TY Tour to Poland
Seventy-eight Transition Year students and their teachers made an historic visit to Auschwitz Concentration Camp, the scene of the most notorious events in World War 2, as part of their recent tour to Krakow in Poland before Easter. It was a somber opportunity to visit the camp which is now a holocaust memorial and a world heritage site. Students were given a tour of the facility, viewing the gas chambers and the artifacts which are all that remained of the estimated 1.1 million people who died there. It certainly was a once in a lifetime opportunity to see history up close.
As well as Auschwitz, the students a had a walking tour of the historic city of Krakow. They got to visit the house where Pope John Paul 2 lived while bishop of Krakow, and also the house of Nicholas Copernicus, the Polish priest who declared that the sun and not the earth was the centre of the Solar system.
One of the famous sites in south Poland is the Wieliczka Salt Mines, which burrow for hundreds of kilometers underground, but contain several underground churches and caverns, with chandeliers made from rock salt.
They also visited the factory of Oscar Schindler, who was made famous in the Stephen Spielberg movie "Schindler's List". The students were given a passionate history of Krakow under Nazi rule and told the story of heroes such as Schindler who risked everything to save thousands of lives.
Thanks to all the teachers who provided the care and leadership over the four days and to TY Coordinator Ms Jacqueline Sheil who organised it.
Photos are now available in the Gallery. Click picture to start.