Natolin Second Semester Field Trips – Mazury, the Tricity and Lublin


Tuesday 15.06.21 to Friday 18.06.21


Field Trips
Mazury, Tricity and Lublin

After our successful first semester study trips to four European "Borderlands", our engaging second semester online study trips encompassing several themes in four different regions ranging from the Baltics to the Middle East, this particular academic year our Natolin students will have an unprecedented third opportunity to travel both academically and culturally!

Between 15-18 June 2021, our Natolinians will participate in three field trips within Poland – to Mazury, the Tricity and Lublin, during which they will be able to further deepen their knowledge acquired throughout their studies at the College of Europe in Natolin.

Follow our students in their field trips on our Facebook page and on our Twitter page, under the hashtag #NatolinFieldTrips.


Field Trip to Mazury – Out of Place-Out of Time: Warmia-Masuria on the Peripheries of Identity and Culture

Mary's Sanctuary in Święta Lipka

The Mazury region is a former heartland of the Teutonic Knights and a contested plane among German, Polish and autochthonous identities. The local Masurians and Warmians remained a sore spot for Polish and German nationalists attempting to claim them for their own. After the Second World War, the area was the site of ethnic cleansing and a destination for displaced people from the east. The communist state dispatched to this newly acquired territory many newcomers, including 55,000 "Ukrainians" (Bojkos, Lemkos, Ruthenians).

Consequently, the events organised during this field trip will touch upon the following questions: How is the region still contested? How is the Germanic legacy understood today? What is the state of autochthonous people in a world of nations? Why do certain local cultures persist and others perish under the pressure of centralizing forces? How do uprooted peoples, such as Ukrainians, Masurians and Germans, view their new home and remember the place they were forced to abandon?


Field Trip to the Tricity (Gdańsk, Gdynia, Sopot) – ​​​​​​On the Edges and at the Centre: Europe’s 20th century

Gdańsk's Waterfront

Gdańsk, the oldest part of the Tricity, has a rich history as one of the most important trading nodes in this part of Europe. The port city became a member of the respected Hanseatic League, then was captured by the Teutonic Order, and in 1454 it was annexed to the Kingdom of Poland. Later, in 1772, Prussia took over Pomerania and Gdańsk during the First Partition of Poland. Importantly, the Tricity metropolitan area – including Gdańsk, Gdynia and Sopot – has discretely been one of the central sites for European history throughout the 20th century.

The Versailles Treaty created the Free City of Danzig as a compromise between the Poles and the Germans, which lasted until the first shots of the Second World War in Europe were fired there. In the postwar period, the Tricity had to be reconstructed and repopulated, as it played a key role in Communist Poland. In 1970, anti-government protests in the city rocked the ruling party causing a shakeup in leadership. A decade later, the Solidarity movement was born there. The participants will thus explore what made this place so central to the Versailles Treaty settlements, the interwar period, the Second World War, post-war reconstruction, and finally, the end of communist rule in 20th century Europe.


Field Trip to the Lublin Region – Historical Roots and New Perspectives: The EU’s Eastern Policy

Lublin's Old Town

As befits a former stage of signing the Union which shaped geopolitics of Eastern Europe for over two centuries, Lublin continues to be an important place where relations between the EU and its Eastern neighbours are not merely discussed, but also actively shaped. The city has remained an important meeting point between East and West, binding together modern Poland, Lithuania, Belarus and Ukraine both in historical memory and present politics.

During this trip, students will trace this long history that has passed through various stages to form a connection among nation-states and, most recently, heavily influenced the EU’s Eastern Neighbourhood policy. The events of the trip will attempt to facilitate reflecting on the following questions: how has a shared history been cultivated to form connections between countries in the region today? What are the main factors that will determine a democratic transition for Belarus in the foreseeable future? How to design one policy framework towards such diverse countries as Belarus and Ukraine?