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Archway School

Year 9 Residential Trip to Krakow and Auschwitz ​​​​​​​

On 27th February, 26 Year 9 students, Ms Coleman, Mr Russell and Mr Salmon left school at 3am for a flight from Bristol airport to Krakow. 

     In glorious sunshine we had a walking tour of Kazimierz where we saw how Jewish people lived for at least 500 years before World War II. In Kazimierz Square 68 over-sized chairs represent the 68,000​ residents who were deported to camps during World War II.

     Today Jewish culture is being revived with art galleries, cafés, music and synagogues as well as part of the ancient city wall and small courtyards that were used in the film Schindler's List.

     Leaving Kazimierz we walked over the Lover's Bridge lined with padlocks where couples inscribe their names then throw the key into the Wistula River. Back to the main market square and the Cloth Hall gave students some free time for sightseeing and food.

     Tuesday saw us at a compelling visit to Auschwitz and Birkenau where approximately 1.5 million people were systematically put to death. An opportunity to see the photographs and remnants of everyday life of those who were exterminated was a moving and a sombre experience for us all.

     In the afternoon we visited Wawel Castle and the beautiful Medieval Square which are perched on top of the hill overlooking Krakow. Tired feet and a desire for more food called us back to the main square and a chance to buy souvenirs or take a carriage ride around the square.

     Three days flew past and before we knew it Krakow airport beckoned and we were back at school again.