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London’s Churchill War Rooms (1:40)

London, England

Churchill directed Britain’s fight against the Nazi in these very rooms, preserved today as they were in 1945. The adjacent museum helps bring to life the colorful statesman who was instrumental in winning the Battle of Britain.

Complete Video Script

Prime ministers — like Winston Churchill — have long lived and worked on Whitehall. Here, Churchill is wrapped in the iconic trenchcoat he wore as he led Britain through the dark days of World War II.

Duck under sand bags and descend into the Churchill War Rooms. This was the secret underground nerve center of the British government’s fight against the Nazis in the desperate Battle for Britain. Shut down after victory in 1945, and ignored for decades, it’s open today as a fascinating time warp for visitors to explore. Audioguides give it meaning.

Audioguide: On the morning of the 16th of August 1945, the day after VJ day and the end of the war, the map officers tidied their desks, switched out their lights for the first time in six years, and went home. And that’s the way the room stayed.

You’ll see the room where Churchill famously took his short naps. In this room the progress of the entire war was followed as the day-by-day movement of troops and convoys was charted. And this room was the communication hub from where Churchill maneuvered Britain to ultimate victory.

The adjacent museum introduces you to Churchill the man. It brings the colorful statesman to life — complete with his trademark cigar, bow tie, cognac — he loved his drink — and famous hat.

You’ll get a taste of Winston’s irascibility, wit, work ethic, even the industry of kitschy knickknacks he inspired.