• Discover the grand palaces and art collections in six scenic centres of Lower Saxony and Hesse: Brunswick, Kassel, Hanover, Goslar, Celle and Marburg.
• Visit the UNESCO World Heritage sites of Goslar Old Town with its pre-1500 half-timbered houses, and the Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe in Kassel with its beautiful 350-metre long water cascade and Baroque water theatre.
Depart Heathrow 0800 on British Airways, arriving Hanover 1030. Transfer to Brunswick for four nights at Hotel Deutsches Haus. Orientation walking tour. Welcome drink and introduction.
Morning lecture: Dutch Painting of the Golden Age, followed by whole day in the Herzog Anton Ulrich Museum (priceless collection of German, Dutch and Flemish paintings, including works by Cranach, Holbein, Rubens, van Dyck, Rembrandt and Vermeer).
Excursion to Goslar, situated on the north-western edge of the Harz National Park. Walking tour of the UNESCO-listed Old Town (pre-1550 half-timbered houses) followed by visits to Kaiserpfalz (Imperial Palace built by Henry III), Chamber of Homage at Goslar Town Hall (16th century panel paintings) and Frankenberg Church of St Peter and Paul (originally built in the 12th century). Evening lecture: German Painting of the Dürerzeit.
Excursion to Hanover. Morning tour tracing the ‘red line’ from the New Town Hall to the Herrenhausen Gardens (Grosser Garten, Georgengarten with the Wilhelm Busch Museum, the Berggarten with the mausoleum of the Royal House of Hanover, and the Welfengarten). Afternoon: Niedersächsisches Landesmuseum (German painting and sculpture from the Middle Ages to the Reformation including works by Holbein, Riemenschneider, Botticelli and Tiepolo). Free evening.
Depart for Kassel via Celle (walking tour and visits to the Castle and Stadtkirche St Marien). Three nights at Schlosshotel Bad Wilhelmshöhe, Kassel.
Excursion to Marburg: walking tour of the Old Town including Marktplatz followed by visits to the Rathaus, Elisabethkirche and Alte Aula (Old Hall) of Marburg University (historical paintings by Peter Janssen).
Visit to Museum Palace Wilhelmshöhe, situated in the UNESCO World Heritage site of Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe with a fabulous 350-metre long Grand Cascade and Baroque water theatre, and home to the Gemäldegalerie (displays of early German, Dutch, Flemish, French, Italian and Spanish paintings by the likes of Cranach, Rembrandt, Jordaens, Poussin, Titian and Murillo).
Transfer to Hanover for 1110 departure, arriving Heathrow 1155.