This is a sample tour you can add to or change. Please contact us for a quote on a tailor-made tour.
Berlin History Excursions
© Till Krech
Wannsee Villa Museum
A trip to the Wannasee Villa will allow you to see the site at which the Nazis came up with the 'Final Solution to the Jewish Question'. This 'final solution,' was what became the Holocaust, when 6 million Jews were exterminated. When the war ended in May 1945, the Allied Powers began the search for crucial documents that would be needed as evidence against the Nazis at the Nuremburg Trials. Unfortunately, the most important document, the one which gave the go ahead for the genocide of the Jewish people, signed by Adolf Hitler, could not be found. However, in 1947, the minutes of a conference held at Villa Wannasee on January 20 1942, during which the Jewish Question was discussed, were found. The Villa is now a Holocaust Museum in which visitors can stand and imagine the terrible scene that took place on the day that those minutes were taken.
The Jewish Museum in Berlin covers the history of Jewish people from 2000 years ago until the present day. Here, you will learn not just about the strife of Jews in the past century, but about how this suffering has been an ongoing pattern throughout history. The museum is made up of two buildings, one of which is an old 18th-century courthouse, whilst the other is a purpose-built structure designed by the world-famous, Daniel Libeskind. This was one of the first buildings in Berlin that was designed after German reunification. The museum is in a twisted zigzag shape, which is reminiscent of the of a Star of David - its very structure alone would be reason enough to visit such an historically important museum.
© Jean-Pierre Dalbéra
Topography of Terror
In 2011, 800,000 people visited the 'Topography of Terror,' making it one of the most frequently visited places of remembrance in Berlin. Since 1987, a permanent exhibition featuring information on the brutal regime run by Nazi officials is held at the site where the Secret State Police, the SS and the Reich Security Main Office, were located. Although the site has been a place of memorial for a long time, the final construction work was not completed until 2010 and so you can rest assured that this is one of the most up to date museums of its kind. Visit the website to find out more about possible educational programmes and teacher resources:
© János Balázs
The former Nazi concentration camp at Sachsenhausen lies 31km from Berlin. From 1936 to 1945 more than 200,000 people were imprisoned here. Huge numbers of these prisoners died from starvation, disease, forced labour, mistreatment and systemic executions, whilst many others died during the death marches that followed their evacuation from the camp in April 1945. Only 3,000 sick prisoners along with doctors and nurses, who had stayed behind to tend for them, were liberated by Soviet and Polish armies. When the war ended in August 1945, the camp was used by the Soviets to imprison Nazi war criminals, political enemies and inmates inmates sentenced by the Soviet Military Tribunal. In 1948 the camp was upgraded to Soviet Special Camp No.1 and was the largest of its kind in Soviet occupied Germany. By 1950, 60,000 people had been imprisoned there by the Soviets, 12,000 of whom had died as a result of malnutrition and disease. In 1961, the site was turned into a memorial symbolizing the victory of 'anti-fascism over fascism.' It is an important historical site for students of 20th century European history and the atrocities perpetrated by the Nazis and then the Soviet Union.
The Story of Berlin
The Story of Berlin is a multi-media time tunnel presenting 800 years of Berlin's history in an interactive and fun environment, featuring modern multimedia technology so that groups of all ages can experience the life of Berlin people throughout its many epochs of history. Explore an original nuclear bomb shelter that can still be used by up to 3,600 people in the case of an emergency. On the website there is a fantastic facility for teachers and students featuring questionnaires that will enhance your students' engagement with the museum whilst giving them a great time.
© Daniel Antal
Visit the ultimate symbol of Totalitarian rule manifested in what remains of the Berlin Wall that was built by the Soviet Government to prevent residents of East Berlin migrating to the more prosperous West Berlin. Their migration undermined the prowess and power of the Soviet government, and so the wall was erected and became known as the so-called "best border security system in the world," characterized by the harsh punishments exacted on anyone who decided to test the wall's efficacy. Today you can still see the remnants of the wall, which was finally torn down in 1989, a watchtower, death strip (where many attempted escapes were brought brusquely to an end) and the Checkpoint Charlie Museum. The Checkpoint Charlie museum tells the story of the wall, and the open air East Side Gallery hosts paintings on the wall itself.
Cross Curriculum Excursions
© Esther Lee
The Brandenburg Gate is probably one of the most famous monuments in Berlin and although it was built in 1791 to testify to the might of the Prussian Empire and as a gateway to the city, it is now widely thought of as a symbol of the division and then reunification of the two sides of Berlin in 1989. Built in the classic Greek style, the gate consists of 12 Doric columns and, on top, there is a chariot drawn by four horses and driven by Victoria, the Roman Goddess of Victory (known as the quadriga). Throughout its many years, the quadriga has suffered a dramatic history; Napoleon, on defeating the Prussians in 1806 took the quadriga to Paris, in 1814 it was returned and then during World War II the gate received a real battering, although it did survive.
© Dion Hinchcliffe
Old and New Reichstag
Visit the Old and New Reichstag to get a sense of political Germany known for its efficiency and excellent organisational powers. The Old Reichstag building opened in 1894 and was the political seat until 1933 when it was partly destroyed by fire. After World War II the building fell into disuse as the German Democratic Republic met in the Palace of the Republic on the East side of Berlin, whilst the Federal Republic of Germany met in the city of Bonn. The restored older structure contrasts beautifully with the new Reichstag, designed by the world-famous architect Sir Norman Foster (known for other remarkable structures such as London's Gherkin, Beijing's airport and The Millennium Bridge) and completed in 1999. The striking glass dome symbolises the transparency of the democratic process in Germany and how much it has come on since its darker days throughout much of the 20th century.
© Miguel Angel Sanchez Rubio
For anyone with the least bit of interest in architecture, design or art, the Bauhaus archive will tell you a story that will fascinate and inspire. The Bauhaus movement was possibly the most important movement in the school of architecture over the whole of the 20th century. From architecture, furniture and ceramics, to metalwork, photography and stage pieces, you and your groups will be given an insight into the origins of the movement and, perhaps more importantly, its legacy.
© Katherine Price
Berlin’s answer to Louis XIV's Palace of Versailles was Charlottenburg Castle, so named by the man who commissioned its construction after his wife Charlotte died before the Palace was completed. Complete with Orangery, theatre, mausoleum, belvedere and pavilion, you and your groups will not be short of things to see. During World War II much of the Palace was badly damaged, but since then major reconstruction works have taken place. One of its most impressive features is the Amber Room, which, after it was created was dubbed the 'eighth wonder of the world' and was given as a present to Peter the Great in 1716. Look out for works by Picasso and the Egyptian museum.
© Jean-Pierre Dalbéra
Close to the Jewish Museum and with over 4,600 metres of exhibition space, the Berlinsche Galerie is one of the newest museums in Germany. It exhibits work from the 1870s to the present day of both a national and international character, with an inter-disciplinary array of work including, fine art, painting, graphic work, and photography among many other art forms.
© Rae Allen
The Pergamon Museum is a three-winged structure that accommodates three separate museums including the Collection of Classical Antiquities, the Museum of the Ancient Near East and the Museum of Islamic Art. It is the most visited art museum in Germany and has world-famous reconstructions of architectural building ensembles, such as the Pergamon Altar, the Market Gate of Miletus and the Ishtar Gate with the Processional Way of Babylon and the Mshatta Façade.
Cross-curricular Berlin school tour - 4 days
- Depart School
- Wannsee Villa
- Jewish Museum
- Reichstag and
- Brandenburg Gate
- The Story of Berlin
- Berlin Wall & Checkpoint Charlie Museum
- Bauhaus Museum