European Heritage Days

Journées européennes du patrimoine
International Day for Monuments and Sites: A Call to Protect Our Heritage

Incised in historic monuments, buildings and objects, our civilisation’s past continues to live with us as long as we celebrate it and appreciate its remnants. As a tribute to all the sites that speak about our history, and as a call for raising awareness of their value, 18th April is recognised as the International Day for Monuments and Sites.

Honouring the richness of archaeological, architectural and historic properties that connect us to our past, the International Day for Monuments and Sites or the World Heritage Day aims to showcase the historic and cultural wealth of humankind. Approved by UNESCO in 1983, this awareness-raising initiative is celebrated by various cultural, tourist and historic organisations worldwide, as well as by a number of ICOMOS (International Council of Monuments and Sites) National and International Scientific Committees.

On this date, many of the participating institutions are offering a special programme to help enhance the understanding of the historic and cultural assets. From various thematic exhibitions to international research conferences dedicated to heritage, culture and history, there are a number of ways to take part in this global initiative. Some of the ways to do so include:

  • Visits to local heritage sites, museums, galleries and thematic exhibitions
  • Spreading the world through different media such as TV, magazines, blogs
  • Organising conferences and expert talks
  • Organising special activities at schools
  • Promotion of the opportunities for collaboration on heritage initiatives

Every year, there is also a specific theme associated with the activities aiming to highlight important aspects of heritage preservation and enhancement. Chosen in relation to the United Nations International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development and in the context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals, the theme for 2017 is “Cultural Heritage and Sustainable Tourism.

Throughout the year, numerous events and activities will be organised to highlight this theme and enhance the understanding the ways in which sustainable tourism development can help create new cultural encounters. In addition to this, the theme aims to empower local communities to more actively participate in heritage management and protection.

Similarly, the International Day for Monuments and Sites will contribute to both promoting the world’s heritage and encouraging the involvement of local communities in heritage-related initiatives. Taking into account that every individual can contribute to preserving our shared histories, traditions and cultures, the initiative invites everyone to join the celebrations.

The list of events is available here.