Did you notice unusually long queues across town this weekend and didn’t know why? It may have been related to the annual event of les Journées Européennes du Patrimoine.
Les Journées Européennes du Patrimoine, also known as European Heritage Days or Doors Open Days, originate in France in 1984. The French Ministry of Culture decided to open closed spaces to the public. This way they could have a glimpse of the unaccessible parts of historic and public spaces and buildings.
For one day a year, the Ministry of Culture opened the doors to historic monuments across the country. Everyone could come and visit, discover things they had not been able to access before. Unsurprisingly, it was a bit success and repeated the following year.
In 1985, the French Minister of Culture proposed to the European Council, to duplicate the project across all of Europe. After this, every year, more countries joined. Since 2010, all 50 signatory states of the European Cultural Convention have joined and are hosting their own European Heritage Days.
How to participate?
The Journées Européennes du Patrimoine are free for all, and usually run for a weekend in September from 10:00-17:00.
Find the program of your city and see what they have on offer!
Most French cities participate, simple search for “journées du patrimoine+your city+year” and you should find the program.
Alternatively, you can visit the government website who have an interactive map of all events in the country.
- Toulouse: Les Journées du Patrimoine à Toulouse
- Lyon: Le Journées du Patrimoine à Lyon
- Nice: Les Journées du Patrimoine à Nice
- Bordeaux: Les Journées du Patrimoine à Bordeaux
- Marseille: Les Journées du Patrimoine à Marseille