European Heritage Days – September 13, 2019

Fri Sep 13

European Heritage Days are celebrated all over the Continent in order to mark European unity, share stories of common values, and to ensure that the past isn’t forgotten. In Berlin they are celebrated in September — and the “Day of the Open Monument” opening day is on September 13. The purpose is to encourage people to take interest in their heritage and take initiatives to preserve monuments.

European Heritage Days - History

1999

Common European Heritage Days Theme

This was the year when a permanent slogan, “Europe, a common heritage” was created.

1991

A Joint Effort

Scattered heritage events in various countries get united as European Heritage Days. The initiative was taken by the Council of Europe and supported by the EU.

1984

First Heritage Days Held in France

Sponsored by the Ministry of Culture, this event first took place in France with La Journée Portes Ouvertes (Open House).

How to Observe European Heritage Days

  1. Go for a guided tour

    Conservators arrange special guided tours of ancient monuments while archaeologists and craftsmen demonstrate their work during this time. These special places are not open to the public during the rest of the year.

  2. Make a donation

    Conserving and restoring historical buildings is expensive and every little donation counts.

  3. Organize a cultural event for your community

    Want to help this cause? Take the lead and plan an event that brings awareness about European culture and unity.

5 Interesting Facts About European Heritage Days That Will Blow Your Mind

  1. Millions participate

    The Council of Europe initiative has a number of local events that attract about 20 million people every year!

  2. One of the first UNESCO world heritage sites was in Germany

    Aachen Cathedral in Aachen, Germany was inscribed in 1978. The cathedral dates back to 796 AD.

  3. One person — hundreds of sites

    It’s a record! Bill Altafeffer claims to have visited 720 World Heritage Sites.

  4. In Germany it takes place only in September

    For the past several years, European Heritage Days and Day of the Open Monument has been taking place only in September.

  5. Experts give guided tours

    Once a year, history buffs get this special treat. They don’t just get to see monuments that are usually closed to public, they also get to meet archaeologists, craftsmen, and conservators.

Why European Heritage Days is Important

  1. It celebrates a shared cultural heritage

    Fifty states in Europe, including Germany, participate because they believe that their shared European values can bind them together.

  2. It preserves history

    The past must always have a place in the future and so, during the Heritage Days, every country encourages people to embrace history and preserve their monuments.

  3. It’s a chance to see famous monuments

    In Germany as well as other places in Europe, some monuments are open to public only during the European Heritage Days.