School history trips are a great way of bringing history to life. Visits can be a thought provoking experience, helping students get a deeper insight and understanding of the past.
Pas de Calais and The Somme
The close proximity of Pas de Calais makes it a perfect destination for a school history trip to France.
In the First World War much of the region was occupied by Germany and many of its towns and hundreds of square miles of land were wrecked in four years of trench warfare, with the region suffering more damage than any other part of France.
Germany occupied it again in the Second World War and used the region as a launching base for attacks on England by the Luftwaffe. Heavy Allied bombing and fighting on the ground again devastated many of the region's towns.
The region's conflicted history is memorialised in numerous war cemeteries and memorials, such as the Vimy Memorial.
- La Coupole – World War II Museum
- Le Blockhaus d’Eperlecques – World War II Bunker
- The Somme World War I Battlefields Tour
- Vimy Ridge
- Museum of the Great War at Péronne
- The “Somme 1916” Museum at Albert
With its D-Day landing beaches and the World War II battlefields Normandy has become one of the most important destinations for school history tours. Suggested visits would be:
- Arromanches with the Musee du Debarquement and the Arromanches 360° cinema
- Bayeux and the D-Day Memorial Museum and the British National Cemetery
- The Memorial Pegasus
- Centre Juno Beach
No one can fail to be moved by a visit to Ypres. During World War I the battlefield was barely a few kilometres away from the centre of Ypres and the trenches had been dug from North to South to form an arch around the city. In that famous Ypres Salient no fewer than five battles were fought.
In the 1920’s more than 150 military cemeteries and memorial monuments were built around the city, the Menin Gate at Ypres being the most important of these.
Suggested visits for your history school trip:
- In Flanders Fields Museum – explains the run up to the First World War, the devestation of the war years and the post war period
- Hill 62, Santuary Wood Museum – a vivid portrayal of life in the trenches
- Last Post – every evening at 20-00 hrs precisely the “Last Post” has been sounded since 1928 under the arches of the Menin Gate
- Guided tour of the battlefields – an ideal way to discover the Salient. This tour takes you to the most important cemeteries and monuments including Essex Farm Cemetery, the German Cemetery at Langemark, the Canadian Memorial, Tyne Cot Cemetery, Hill 62, Kemmel Hill and Poperinge
- Why not combine a trip to Belgium with a trip to the battlefields of the Somme or a visit to the Vimy Ridge Memorial, where you can visit the reconstructed trenches and tunnels.
Or, why not plan your trip in December when you can visit the Ypres Christmas market in front of the impressive Cloth Hall.
Berlin is Germany’s capital city and has undergone enormous changes in the past 100 years. No longer divided, this city is now a thriving, modern and exciting destination for everyone. Since World War II the city has emerged from the past and been rebuilt, restored and rejuvenated.
When the Berlin Wall was destroyed in 1989 it was an enormous turning point for the city which had previously been divided for 28 years. East and West Berlin are now thoroughly unified and Berlin now offers countless possibilities for your school trip.
Highlights for your history tour include:
- Check Point Charlie – the border crossing from East to West
- Holocaust Memorial – a memorial to the Jewish victims of the Holocaust
- Jewish Museum Berlin
- Topographie of Terror – a permanent exhibition about Berlin during the “Third Reich”
- House of Wannsee Conference – documenting the Wannsee Conference and the events prior to it and its consequences
- Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp
- Bundestag and the Berliner Dom – National Parliament for the Federal Republic of Germany
- The Story of Berlin – a journey through 800 years of Berlin history, including a guided tour through an original nuclear bomb shelter
- Brandenburg Gate
- The Marienfelde Refugee Center Museum - a memorial to the flight of millions of people out of East Germany and their admission into West Germany
Munich and Nuremberg
Munich is the capital city of Bavaria and is steeped with history and culture. Before World War II Hitler and his supporters were concentrated in Munich and the city became a Nazi stronghold when the National Socialists took power in Germany in 1933. The first concentration camp was created at Dachau 10 miles north west of the city and today stands as a memorial site.
For history school trips to Germany, Munich is an ideal destination, especially if you combine it with an excursion to Nuremberg.
Suggested visits to include in your history tour:
- Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site – the first Nazi concentration camp opened in Germany
- The Jewish Museum
- Berchtesgaden – “Eagles Nest” tea house – built as a present for Hitler’s 50th birthday in 1939
- Obersalzberg Documentation Centre – a permanent exhibition of the history of Obersalzberg and the Nazi dictatorship
Nuremberg held great significance during the Nazi Germany era because of its position in the centre of Germany and because of the Nuremberg Rallies. The Nuremberg Rallies became huge propaganda events and at the 1935 rally, Hitler ordered the Reichstag to pass the anti-semitic Nuremberg Laws which revoked German citizenship for all Jews. Today you can visit the Documentation Centre Nazi Party Rally Grounds which relates the history of Nuremberg during the period of the “Third Reich”.
Krakow is one of the very few cities in Poland to have preserved its historic shape. Having escaped destruction during World War II the city has uniquely retained its charming medieval shape. The central Market Square, the largest in Europe, is where several of the city’s architectural and cultural landmarks can be found. Standing in the middle of the square is the 16th century Cloth Hall, which now houses a market selling local artefacts and souvenirs.
However, during World War II Krakow became the capital of Nazi occupied Poland. The German occupation began in 1939 and in March 1941, a ghetto was built, where 15,000 Jews were crammed into an area that previously housed just 3,000. From May 1942, the Nazis implemented systematic deportations from the ghetto to the surrounding concentration camps.
Today, Krakow is an important destination for school history and religious education trips. A visit to Krakow and the Auschwitz Concentration Camp will give your students a deeper insight and understanding of the history and suffering of the 2nd World War.
- Auschwitz Concentration Camp – one of the most memorable lessons of modern European history. The tour includes a film showing the camps liberation, the Death Wall, national memorials, the train line and ramp and the remains of hundreds of barracks, all of which form a moving testimony to the number of lost lives as a result of Nazi atrocities across occupied Europe
- Kazimierz Ghetto Tour – visit the Jewish Quarter and learn more about Jewish culture. The tour includes Szeroka Street where “Shindlers List” was filmed, the Old Synagogue and the Remu’h Synagogue
- Schindlers Factory Museum- a museum devoted to the wartime experiences in Krakow under the five year occupation. Oskar Schindler, his factory and the fate of its Jewish workforce feature prominently in the museum
- The Galicia Jewish Museum – this museum commemorates the victims of the Holocaust and celebrates the Jewish culture of Jewish Galicia, presenting Jewish history from a new perspective
- Jewish meal with entertainment – sample a traditional Jewish meal along with live Jewish music
- Wieliczka Salt Mine – mined since the 13th century, the mine reaches a depth of 327 metres and is over 300 km long. The mine features dozens of statues and an entire chapel that has been carved out of salt
- Krakow City Tour – walking sightseeing tour including the Old Town, the Royal Way, the Market Square, the Cloth Hall, St Mary’s Church and Wawel Hill
- Wawel Royal Castle – home to three dynasties of Polish monarchs. Its stately halls and exquisite chambers are filled with priceless art, period furniture and rare ancient objects
In Rome do as the Roman does, all paths lead to Rome, Rome wasn’t built in a day etc. are not just proverbs used in literature but confirmation of the fact that Rome was once the most important city in the world. Rome is truly a treasure trove of artistic and architectural marvels. The entire city is an open air museum with churches, fountains, palazzo, archaeological sites and monuments. The presence of the Vatican City, the heart of Roman Catholicism, adds to the enormous cultural appeal of Rome.
Suggested Rome visits:
- Colosseum – the greatest amphitheatre of the antiquity and proof of the grandeur of the Roman world
- Roman Forum – the centre of political, commercial and judicial life in Ancient Rome
- Arch of Constantine – erected to commemorate Constantines victory over Maxenlius at the battle of Milvian Bridge in 312 AD
- Pantheon – a magnificent ancient temple that was later converted into the Church of Santa Maria ad Martyres
- St Peter’s Basilica – a major basilica in the Vatican City drawing pilgrims from all over the world
- Vatican Museums – the Vatican Museums contain one of the world’s greatest art collections. Housed in the richly decorated galleries and apartments of the Vatican Palace, the museums boast the largest collection of classical sculpture in the world, plus extensive artworks from the Etruscan, Egyptian, Early Christian and Renaissance and of course the Sistine Chapel
- Sistine Chapel – thanks to the extraordinary talents of Michelangelo the Sistine Chapel has become one of the most famous galleries in the world
- Catacombs of San Callisto – one of the largest and most famous of the Roman catacombs, first excavated in the 2nd Century
- Capitoline Hill and Museum – Rome’s most sacred hill, where the city’s first and most holiest temples stood. There are two museums, the Palazzo dei Conservatori and the Palazza Nuovo
- Trevi Fountain – the most beautiful fountain in Rome
- Spanish Steps – one of the most famous images of the world
- Borghese Gallery – famous for having one of the worlds most extensive art collections, featuring major works by Raphael, Rubens, Titian, Caravaggio, Bernini and Canova
- Time Elevator – a multi-media journey through the history of Rome, including the legend of Romolus and Remu, the betrayal of Julius Caeser in the hands of Brutus and Nero and Michaelangelo during the realisation of the Sistine Chapel
Rome Guided Tours – guided tours can be arranged to suit your requirement. Popular tours include Ancient Rome, the Vatican and Sistine Chapel and the Rome Art tours of the historic art of the churches of Rome and the Borghese Gallery.
All the hotels we use in Rome are very conveniently located in the Termini Railway Station area of the city.
While you are in Rome, why not add another dimension to your school trip and make a full day excursion for the archaeological site of Pompeii and the Vesuvius National Park.
Pompeii is a partially buried town in the region of Campania. Pompeii was completely destroyed and buried during the catastrophic eruption of the volcano Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. Since then its excavation has provided an extraordinary detailed insight into the life of the city at the height of the Roman Empire.
The volcano best known for its eruption in AD 79 that led to the destruction of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Today you can climb to the summit of the volcano and take a view into the crater that still fumes slightly.
Herculaneum is most famous for having been lost in the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. Although the remains are on a much smaller scale to Pompeii the general state of preservation of the buildings is generally much superior. Herculaneum was originally discovered during the 18th century but excavations are ongoing.
Prague is considered to be one of the most beautiful cities in the world. The historic centre of Prague is included in the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites. Its exquisitely preserved historical centre is also known as the “Golden City” and the “City of a Hundred Spires”.
The city built along the meanders of the Vltava River and on the surrounding seven hills has always been and continues to be a thriving living city with an unusual number of theatres, galleries, museums and exhibitions.
Suggested Prague visits:
- Old Town Square – at the heart of the historical centre you will find the gothic spires of the Tyn Church that tower over the square and the Astronomical Clock
- The Jewish Quarter – known as Josefov, is located between the Old Town Square and the Vltava River. Its history dates back to the 13th century when the Jewish community were ordered to vacate their homes and settle in one area
- Charles Bridge – a stone gothic bridge that connects the Old Town and Mala Shana. Its construction was commissioned by Czech king and Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV in 1357
- Prague Castle – founded in 880. Records indicate that Prague Castle is the largest castle area in the world
- Lesser Town – the Lesser Town clusters around the foothills of Prague Castle. Full of ancient burgher houses, quaint side streets, baroque churches and small shops, the Lesser Town is a lovely area to explore
- Jewish Museum – the Jewish Museum incorporates all the main historical sites in the Jewish Quarter except for the Old-New Synagogue
- Old-New Synagogue – Europe’s oldest active synagogue and one of the earliest gothic buildings. According to legend, angels brought stones from King Solomon’s Temple to build the synagogue and those same angels still protect the synagogue
- Prague River Cruise – the perfect vantage point from which to admire the beauty of Prague
- Prague City Tour – incorporate the Old Town, Charles Bridge, Prague Castle and Lesser Town in one four hour guided tour of the city
- Prague Jewish Quarter Walking Tour – this tour traces the history of the largest Jewish ghetto in Europe. Learn about the every day life of the Jewish people in Prague through the ages
- Terezin Concentration Camp – the Terezin Concentration Camp lies 60 km north of Prague. The camp was a place of suffering for over 150,000 prisoners during the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia and more than 35,000 Jews lost their lives in the camp ghetto. A visit to Terezin includes visits to the Memorial of National Martyrdom, the Small Fortress and the Museum of Ghetto
- Black Light Theatre – a theatrical performance with the use of black curtains and “black lighting”, paired with fluorescent costumes to create intricate visual illusions and remarkable spectacles
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