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Shores of Hope

- the tour: Germany, England, Ireland

couple in the 60s

On Monday, September 4, 1854 a group of 531 Wends left the train station in Bautzen to find their "Shore of Hope" in America. Lead by Pastor John Kilian they started an adventurous journey from the Lausitz to Hamburg, Hull, and Liverpool. Many died as they had to fight the cholera, before they finally on December 15th arrived in Galveston/ Texas. After a winter treck into the country they founded the little village Serbin, finding their new home.

The book "Shores of Hope: Wends Go Overseas" by Trudla Malinkowa paints a colourful and detailed picture of the Wendish emigration. It was honored with the Concordia Historical Institute Award 2010. Follow the roots of the Wendish settlers, who as confessional "Old Lutherans" from Germany founded St. Paul Lutheran Church in Serbin, the "mother church" of the Lutheran Church- Missouri Synod in Texas.

A group trip in the steps of the Wendish emigrants could be like this:

Day 1 Arrival, Berlin
After your transatlantic flight you arrive in Berlin (or Frankfurt) and will be met by your Terra Lu Travel tour director and the bus with the nice, English speaking bus driver. Orientation sightseeing tour of Berlin, before the tour continous to Wittenberg. Welcome Dinner, and time to relax and get over the jet lag.

Day 2 Wittenberg
Start the Germany experience in Wittenberg, the town where Martin Luther lived, worked, and preached. See the door where the Reformer posted the 95 thesis, visit the town church, and the former Augustinian Monastery.
The tour continues to Niesky (Niska), your home for the next few days.

Day 3- 5 The Wendish Home land
In day excursions you will explore the countryside the Wendish emigrants came from. Visit Hochkirch (Bukecy) where John Kilian served as a Pastor before he left Saxony and joined the Oldlutheran Church in Prussia. Weigersdorf and Klitten will be visited, the Lutheran home churches. More villages and little towns can be built into the itinerary depending on the family roots of tour participants. Excursions also go to museums like the Sorbian Cultur Center in Schleife, the open air museum in Lehde, and to Bautzen. Meet Trudla Malinkowa, author of "Shores of Hope", the most knowledgable expert on Wendish emigration history.

Lutheran Church Weigersdorf

Day 6 Hamburg
The Wendish emigrants took the train, you will comfortably travel in your air conditioned private coach to Hamburg, Germany's biggest harbor town at the North Sea.

Day 7 Hamburg: BallinStadt
In the 19th century Hamburg was one of the most important gateways to the New World. Visit BallinStadt, the award-winning museum which revives the world of emigration. The BallinStadt is a lively place on ancient grounds, for the Emigration Halls from 100 years ago where built on the exact same space here on the Veddel Island. The three halls accommodate the exhibition of the history of emigration over Hamburg, a replica of a sleeping hall, original ships, and a family research center.

Pastor John Kilian and his wife Maria

The shipping company Pastor John Kilian and his group contracted was not able to provide a boat big enough for the Wendish Lutherans. So they decided to take a steamer to Hull in England, and the train to Liverpool before the embarked at the "Ben Nevis". With the cholera on board they had to stop in Ireland and buried the dead, before they finally where able to cross the Atlantic. Follow the tour from Hamburg through England to Ireland. Or stay in Germany and add a few days of Luther-Sites, Bavaria, or the Romantic Road.



Based on the book of Trudla Malinkowa, Shores of Hope: Wends Go Overseas (translation of Ufer der Hoffnung from the German). Austin: Concordia University Press, 2009.


This itinerary is a sample, based on tours we planned for groups. But no two Terra Lu tours are the same. Our proposal for you might be different, depending on time of travel and availability of services.

Please request a customized quote for your family or group!

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We are a proud partner.

Visit these external links - but don't forget to come back!

>> Serbski Institute Bautzen

>> Texas Wendish Heritage Society

>> Concordia Historical Institute

>> St. Paul Lutheran Church Serbin/ Texas



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