& Events

European Heritage Days: 50 countries offer free access to historic sites

Aug 29, 2013 | News

(30 August 013) – Millions of people will enjoy free access to thousands of rarely opened historic and cultural sites in 50 countries throughout September as part of the annual European Heritage Days, a joint initiative of the European Commission and Council of Europe.

The 2013 European Heritage Days are officially launched today in Yerevan, Armenia, which currently holds the Chairmanship of the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers. A new interactive website will also be launched: it will provide details of the sites which are open to the public, as well as information about special events taking place in each country to tie in with the Heritage Days.

As usual, this year’s European Heritage Days is brimming with a rich and varied range of fascinating sites and events which bring history alive. In Northern Ireland, for instance, visitors will be invited to imagine going into battle during the Middle Ages. ‘Power and Glory’ is the theme in the Netherlands, where visitors will be able to experience 400 years of history. Sweden’s ‘Meeting Places’ will offer an emotional journey to places of encounter and departure over the centuries, while Switzerland will light up the heritage landscape through the theme of fire, light and energy.

Launched in 1985, the European Heritage Days have been organised since 1999 as a joint initiative of the European Commission and the Council of Europe. The 50 signatory countries to the European Cultural Convention take part in the European Heritage Days. The cultural events organised during the month-long celebration showcase local skills and traditions, architecture and art, as well as seeking to promote mutual understanding among European citizens.

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