European Heritage Days

Journées européennes du patrimoine
Youth Participation in European Heritage Days Events in Slovenia On the Rise

Opened by Minister Bizjak Mlakar at an old Carthusian monastery Žiče Charterhouse, 2015 European Heritage Days in Slovenia begun on 25th September. Until 3rd October, the country celebrated common European heritage at 400 historical and cultural sites across the country.

An interesting statistic about this year’s events is the fact that the participation of young people almost doubled compared to previous years. In relation to this, Head of the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Heritage, Jernej Hudolin suggested that this results from the fact that 2014 events were dedicated to youth and young people’s participation in preserving their common heritage. Namely, the last year’s theme highlighted the importance of heritage education and was focused on children attending nurseries, as well as primary and secondary school students.

This year, however, the theme was slightly more specific and chosen to celebrate the 25th anniversary of European Heritage Days in the country. Accordingly, the theme of the 2015 events was “Heritage of Celebrations,” which represented a unique way to interpret both tangible and intangible cultural heritage.

The programme was also considerably richer this year, as the number of events organised grew from 250 events in 2013 and 350 in 2014 to a total of 400 events in 2015. Among the interesting sites that participated in this year’s celebration of European heritage, Lipica Stud Farm presented its technical landscape and cultural heritage, a famous mercury mine at Idrija allowed the exploration of its rich industrial heritage, while some celebratory customs from the past were presented in Kopar.

Other events included exhibitions, guided tours, workshops and lectures intended to promote the European dimension of Slovenia’s culture and industrial heritage. The large number of visitors, particularly the younger ones, demonstrates the popularity of the event in the country and implies a growing awareness of shared heritage.