On the 2nd of March 2016, the French Ministry of Culture and Communications announced the official theme and date for this year’s European Heritage Days, which are celebrated in this country for the 33rd time. This year, the events will highlight the notion of citizenship in order to expand people’s understanding of the concept and how it relates to heritage. Officially themed “Heritage and Citizenship,” European Heritage Days in France are set for 17th and 18th September, 2016.
Like in previous years, the event will be marked on the third weekend in September and will open numerous venues for a free heritage exploration. In 2015, when the events focused on the heritage of future and the architectural achievements of the 21st century, the country opened 17,000 venues and organised over 20,000 of events. The 2016 them that relates to citizenship and heritage will put the entire event in a unique new perspective, allowing for new sites appear on the map of shared European heritage.
Among the most vivid and most popular cities for the exploration of French history and culture, its capital is usually one of the top destinations during the European Heritage Days events. As one of the central attractions, Paris encourages the exploration of its hidden histories, political institutions, classic cultural sites, as well as many offbeat sites that typically do not receive as much attention throughout the year.
In addition to Paris, however, many other attractive sites will promote local heritage, offering a complete picture of French culture, arts and architecture. National monuments, museums, historic houses, gardens and many other venues will be opened for visitors in Avignon, Provence, Berry, Centre-Val de Loire, as well as many other cities and regions. For one weekend, each of these sites will become a capital of culture, history and heritage that shapes us as citizens.
With each citizen being defined through its cultural, educational and environmental involvements, these events will enable European Heritage Days visitors to gain new knowledge on how these the concepts of citizenship and heritage interrelate to form the society we live in.
The full programme for the 2016 European Heritage Days in France will be available here.