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The Making of Europe: from Middle Ages to Modernity

Organizing institution
Utrecht University, Faculty of Humanities (UU)
Course code
Course fee (incl. housing)
€ 1320
Bachelor level

Taking the beautiful city of Utrecht as a starting point, this course will bring you the opportunity to really ‘step into history’. The many museums, cathedrals and canals of Utrecht and some other cities that will be included in the program, will offer you some of the most breath-taking highlights of Dutch history and culture. This historical journey, which illuminates Europe from the Middle Ages to the end of the 19th century, will help you to understand the many social, historical, religious and cultural factors that came to shape modern Europe.

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We will study for example the Dutch Golden Age; the era spanning roughly the 17th century in which the Dutch became one of the world’s greatest maritime, economic and artistic world powers after rebelling against their Spanish rulers. You will visit Utrecht’s Gothic Saint Martin’s Cathedral, the place where the Union of Utrecht was signed in 1579, signaling the Dutch hunger for independence. But you will also visit the wharfs and wealthy canal houses - still testifying to the incredible economic success of Europe in the Golden Age - , whilst the public parks and patrician houses attest to the rising bourgeoisie in the 19th century. Lastly, you will have the opportunity to visit several historical museums in Utrecht, the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam and the thirteenth-century royal palace in The Hague where he Dutch government is seated today. After these two weeks in Utrecht, you will be able to analyze and discuss the role of the Netherlands in the making of Europe and have a firm understanding of the main political, religious and cultural developments that took place in Europe in this period. During these two weeks, you will definitely be able to ‘experience’ history!

Tags: low countries, history, golden age, multidisciplinary, unification versus separation, urban planning, socio-economic history, political science, art history

» Download the day-to-day programme (PDF)

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dr. Jaap Verheul


The course is open to all students from different fields of study with an interest in culture, society and politics.


At the end of this course, students should be able to:
• Describe and evaluate different theories and conceptualisations of the historic development of Europe, with specific attention for The Netherlands
• Show an understanding of various historic monuments and their relation to historic developments
• Demonstrate an understanding of political, socio-economic and cultural aspects of the European developments
• Demonstrate this critical knowledge and understanding in written and verbal form.


12 to 16 houres of lectures per week; appr. 10 houres of fieldtrips; sufficient self study.

Examination and grading :
Students will be expected to hand in 3 minor written and oral tests. In addition they are graded for their attendance and participation. These assignments make up 30% of the final grade.
70% of the final grade will be made up of a written final exam testing all reading and lecture materials.


• € 1320 - Course + course materials + housing
• € 970 - Course + course materials


» Overview of all available discounts


Utrecht Summer School doesn't offer scholarships for this course.


Utrecht Summer School
+31(0)30 253 4400

» Contact Utrecht Summer School


Deadline for registration: 30 June 2017

Application closed