|A day trip from Prague to visit the Terezin Memorial (Theresienstadt), a World War II concentration camp and Jewish ghetto, much of which is eerily preserved in its 1940s state.
This is a premium tour led by a certified guide who specialises in Jewish history. Admission to all Terezin Memorial monuments is included.
The tour is part by air-conditioned coach, part on foot.
After meeting you in the Jewish Quarter in Prague, we drive for around 45 minutes north of the city to reach Terezin.
Terezin was originally a garrison town, built at the end of the 18th century by Emperor Joseph II as an ingenious system of military fortresses.
This huge area was only converted into a concentration camp and Jewish ghetto by the Nazis when they invaded Czechoslovakia during World War II.
Terezin was primarily used to hold Jews from Czechoslovakia, but tens of thousands were also deported to here from Germany and Austria, and several hundred from the Netherlands and Denmark. This included 15,000 children.
Later, many of these unfortunate people were sent by rail transports to Treblinka and Auschwitz in occupied Poland.
Our tour of the whole Terezin Memorial site explains the complicated history of the events that unfolded here. Terezin was completely different psychologically and physically from any of the 632 other camps established by the Nazis.
Terezin is divided into two distinct parts:
The Small Fortress (also known as the Prague Gestapo Prison) was the concentration camp. Around 90,000, mostly political prisoners passed through here, and we walk through the complex to see where they were housed.
The Big Fortress, comprising 80% of the Terezin Memorial, was the Jewish ghetto. Here we visit the Ghetto Museum (Terezin Museum), Columbarium, Prayer Room (Hidden Synagogue), Magdeburg Barracks exhibition, and the Jewish Cemetery Crematorium (the cemetery is closed on Saturdays). Around 32,000, mostly ordinary prisoners passed through here.
We walk through the prison dormitory, and see the belongings of the people who resided here - their actual clothing, poetry, musical instruments and music sheets, the children's drawings, and the other precious artefacts that survive.
Audio visual displays and documentary films feature archive material from the era.
Through this, we gain an understanding of what life was like for the inmates, of their hopes, and ultimately of their despair.
This sorry episode in the history of Terezin, and of humanity in general, will no doubt leave unanswered questions in your mind as to how or why such atrocities can occur.
For refreshments, the onsite kiosk stocks a limited range of snacks and drinks. But it is not always open, so we recommend bringing your own refreshments.
Prague Experience sightseeing tours are in English. They are led by professional, licensed tourist guides and use modern, air-conditioned mini-coaches.
The trip finishes back in Prague, in the Jewish Quarter.
Note: The tour must be booked at least 24 hours in advance (there are a limited number of specialist guides). Bookings must be for a minimum of 2 people.
Note: Many inhabitants of Terezin were deported from the Jewish Quarter in Prague. Therefore, to trace the origins of the Terezin story, you may also wish to book the Jewish Quarter Tour, which is led by the same expert guides.