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Traveling on the Danube: River of History

All-Day Program

Saturday, April 8, 2017 - 10:00 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.
Code: 1H0206

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The Danube along Passau, a German city on the Austrian border (Photo: Juergen Sack)

Over its storied history, the Danube River has played a critical role as the long-standing frontier of the Roman Empire, a highway for goods, the route of emperors and kings, and a vital source of water for 20 million people. At its essence, the Danube is a scenic ribbon that binds together central and eastern Europe in an evocative panorama of villages, palaces, churches, and castles. Art historian Ursula Rehn Wolfmann travels through time to explore some of the most historic and beautiful places along its shores.

10–11:15 a.m.  Romania and Bulgaria

Founded in 600 BC, Constanta is the oldest continuously inhabited city in Romania and the home of St. Andrew’s cave monastery, the mosque of Constanta, and an ancient Roman edifice with splendid mosaics. Old town Bucharest boasts neoclassical and baroque buildings, and Vidin is the site of a significant 17th-century church and 19th-century synagogue.

11:30 a.m.–12:45 pm  Serbia

In Serbia, visit the 14-century fortress of Golubac, view Belgrade’s Old Palace built for the country’s first king of Serbia, and sail through the Iron Gate Gorge.

12:45–1:45 p.m  Lunch (participants provide their own)

1:45 to 2:45 p.m.  Hungary and Slovakia

Notable locations in Budapest—two cities in one—include the Parliament House and the Godolla Palace, the second-largest baroque palace in the world. Tour through the old Jewish Quarter, and explore both the Buda and the Pest sections of the city. With a university established in 1367, the city of Pecs has traditionally been a center for education, and contains many Ottoman structures. In Slovakia, view Bratislava’s rococo Mirbac Palace, St. Michael’s Gate, and its Old Town.

3–4:15 pm   Austria and Germany

Vienna’s Imperial Apartments of the Hofburg Palace, the incredible Schönbrunn Palace, and the Spanish Riding School are among the city’s attractions. The Benedictine abbey in Melk features a monastic library renowned for its extensive manuscript collection. The German city of Passau, at the confluence of three rivers, is home to St. Stephen’s Cathedral, a masterpiece of the Italian baroque style.

World Art History Certificate elective: Earn 1 credit


S. Dillon Ripley Center
1100 Jefferson Dr SW
Metro: Smithsonian (Mall exit)