European Heritage Days

Journées européennes du patrimoine
Communities at the forefront of the European Heritage Days events in 2016

Launched on 17th February 2016 at an opening event held at the Ministry of the Environment, this year’s theme of the European Heritage Days events in Finland will celebrate community places and shared environments, which will put communities at the forefront. As an annual Europe-wide event, European Heritage Days brings people from different countries together to celebrate their own cultural environment and shared European heritage.

“We all belong to a number of different communities. We meet one another in places which have become familiar and important to us. We use, maintain, restore and develop these environments which hold importance for us. I hope that this theme year will encourage communities to nurture places which are important to them”, Minister of Agriculture and the Environment Kimmo Tiilikainen stated in his opening speech.

Minister Tiilikainen also used this opportunity to encourage institutions and organisations across his country and the entire continent to join the events.

“Everyone is welcome to organise different kinds of events for the European Heritage Days in September, and to act for our shared environment.”

Competition to encourage children and young people to explore their immediate surroundings

With an aim to motivate children and young people to take an active role in their cultural environment now and in the future, European Heritage Days in Finland traditionally organise the Cultural Heritage-makers competition, which proved to be quite successful in previous years. The competition encourages children and young people to observe, explore and analyse their immediate surroundings. The theme of the Cultural Heritage-makers competition for 2016 is Our Place. The competition opens on 17th February 2016 and closes on 14th October 2016.

Communities at the forefront of September’s events

In Finland, the European Heritage Days events are centred around the second weekend of September and this year will take place between 9th and 11th September. During this time, local operators will be organising open doors days, guided tours and other events. Anyone who is interested in organizing an event - from museums, schools and agencies to associations and individuals – is welcome to do so.

This year, as many as 30 million people will be taking part in tens of thousands of events across Europe. In Finland too, the events are set to draw in thousands of participants and gain a Europe-wide visibility.

The European Heritage Days project in Finland the project is being managed by the Ministry of the Environment and coordinated by the Finnish Local Heritage Federation. The National Board of Antiquities, the Finnish National Board of Education and the Association of Cultural Heritage Education in Finland will also be involved.

More information

Executive Director Riitta Vanhatalo, the Finnish Local Heritage Federation, tel. +358 (0)40 733 7033,,

Planning Officer Hanna Hämäläinen, Ministry of the Environment, tel. +358 (0)295 250 095,