European Heritage Days

Journées européennes du patrimoine
Gipuzkoa Joins the Theme of Migration and Cultural Heritage

In September and October 2016, The Basque Country province of Gipuzkoa will be joining the celebration of European Heritage Days with the theme of Migration and Cultural Heritage. Together with Bizkaia, which earlier announced the launch of the theme for this year’s events, Gipuzkoa will celebrate the role of people in creating and living their heritage day by day. Commenting on the announcement, the European Heritage Days coordinator for Spain, Ana Schoebel expressed her enthusiasm about the joint promotion of shared heritage:

“We are very happy to count with Gipuzkoa for the first time and also for sharing all aspects of migration from and to Gipuzkoa and how this has had positive cultural results in their vision of the world, traditions, rites, technical development, etc.”

Rich in historical, architectural and natural landmarks, Gipuzkoa will make a significant contribution to the celebration of European Heritage Days in 2016.  The province is a home to two UNESCO World Heritage Sites - Altxerri Cave and Ekain Cave which represent the most important prehistoric sanctuaries in Europe. Discovered in the middle of the 20th century and designated with this prestigious status in 2008, the caves are well known among international tourists, researchers and scientists wishing to explore the silent histories of the region.

The Route on the Gipuzkoa Coast Photo Credit: UNESCO World Heritage Convention

Besides the UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Gipuzkoa has rich maritime heritage that is deeply integrated in culture and traditions of the local communities. Gipuzkoa cities are also known for their dynamic cultural lives and various festivals, shows and exhibitions that are organised on an annual basis. Some of the most popular yearly events in Gipuzkoa capital San Sebastian include a ten days long International Film Festival that takes place in September and the International Jazz festival organised in July every year.

Thanks to such a significant cultural offering, Gipuzkoa capital San Sebastian was designated the European Capital of Culture for 2016. This important status illustrates the city’s potential in the field of heritage and culture, representing a great opportunity for the entire Gipuzkoa to put these fields into focus for this year and beyond.

By joining this year’s European Heritage Days, Gipuzkoa expands its cultural calendar to include numerous themed events that will be organized for free during September and October 2016. This will provide more opportunities for both local people and tourists to experience Gipuzkoa in a different way, learn about its history, arts and traditions, as well as help in preserving its heritage for future generations.

Featured photo: María José Tellería, Culture General Director, Lurdes Azpiazu, an EHD coordinator and Iñaki Arrieta, Anthropology Professor at the Basque University. Courtesy of Ana Schoebel.