Incentives, Meetings, Conferences, Congresses, Rivercruise Services, Hospitality Programs, Special Interest Groups
Compass Tours Incoming was founded in 1974 and is Germany's only DMC with 4 own local offices. In Hamburg, Berlin, Munich and Frankfurt, the staff delivers local on-site assistance. The company promises an exceptional experience to the German MICE market. The teams of passionate professionals are committed to live up to this promise, they are backed by a huge number of years of combined experience in the group travel, incentive, conferencing and event industry.


Compass Tours Incoming / Top Tours Travel
Follow the footsteps of Pope Benedict XVI...

May 2005

Follow the footsteps of Pope Benedict XVI

Day 1
Arrive at Munich Airport. Meet and greet by your European tour escort and transfer to nearby Freising.

Freising, a very pretty town with a medieval ambience, is located just 40 km north-east of Munich. Its origins go back to the early 8th century. It was during these times when Saint Corbinian became Freising\'s first bishop. As legend has it, a bear had carried the Saint\'s belongings over the Alps, when coming from Italy to Germany. Until today, the bear adorns the emblem of the city and of the archdiocese Munich and Freising and now even the one of Pope Benedict XVI.

The town of Freising played a very important role in the clerical life of Pope Benedict XVI. He attended the Freising seminary from 1950 on. On 29 June 1951 he was ordained to the priesthood at St. Mary & Corbinian Cathedral in Freising. Later, after having received a doctor degree in Theology, he taught at the seminary of Freising from 1952-1954 and then, after having been promoted professor, he taught Dogmatic and Fundamental Theology at the Freising University until 1957. In March 1977, after having taught at several other German universities, he became bishop of the archdiocese Munich and Freising and shortly afterwards Cardinal.

Check-in at your hotel. In the afternoon walking tour of Freising. See the Old Town with the baroque Asam theatre and the baroque cathedral library. Followed by a visit of the St. Mary & Corbinian Cathedral (the latter being closed at the moment for renovation) and visit the Cardinal Doepfner House, the former seminary.

Dinner and overnight at your hotel.

Day 2
After breakfast leave for full a day excursion to Regensburg.
First drive to the Monastery Weltenburg on the bank of the Danube River. Its origins go back to the 6th century. It is known for its beautiful baroque church, built in the 18th century by the famous Bavarian artists, the Asam brothers. After visiting the church, board a Danube steamer and ride through the very narrow and impressive Danube gorge. As the current in the gorge is very strong, it takes only 20 min to Kehlheim, 6 km down river.

After boarding the bus again, continue to Pendling, a village near Regensburg, where Pope Benendict XVI lived from 1969-1977 while he taught at the University of Regensburg. He still has his house there. His brother Georg lives there. During his time in Rome, when Pope Benedict XVI was head of the Sacred Congregation from 1981 on, he used to stay at Pendling when spending time in Bavaria. See his house and have lunch at Restaurant Altes Tor where he always went when staying at Pendling. Enjoy his favourite dish Apfelmaultaschen (Swabian Ravioli filled with apples and powder sugar).

Later continue to nearby Regensburg. Pope Benedict XVI taught here at the university from 1969-1977 and became its vice president in 1976. His older brother Georg was the Dom Kapellmeister and director of the world-famous boy\'s choir the Regensburger Domspatzen.

Regensburg is one of the oldest cities in Germany. Its Roman origins go back to the 2nd century B.C. Today it is a beautiful city with a medieval Old Town and a very Italian atmosphere. Thus it is called the most northern Italian city. Explore the Old Town on a walking tour. See the Old Stone Bridge over the Danube River, the Gothic Cathedral, the massive gate of the former Roman fort and the university.
Return to Freising in the late afternoon for overnight.

Day 3
After breakfast leave for Eastern Bavaria. First drive to Aschau on the River Inn, where the family of Pope Benedict XVI lived from 1932-1937. The young boy went to primary school in Aschau and was an altar boy at the local church.

After a short visit continue to the nearby village of Marktl, also located on the banks of the River Inn. It was in this small Eastern-Bavarian village where Pope Benedict XVI was born as Josef Ratzinger on 16 April 1927 as the 3rd child of the local policeman. Visit the church where he was baptized and see the baptismal font at the museum of local history.

His father, who was already 50 at the time Pope Benedict XVI was born, was transferred to other places several times during the following 10 years of his professional career. Therefore the child Josef lived just about 2 years in Marktl.

After the visit of Marktl continue to nearby Altoetting, a well known pilgrimage place since the 15th century. In 1489 a severely injured young boy came miraculously back to life in the chapel of Mercy lying on the altar in front of an image of St. Mary, brought there in the early 14th century probably from Burgundy. Check-in at hotel.

In the afternoon visit of the Chapel of Mercy with the Image of the Miraculous Virgin, the Romanesque Basilica, and St.Konrad Church,

Possibility of attending evening mass at the Chapel of Mercy.
Dinner and overnight at hotel.

Day 4
After breakfast short ride to Raitenhaslach on the River Salzach. Visit the Cistercian Monastery, which dates back to the 12th century. Its baroque church has a magnificent rococo interior.

Continue to Tittmoning, a small village on the river Salzach which forms the border to Austria. Here Pope Benedict XVI lived in his early childhood 1929-1932. The family stayed at a beautiful burgher house, today occupied by a bank. Pope Benedict XVI went to Kindergarten which was located at the Augustinian Monastery. In his memories, Pope Benedict XVI recounts his time at Tittmoning as exceptionally beautiful. He liked in particular the beautiful town square, where their house was located and the baroque monastery church. He was fascinated by the beautiful liturgy in the church.

After a short visit of the church and a look at his former family house lunch at a local restaurant.

After lunch cross the Austrian border and drive to Oberndorf to visit the Old Chapel of St. Nicholas. It is here, where the Christmas carol ?Silent Night, Holy Night? was performed for the first time.

Later continue to Salzburg. Dinner and overnight at hotel.

Day 5
After breakfast enjoy a walking tour of Salzburg. Walk through the beautiful Mirabelle gardens, then trough the picturesque street ?Getreidegasse? where Mozart?s birth place stands. Then see the great cathedral and many sights more. After the tour you might want to have lunch at St. Peter Stiftskeller, a very traditional Salzburg restaurant. Afternoon at leisure to explore Salzburg on your own. Overnight at your hotel.

Day 6
After breakfast drive back into Germany, to Traunstein. Pope Benedict\'s XVI family moved to Hufschlag, a nearby village, in 1937 and young Josef went to High School in Traunstein between 1939 and 1946 staying at the St. Michael seminary. His school years were interrupted by being drafted into the army. This happened to many unfortunate children in the last years of the war. He was moved to Munich and later to Hungary. Just before the end of the war, he managed to desert the army and flee back to Traunstein, but was taken prisoner of war by the American forces for a short time. In November 1945 he went back to school at Traunstein where he graduated in 1946.

It was also in this town, where he celebrated, together with his brother Georg and followed by almost everybody in town, his \'Primiz\', his first mass, only 9 days after having been ordained to priesthood on 29 June 1951. Still today, if a young man in Bavaria celebrates his \'Primiz\' the whole town participates in the celebration, taking him in a big parade with music band and choir to the town\'s church.

See St. Michael\'s seminary and his old school and visit the St. Oswald Church, where Pope Benedict XVI started his clerical life.

After lunch at a local restaurant near the town church continue along the Alps to Munich for dinner and overnight.

Day 7
After breakfast depart for a city tour of Munich.
Starting at your hotel cross King\'s square with its buildings in neoclassical style and drive out to the Nymphenburg Palace, the former summer residence of the Bavarian Kings. After visiting the palace and its beautiful gardens drive to Moosach, a northerly suburb of Munich, to visit St. Martin\'s Church dating back to the 12th century. Pope Benedict XVI worked here temporarily as priest in 1951 ? his first position as a priest. Then drive back into the city passing the Olympic grounds and through Schwabing, the former artists\' quarter. Then drive along impressive Ludwig Street with the University, where Pope Benedict XVI got his doctorate degree in 1953 and promoted to University professor in 1957, the Ludwig and Theatiner church, and the Hall of Generals. Continue on the Prinzregenten Street, past the House of Arts and the Bavarian National Museum, across the River Isar to the Angel of Peace. Continue to the Bogenhausen quarter to visit the Church of the Holy Blood where Pope Benedict XVI was priest from 1951-1953.

From Bogenhausen drive to the Maximilianeum, the Bavarian Parliament and back over the Isar through the elegant Maximilian Street to the Residenz (Royal Palace) and the Opera House. From there walk first to the Bishop?s Residence, where Pope Benedict XVI lived when he was Bishop of Munich and Freising from 1977 until 1981, when he was promoted to the head of the Sacred Congregation in Rome.
Continue to the Frauenkirche (Church of our Lady), Munich?s main cathedral with its twin towers which are a landmark of Munich. In this church Pope Benedict XVI was ordained to Bishop on 28 May 1977.

From Frauenkirche it is a short walk to the very centre of town, the Marien Square, with the Old and New Town Hall and, in its centre, the column of St. Mary. Pope Benedict XVI who is an ardent worshipper of St. Mary always liked this column, and he celebrated mass there on many occasions during his time as bishop in Munich.

Nearby is also St. Peter?s Church with a statue of St. Peter wearing a tiara, the papal crown. Tradition has it that the tiara is removed when a pope passes away and put back into place once a new pope is elected. End your tour with a visit to the colorful open air market, Viktualienmarkt just adjacent to Marien Square.

Rest of day at leisure. Overnight at your hotel.

Day 8
Leave Munich after breakfast and drive through the lovely pre-alpine lowlands to Hohenschwangau at the foot of the Bavarian Alps. Here, on a high cliff, fairy-tale King Ludwig II erected Castle Neuschwanstein, the Knight\'s Fortress. Much later, it was to be used by Disney as a model for his Cinderella Castle. An approx. 25 min hike will take you up to the castle. Tour the inside with its many magnificent halls and rooms. After the visit walk down again and have lunch at a nearby restaurant, from where you have a breathtaking view of the Castle and the mountains.
After lunch continue along the Alps to the magnificent Rococo Wieskirche (Church in the Meadow) and to Oberammergau, famous throughout the world for its Passion Play, which has been performed by the villagers of Oberammergau every 10 years since 1634. At that time a vow was taken by the people of Oberammergau during an outbreak of the Black Death, when they prayed to be spared. The play is now performed at the start of each decade. Pope Benedict XVI attended the 6 hour long play in 1980 and in 2000.

Visit the Passion Play Theatre and the village centre, with beautiful murals painted on many of the buildings, depicting fairy tales and religious scenes. Visit some of its wonderful little shops, known for their locally hand-carved items and Kaethe Wohlfahrt?s famous Christmas shop.

Later visit nearby Ettal with its Benedict monastery and beautiful baroque church, before driving back to Munich.

Overnight at your hotel.

Day 9
Transfer to airport for flight to Rome.

Arrival in the early afternoon. Meet and greet by your Italian guide and transfer to a pilgrims\' hostel for check-in.
Late afternoon city tour of Rome. First cross Piazza della Republica with the Najadi?s Fountain and continue along Via Nazionale till Piazza Venezia, the heart of the city with the monument of Victor Emanuel II. Continue past the Forum Romanum to the Colosseum and the surrounding Arches of Constantine and Titus, the most important archaeological area in the world. Walk through the historical centre and see the Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps, the Pantheon and Piazza Navona.

Dinner and overnight.

Day 10
In the morning participate in the audience with the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI 1) and then visit St. Peter?s Basilica and the Tombs of the Popes underneath the central nave.

Afternoon visit of St. Paul\'s Outside-the-walls, where St. Paul is buried.

Rest of day at leisure. Overnight.

1) Papal audiences used to be held on Wednesdays mornings. If Pope Benedict XVI will proceed in the same way, is not known yet. In case the audience will continue to be held on Wednesdays, dates of tour have to be arranged in a way that Day 10 or Day 11 (both days can be switched) falls on a Wednesday...

Day 11
In the morning visit of the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel. The Vatican Museums originated as a group of sculptures collected by Pope Julius II (1503-1513). As seen today, the Vatican Museums are a complex of different pontifical museums and galleries that began under the patronage of the popes Clement XIV (1769-1774) and Pius VI (1775-1799).
The Museums also include the Sistine Chapel. The Sistine Chapel takes its name from Pope Sixtus IV (pontiff from 1471 to 1484) who had the old Cappella Magna restored between 1477 and 1480. Later, from 1508 on, Michelangelo was commissioned to repaint the ceiling, the lunettes and later the altar wall. The nine central panels show the Stories of Genesis, from the Creation to the Fall of man, to the Flood and the subsequent rebirth of mankind with the family of Noah. The altar wall shows the Last Judgment.

The Conclave for the election of the Supreme Pontiff is held in this Chapel. Precisely here, in this sacred space, the Cardinals gathered on 18 April 2005 and elected Benedict XVI on 19 April as the new successor of St. Peter.

Afternoon at leisure. Overnight.

Day 12
Morning transfer to airport for flight home

For more information on CTI and TTT, please contact Helga Cordes at

Copyright Statement
The ideas, concepts, design and prices embodied in or referred to by this proposal were designed specifically by Top Tours Travel Dr. Kater GmbH.
They remain the sole property of Top Tours Travel Dr. Kater GmbH and are not to be used or published in any form without the explicit written consent of Top Tours Travel Dr. Kater GmbH

Pope Benedict XVI