During the Middle Ages, the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire survived and moved its capital to Constantinople, modern day Istanbul in Turkey. In Western Europe, Germanic peoples moved into positions of power and established kingdoms and empires of their own. The Medieval period saw the building of great cathedrals whose towering gothic spires still dominate the skyline and draw worshippers and visitors alike today. Notre Dame in Paris, York Minster and Cologne Cathedral are all notable medieval cathedrals. Religion has always played a major part in shaping Europe’s history with many wars fought in its name such as the Crusades (11th to 13th century) and Iberian Reconquista (8th to 15th century) and milestones such as the 16th century Protestant Reformation all having a significant impact.
Twentieth century history is a subject of interest to many as it is the story of our own families. Paying a visit to the battlefields and cemeteries from the last century’s two World Wars provides a sobering reminder of the fragility of the peace that we live in today and sacrifices made by so many.
This is just a tiny sample of the rich history of Europe. Joining a tour led by a specialist expert whose knowledge and passion will bring the history to life with in depth lectures and discussions, can really add to your understanding and appreciation of the region and makes for an absorbing and enjoyable holiday.