European Heritage Days

Journées européennes du patrimoine
One Hundred Years of Heritage: Ireland Prepares for National Heritage Week 2016

Historical, archaeological, architectural and environmental achievements of the last 100 years will be the focus of this year’s National Heritage Week in Ireland. Between 20th and 28th August 2016, this annual celebration of heritage and culture will provide a free access to Ireland’s historic and cultural landmarks, reviving the century behind. Officially themed “100 Years of Heritage,” the festival will offer a unique perspective on people and places that helped building the heritage of today.

Organised as a part of European Heritage Days, National Heritage Week is one of the most popular cultural events in Ireland. Last year, the festival attracted 400,000 visitors to 1,800 events taking place in schools, museums, gardens and parks across the country to offer insight into national history and shared heritage. Some of the highlights from the last year’s festival were documented in a mini YouTube series following Amelia on her heritage discovery route.  

This year, the events will unveil histories of people and places that contributed to shaping heritage and culture over the last hundred years through interactive workshops, guided tours, themed walks, exhibitions, and many other events. Traditionally, The Heritage Council, a public body that supports jobs, education and heritage tourism in local communities, will organise a photography competition to highlight unique heritage moments captured in photos, while event organizers and volunteers will be awarded for different achievements.

Remarkable contributions to heritage conservation and protection during National Heritage Week will be recognised with Heritage Hero Award, Hidden Heritage Award, Reaching Out Award and Cool for Kids Award. The award categories are designed to highlight events that help in exploring lesser known aspects of heritage, reach out to new audiences, and engage kids and youth in heritage exploration. The list of last year’s winners per category can be found here.

Aiming to continue with the successful promotion of heritage and culture in 2016, The Heritage Council invites individuals, schools, communities and institutions to join the celebration of the centenary year by registering an event on the Heritage Week official website. The organisation also outlined 100 Event Ideas to help make this year’s events even more exciting, educational and engaging for visitors. From walking tours around places that used to be popular 100 years ago and costumed speeches reviving past lifestyles to exhibitions of agricultural, medical or industrial practices from the last century, the event ideas promise an intriguing week in August.

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