Top Five Destinations for History Holidays
Are you looking for another way to holiday? Craving a trip that brims with meaning, depth, and discovery? Below are five historical hot spots, both long-haul and short, that are guaranteed to leave your average vacation in the shade.
1. Iran - Enter the world of Ancient Persia, with its stunning palaces, tombs, bazaars, and magnificent tapestry of real-life tales. The country is home to 19 UNESCO World Heritage sites; a breath-taking blend of buzzing cities and vast desert kingdoms. Don’t miss: the brilliant Naqsh-e Jahan square, which is seven times the size of St. Mark's in Venice. Try Historical Trip: Iran – Mirrors of the Unseen
2. Berlin - Few European cities bear the traces of recent history so distinctly as Berlin: split by Cold War forces in the building of the wall; dotted with imposing Nazi architecture; and still, in places, riddled with the impact of bullet holes. The past is very much present in these streets. Don’t miss: the site of Hitler’s Bunker, HQ of the Third Reich in the party’s final days, where the dictator committed suicide in April 1945. Try Historical Trip: The Face of Evil
3. The French Battlefields – Scene of victories, and countless tragedies, the battlefields offer a somber glimpse of war in 20th-century France: from the Somme, where one of the bloodiest battles in history took place, to Amiens, the site of the Hundred Days Offensive, a conflict that ultimately ended World War One. Don’t miss: Lochnagar Crater, a vast memorial located on the site of an exploded British mine. Try Historical Trip: Blackadder’s War
4. Sicily – Italy’s largest island is a Mediterranean melting pot of civilizations. Greek, Roman, Moorish and Norman cultures have all left their mark here through the ages, creating a legacy that is rich, complex and unlike any other in Europe. Don’t miss: ancient Segesta, where a Muslim necropolis stands alongside a 12th-century Norman castle. Try Historical Trip: The Conquest of Sicily
5. Poland – As the home of Auschwitz-Birkenau, flashpoint for the start of World War Two, and backdrop for the failed ’44 assassination of Hitler, Poland is one of the most thought-provoking destinations in the world. Its dark and disturbing past should not be forgotten. Don’t miss: Oskar Schindler’s former factory in Kraków, a lasting testament to hope in troubled times. Try Historical Trip: The Final Solution