We'll get acquainted with each other and learn the ground rules for ECHP and our unique approach to study and travel. There will also be essential introductions to the academic subject areas and the interdisciplinary framework we will use throughout the program.
Edinburgh is not only the governmental capital of Scotland, but also the cultural capital. Our tour here will take us up and down the entirety of the Royal Mile, which is the main street in Edinburgh's Old Town. We will explore the Medieval center of the city before climbing to Edinburgh Castle which sits on top of an ancient volcano overlooking the city. Other likely stops include a visit to the Scottish Parliament as well St. Gile's Cathedral,Scotland's principle Church.
The British Museum is a vast storehouse of treasures from every period of civilization; of special interest to us will be the Elgin Marbles from the Parthenon in Athens and the Rosetta Stone, which provided the key to deciphering ancient Egyptian writing. The National Gallery, one of the great art collections of the world, will be a highlight of the many art museums we have visited. Included in our stay will be theater or concert performances.
Paris | Days 10–14
Paris, one of the oldest cities in Western Europe, is considered to be the art capital of the world. You will be introduced to Paris through a cruise on the Seine. Our art professor will schedule visits to the Musee du Louvre ("Mona Lisa," "Venus de Milo," Delacroix's "Liberty Leading the People" and many other priceless art treasures); the Musee D'Orsay (the world's finest collection of Impressionist paintings), and the Musee Rodin.
A discussion on Napoleon will take place at Les Invalides, where he lies in the crypt of the Eglise du Dome, within the innermost of six successive coffins. Your history professor will also guide you through the Musee de l'Armee where you will view such fascinating artifacts as Napoleon's favorite horse and the room in which he died at St. Helena We will also visit the Centre National d'Art et Culture Georges Pompidou (a fine collection of modern art).
We will see Notre Dame, the Gothic chapel of Sainte Chapelle and the nearby Conciergerie, where Marie Antoinette, Robespierre and many others spent their last days in prison during the French Revolution. Tickets also will be provided to chamber music concerts at at one of the following venues: Sainte Chapelle, Saint Severin, or at the Church of Saint Julien le Pauvre.
Our art professor will take us on a guided tour of the Van Gogh Museum where we will discover the artist's work from earliest years to his last painting. We'll be sure to see works of the many Dutch masters in the Rijksmuseum-including such artists as Rembrandt and Vermeer.
We will visit the Duomo and have an opportunity to climb up Brunelleschi's structure for a panoramic view of the city. We will also visit the Baptistery and see Ghiberti's "Gates of Paradise," and the Bargello, with its magnificent collection of Florentine sculpture including works by Donatello,Verrocchio, Michelangelo and Cellini.
In Florence, we will visit the Piazza della Signoria and discuss aspects of the Florentine Renaissance. The Loggia dei Lanzi houses sculptures by Benvenuto Cellini and Giambologna, and affords us an opportunityto stand under the arcade and survey the civic heart of Florence. Situated across from the Loggia is the Palazzo Vecchio-the administrative center of the city. Of course, we cannot miss the Galleria dell'Accademia, which houses Michelangelo's "David" and a number of his other works.
No tour of Florence would be complete without a look at its famous churches. We will visit Santa Maria del Carmine with Masaccio's frescoes in its Brancacci Chapel; Santa Maria Novella with Masaccio's "Holy Trinity" and important frescos by Ghirlandaio; San Marco with Savonarola's cell; and Santa Croce, where our historian will discuss famous Italians who are buried there.Evening classes may be held in one of the hotel balcony rooms overlooking the city, or at leisure in the cafes near the Mercato Centrale. We will travel by morning train to our next destination, Rome.
The highlight of our visit to the modern art collection at the Centro de Arte Reina Sofia will be Picasso's "Guernica", an eloquent painted protest to the horrors of war. The Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza displays an extensive private art collection with a range of excellent and well-displayed works dating from the 13th to the 20th century.We will take a day trip to San Lorenzo de El Escorial. This spacious, austere architectural array is named for the monastery which was built by Philip II of Spanish Armada fame as a mausoleum for his father, the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V. In addition to the huge monastery, it contains a basilica, a royal residence, a library of 40,000 rare books, and the tombs of most of the Spanish kings and queens since Charles V. With its extensive
collection of art and books, the complex was known as an important intellectual center during the 16th and 17th century. We will travel by bus to Barcelona.
Barcelona| Days 43-48
One of the most pedestrian friendly cities in Europe, Barcelona is also the home of some of the most important innovators in modern art such as the architect Antonio Gaudí and the artist Pablo Picasso. We will take a walking tour past Modernista gems by Gaudí, including Casa Milà, Parc Güell, and the towering Sagrada Família, still under construction after more than 100 years. Barcelona is famed for its two mountains: Tibidabo and Montjuic.
Time permitting, we will visit Montjuic and see the Barcelona Olympic monument, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe's masterpiece of international style architecture, The Barcelona Pavilion, and the Museum of Catalan Art. We will surely visit the Museu Picasso. Here we will view a broad survey of the artist's works dating from 1890, when he was nine years old through his formative years in Barcelona to his death in 1973.
There will also be opportunities to visit the Fundació Joan Miró, exhibiting works from throughout Miró's career. In the narrow winding streets of the medieval Barri Gòtic we will visit the magnificent Gothic cathedral. There will be time for last minute shopping, a stroll along the tree lined La Rambla with its many shops and restaurants. You'll experience it all: urban graffiti, street performers, city markets, modernista architecture, and the tastes of tapas and paella.
At this point, we will have experienced a tremendous range of European cities and cultures, and have forged new memories and friendships. We'll be able to look back at the vast amount of knowledge we now have about European history and art, and the comparative view we've gained with which to view American culture and history. As we prepare to say goodbye to our amazing adventure, we'll wrap up coursework, have a last group meal, and prepare for our return flights home.
End of Program