The Jewish Chronicle
THE 10-day Elegant Elbe cruise from Viking River Cruises costs from £1,995 including flights, seven guided tours, full board on the ship including drinks with meals, and hotel stays B&B. The next cruises for this
Then yet another castle to end the day after an afternoon’s scenic cruising, with a short evening walking tour of the tiny town of Torgau. Here was where US and Russian troops met and shook hands in April 1945, and Hartenfels Castle, with its magnificent swirling spiral staircase, had been opened up especially for us.
More history awaited in Wittenberg too, the heart of the Protestant Reformation, where Martin Luther wrote his 95 Theses in 1517, against indulgences itinerary take place in September 2019, as well as additional dates in 2020. vikingrivercruises.co.uk
of the papacy. And after five nights aboard Viking Beyla, it was time to swap our own indulgent berth for two final nights in Berlin, at the Sheraton Grand Esplanade.
Not to miss an opportunity for a palace or two, on our way we stopped at Potsdam for a tour of Cecilienhof. Designed in Tudor style by Kaiser Wilhelm II, Queen Victoria’s eldest grandchild, this particular palace saw the Potsdam conference in 1945 between Stalin, Truman and ChurchEDITED BY CATHY WINSTON firstname.lastname@example.org
ill to decide how to administer Germany after its surrender.
With 21 other palaces in the Potsdam area alone, it’s hard to top for castle fans, but we couldn’t move on without at least seeing the Sanssouci Palace nearby, the summer residence of Frederick the Great. As we looked around inside, it was hard to believe this beautiful Rococo creation was built in just two years.
More modern history took the spotlight as we ended our trip in Berlin, a city that provokes very mixed emotions for many visitors. Passing the Brandenburg Gate and Unter den Linden, our panoramic coach tour – also included in the holiday — brought us to Checkpoint Charlie, and the East Side gallery, the large section of the Berlin Wall with commissioned graffiti art.
But one moving site we couldn’t miss, and which we explored on our own, is the Memorial To The Murdered Jews of Europe. With 2,711 concrete slabs of different heights spread across the 19,000 square metre site, its openness, abstractness and slightly disorienting feel is intended to allow you space to confront the tragedy in your own personal way. Below the memorial site is also a small but also moving free museum and information centre about the Holocaust.
From the glorious architecture to the dramatic landscape, even interwoven with some of the darker chapters of Europe’s history, this journey cruising through the past is one to remember.