European Heritage Days

European Heritage Days Quick Facts

AKA NameDoors Open Days/ Open Door Days
Hashtags#EuropeanHeritageDays
2019 Date18 September 2019
2020 Date18 September 2020
European Heritage Days

European Heritage Days History

European Heritage Days comprise an annual programme of opportunities to visit buildings, monuments and sites that are not normally accessible to the public. The aim of the event is to promote interest and care for the multiple and diverse architectural and environment heritages of Europe.

The event has its roots in France in 1984 when the Ministry of Culture sponsored La Journée Portes Ouvertes (Open Day). The idea quickly spread with the Netherlands, Sweden and the Republic of Ireland holding similar events over the next six years. In 1991, the events were collectively referred to as European Heritage Days for the first time, and by 2010, 50 states had joined the event. Since 1999, the days have had a permanent slogan, Europe, a common heritage, events take place on the weekend during September.

Top Tweets for European Heritage Days

European Heritage Days Facts & Quotes

  • National and regional events are organised around a special theme that varies from year to year. Topics include specific forms of heritage (e.g. culinary traditions, garden architecture); specific periods in history (e.g. the Medieval heritage, the Baroque heritage); society's approaches to heritage (e.g. heritage and citizenship, heritage and youth). Frances’s theme for 2017 was Youth and Heritage.
  • The first UNESCO World Heritage Site in Europe was Aachen Cathedral in the town of Aachen, Germany. It was inscribed in 1978, the year of the project’s inception, and the cathedral itself dates to 796 AD.
  • The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has designated 131 World Heritage sites in Western Europe.
  • They - the rest of the world - think Europe is a sort of economic entity. Therefore we have to become political, we have to become more cultural. Because I do not want to sell Europe as an import-export club. - Michael Reiterer, Ambassador of the EU to Switzerland
  • The fact that a cloud from a minor volcanic eruption in Iceland—a small disturbance in the complex mechanism of life on the Earth—can bring to a standstill the aerial traffic over an entire continent is a reminder of how, with all its power to transform nature, humankind remains just another species on the planet Earth. ― Slavoj Žižek, Slovenian philosopher and scholar

European Heritage Days Top Events and Things to Do

  • Visit an event near you. There are over 1700 events already announced in Ireland, Portugal and many more countries.
  • Open your building: If you have a building of interest you can open your doors to the public over EHOD weekend. Some buildings of interest might include factories or those with striking architectural features.
  • Try making some food from different European countries. Food is deeply entwined with culture and heritage. Have you tried paella (Spain), sauerkraut (Germany) or spanakopita (Greece)?
  • Read some literature from different European countries in order to get better acquainted with different countries' cultural heritages. Some of our favourites are: Siddhartha by Herman Hesse, Austerlitz by WG Sebald, and Old Goriot by Honoré de Balzac.
  • Watch one of the many popular films produced by different European countries. Our favourites include:
    1) Amelie (2001)
    2) The Lives of Others (2006)
    3) The White Ribbon (2009)

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