If you are a WWII buff or like the film The Great Escape (starring Steve McQueen), don´t miss this tour exploring three countries in one day. Starting from Prague, we will first explore the Terezín Concentration Camp, then we will continue to Dresden, Germany for more sightseeing and lunch, and in the late afternoon we will arrive in Zagan, Poland, to explore the Stalag Luft III camp. On the way back to Prague, we will stop for dinner at a local restaurant in Liberec, and after dinner we will drive you back to Prague. If you would like to take more time at these sights, we recommend that you book these trips on separate days.
45 min. Prague – Terezin Concentration Camp transfer
1 hour sightseeing tour of the Small Fortress – former Gestapo prison
30-minute tour of the Ghetto Museum, propaganda movie
30-minute tour of the Terezin Big Fortress – former Jewish Ghetto
1 hour Terezin Concentration Camp (CZ) – Dresden (DE) transfer
1 hour Lunch in Dresden
1.5-hour sightseeing tour of Dresden
2 hours Dresden (DE) to Zagan (PL) transfer
45-minute tour of the Stalag Luft III camp in Zagan
45-minute tour of the Zagan Museum (Perhaps you can find your relatives’ names here!)
2 hour Zagan (PL) to Liberec (CZ) transfer
1 hour Dinner in Liberec
1 hour Liberec to Prague transfer
This is a private tour, so the itinerary can be adjusted as you wish.
Terezin is a former military fortress and garrison town. In the late 18th century the Habsburg Emperor Josef II erected the fortress and named it after his mother Empress Maria Theresa as a stronghold against the Prussians. Terezin’s most tragic chapter came during World War II (1939-45). In 1940 the Nazis set up the Small Fortress Gestapo prison. During 1941 the town making up the Big Terezin Fortress was changed by the Nazis into a Jewish ghetto-transit camp. Until the end of the war, more than 150,000 deportees passed through the camp, and some 35,000 died there. Today, the camp stands as a memorial to the dead and a monument to human depravity.
The capital city of the Free State of Saxony in Germany, Dresden is situated in a valley on the River Elbe, near the Czech border. Dresden has a long history as the capital and royal residence for the Electors and Kings of Saxony, who for centuries furnished the city with cultural and artistic splendor. The city was completely destroyed by the controversial Allied aerial bombing toward the end of World War II. The impact of the bombing and 40 years of urban development during the East German socialist era have considerably changed the face of the city. Dresden has experienced dramatic changes since the reunification of Germany in the early 1990s. The city still bears many wounds from the bombing raids of 1945, but it has undergone significant reconstruction in recent decades. Restoration of the Dresden Frauenkirche was completed in 2005, a year before Dresden’s 800th anniversary.
Stalag Luft III was a camp that housed captured airmen in Poland during WWII. At first, the majority of the prisoners were British RAF officers and American pilots. Only later, in June of 1942, other nationalities would show in the camp. French, Polish, Belgian, Dutch, Canadian, Australian, Lithuanian, Norwegian, New Zealand, South African, Greek and Czechoslovakian pilots became inmates, too. The camp is best known for two famous prisoner escapes that took place there by tunneling, events depicted in the 1963 film The Great Escape, starring Steve McQueen. Some 600 prisoners simultaneously dug three tunnels named Tom, Dick and Harry. Ultimately, Harry was the tunnel selected for use on that fateful night of 24 March 1944. About 200 prisoners attempted to escape, and 76 of them managed to leave the camp. They made it outside from the North Compound through a 360-foot (110-meter) tunnel, which was 32 feet (10 meters) deep. Seventy-three of them were caught, and on Hitler’s orders 50 were executed. Only three managed to escape: One went to Gibraltar, and the two others to Sweden. Materials used by the prisoners included 90 double bunk beds, 635 mattresses, 3,424 towels – and also about 1,400 milk cans to create an ingenious ventilation system.
In 2011 an archeological team led by Dr. Hugh Hunt, a Cambridge University engineering professor, went to Zagan to discover what secrets remained about the remarkable escape. To their amazement, the team uncovered the entrance to the Harry tunnel that had been untouched for 67 years. The tunnel and most of the bed boards that kept it from collapsing were still in place. For Gordon (Gordie) King, an aircraft radio operator now 92 years old and perhaps the oldest living survivor of the camp, it was an extremely emotional experience watching the dig. He was # 141 on the list of escapees, among those unable to gain freedom when #77 blew his cover that sounded the alarm.
|Location||300 km / 4 hour drive north of Prague (direction Germany - Dresden)|
|Sights to See||Terezin Concentration Camp (CZ), Terezin Big Fortress - former Jewish Ghetto, Terezin Small Fortress - former Gestapo Prison, Dresden - Historical Center (DE), Sagan / Zagan Museum and Camp (PL)|
|Interiors||Gestapo Prison - Terezin Small Fortress, Terezin Big Fortress - Ghetto Museum, Zwinger Gallery, Church of Our Lady, Sagan/Zagan - Museum|
|Included||Driver-guide, car / van, fuel, toll roads, parking fees|
|Excluded||Entrance fees, food and drinks|
|Availability From-To||All year round|
|Departure Time and Location||We will pick you up at the agreed place and time, most likely at the reception of your hotel in Prague. (To be specified in the request form below)|
|Return Location||We will finish the tour anywhere you wish in Prague.|
|Means of Transportation||Walking and/or Driving - Car, Van, Minibus, Bus|
|Required Walking Ability||Low|
|Language||All tours are in English, but exceptions can be made in advance.|