Every year on a weekend around mid September France holds les Journées du Patrimoine. This is the French version of the European Heritage Days, an initiative set up in 1984 by the French Ministry of Culture to encourage interest in architectural and environmental heritage. Over the weekend (Sept 21-22 in 2019) many cultural, historical and natural sites that may not necessarily be open to the public at other times of the year open their doors to everyone. These places can vary from the Elysée Palace (the French President’s residence) to television studios, passing by museums, castles, caves, industrial sites, icons of modern architecture, parks and more. Places that are usually open to the public will have reduced or even free entry.
photo credit: Abxbay creative commons Wikimedia
During the Journées du Patrimoine/European Heritage Days participating places may hold talks and guided visits, workshops and even concerts. Demand can be high to visit popular places so booking online is often required/advised.
Having begun in France, the September Open Days are now very much a European thing, taking place in around 50 countries. I have linked below some articles you might find interesting from our European travels, just for fun. They are not necessarily part of the European Heritage Days.
Over the years we have visited many interesting places thanks to this inspired initiative. You can read about our visit to the Fort Carré in Antibes here. We are hoping to get to another couple of places this weekend including the Abbaye de Lérins on St Honorat Island (pictured above).
For a full list of all participating sites in the journées du Patrimoine in France click on this link from the Ministry of Culture.
Do you enjoy visiting behind the scenes? Where would you like to explore given the chance?
Here’s a PIN for later!