From the martyrdom of France’s patron saint in the mid-third century, to the violence and destruction of the commune of 1871, the annual History study visit to Paris took in the full breadth of French history during five busy days in December. Sixteen Upper Sixth historians braved the winter weather to witness the places where history was made. 

The group took in the splendour of the religious architecture of the Middle Ages, visiting the first ever gothic edifice at St. Denis and viewing the stunning pinnacle of the movement at the Sainte-Chapelle. The horrors of the Revolution and the Terror were brought home via the prison cells of the Conciergerie, while the violent upheavals of 1871 were marked by a trip to the commemorative basilica of Sacré-Coeur.

A series of walking tours took the group to many of the key sites in the city’s history, including the Île de la Cité and the Place de la Bastille, and diversions into the History of Art were made through visits to the Louvre and the Musée D’Orsay.

The trip ended with a journey to the magnificent monument to Bourbon absolutism: Louis XIV’s palace of Versailles – after which sixteen Oundelians could look back with satisfaction on covering almost 1600 years of French history in just a few days.