Study Tour of Europe

During the April school holidays, a group of 25 students in Years 11-12 accompanied by four teachers, had the opportunity to take the trip of a lifetime to Europe to visit sites of historical significance to their study of Modern and Ancient History. It was a great chance for these students and staff to see history come alive in the places that it occurred, to build relationships with one another, and to see the glories of God not only in the places visited but through His protection and guidance along the way.

At the Eiffel Tower

Outside the Basilica of Sacré Coeur de Montmartre

The trip began with five days in France with an orientation day in Paris seeing the sites central to Paris including Notre Dame and the Eiffel Tower through both a walking tour and a river cruise along the Seine. The following day focused on key historic locations in Paris with a trip to the Louvre – which was a highlight for many students – observing iconic works of art as well as the history of the site itself (it was originally a palace). Our group then walked along the Champs-Elysees to the Arc de Triomphe to focus on the military successes of France which began with Napoleon. The next day we travelled to Versailles, the site of significant historical events including the French Revolution and the signing of the Treaty of Versailles after World War I, followed by a visit to the Montmartre District including the Sacre-Coeur Basilica. Our final day in France was a sombre one visiting the battlefields of World War I in the Somme Valley.

We then travelled to Germany, first to Nuremberg, staying in a hostel in the old city wall. From there we visited the Kaiserburg Imperial Castle built in the early Middle Ages, significant as a seat of the Holy Roman Empire. We spent time walking through the old city, enjoying the culinary delights of Germany including Bratwurst and Pretzels! The following day we explored the Nazi history of Germany through an extensive visit to the Nuremberg Rally Ground including Zeppelin Field, Luitpold Arena and the Congress Hall which brought the sheer scale of architecture of this era to life. This was followed by a visit to the Nuremberg Memorial and Courtroom 600 where the Nazi war criminals were brought to trial at the end of World War II. Our last day in Germany was spent visiting the Nazi Concentration Camp site at Dachau which was a sober reminder of the horrors committed there. 

At the Forum Romanum

From Germany we flew to Naples in Italy to focus on Ancient Roman history. We stayed in a beautiful seaside town called Vico Equense experiencing the simpler Italian life in a small town with stunning views of Mount Vesuvius from our hotel. On our first full day we visited the Villa Poppaea in Oplontis – a Roman house which was almost fully intact from the time of the eruption, the Naples Archaeological Museum and the site of Herculaneum.  The following day we visited the historic city of Pompeii. These experiences brought to life not only the life and culture of the first century ancient Romans, but also the issues of conservation and preservation associated with such places. Our final few days were spent in Rome visiting both ancient and modern sites in the city from the Roman Forum, Palatine Hill, the Colosseum to the Trevi Fountain, Pantheon, the Vatican and the Spanish Steps as well as making some time for shopping and eating pizza!

Staff outside the Colosseum

The trip provided the opportunity for students to experience history first-hand and to create lifelong memories.

Story by Ms Jenn Howse, HSIE Teacher