comparative Perspectives, including chapter on Modern Lithuanian Paganism.
-American born, with Lithuanian and Czech ancestry.
-Multiple visits to Lithuania and Eastern Europe since 1996, author of published research articles about Lithuanian and Latvian religion, participant in numerous academic conferences in region from 1998 to present.
-Visiting Lecturer in Religion and History at Šiauliai University in Lithuania in 2004-05, as recipient of prestigious Fulbright Grant.
-Organizer of academic conference on Religious Heritage Tourism at Vytautas Magnus University in 2013.
-Visiting Professor in Religious Studies at Masaryk University in Czech Republic in 2015, as recipient of Czech Ministry of Education grant.

 

See Medieval Castles, Renaissance Churches, Jewish Synagogues, Holocaust Sites, Pagan Folklore. Learn about the history of religious diversity and political conflict in this region. Trip led by World History Professor Michael Strmiska of SUNY-Orange, with guide services by the Jerulita tour company of Vilnius, Lithuania.

Sites included:  (in Lithuania) Vilnius Old Town, Gediminas Castle (1320s), Vilnius Cathedral, built over ancient Pagan temple (first built 1300s), Palace of the Grand Dukes (state-of-art historical museum ), Vilnius University (dating to 1579), famous Catholic and Orthodox churches, Choral Synagogue, “Green House” Jewish Museum, Trakai Castle, Museum of  Karaites (ancient Jewish sect); Kaunas Ninth Fort (Concentration Camp), Old Town and Synagogue; (in Poland) Bialystok homestead of L. Zamenhof, creator of Esperanto,  Old Jewish Cemetery, Burnt Synagogue monument where 2000 Jews burned to death in 1941; Gierloz  Wolfsschanze (Wolf’s Lair) Nazi military HQ; Grunwald site of 1410 Polish-Lithuanian victory over Teutonic Knights;  Malbork castle of Teutonic Knights; Gdansk (Danzig) Old Town, St. Catherine’s Church, first built 1279, shipyard  monument to 1980s Solidarity movement; Torún hometown of N. Copernicus, Old Town, castle; Warsaw capital city, many historic sites, new Polin Jewish museum; Czestachowa Catholic pilgrimage site; Auschwitz Nazi death camp ruins; Kraków historic old town, Wawel castle, Rynek Glówny (Old Town Square), Kazimierz ,charming former Jewish town, today, popular bohemian district.

 

Trip Dates: May 19- 31, 2017.  Cost: $2750.00 (airfare, tour, buses and hotels).

This price assumes double-occupancy (sharing room with one other person). Single supplement available for $400.  Breakfast provided in hotels, but lunch and dinner not included in cost.  Airfare and all ground transportation in Lithuania and Poland covered. Transport to JFK airport is NOT included but can be arranged.

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Itinerary

Date

Day

DESCRIPTION

May 19

Fri

Depart Kennedy Airport

 May 20

Sat

Arrival / Vilnius (Dinner)

May 21

Sun

Vilnius Trakai Castle – Vilnius

May 22

Mon

Vilnius – Kaunas – Bialystock (Dinner)

May 23

Tue

Bialystok – Wolf’s Lair (Wolfshase, 2h ) – Gdansk (4h)

May 24

Wed

Gdansk – Malbork (2,5 h) – River Cruise (1h) – Gdansk

May 25

Thu

Gdansk – Torun (3h) – Warsaw

May 26

Fri

Warsaw – Polin museum (8h)

May 27

Sat

Warsaw – Czestachowa (2h) – Krakow

May 28

Sun

Krakow (8h)

May 29

Mon

Krakow – Aushwitz – Birkenaw (workshop, Jewish Center) – Krakow

May 30

Tue

Krakow – Wieliczka (3,5h) – Krakow (Dinner) – Klezmer Music Band

May 31

Wed

Krakow (free day) – departure / back home

Hotels 

Hotel Radisson Blu Lietuva – Vilnius

Hotel Branicki – Bialystok

Hotel Marina Club – Gdansk

Hotel Intercontinental – Warsaw

Hotel Kazimierz III Aneks – Krakow

Deposit of $500.00 due .   Contact Professor Michael Strmiska,   email  mstrm1960@gmail.com, telephone 203 326 1832.