September: the cultural heritage month

Over the coming month, more than 20 million people are expected to take part in the European Heritage Days (EHD) taking place every year during the month of September in 50 countries across Europe. This joint action of the European Commission and Council of Europe gives access to visitors to thousands of rarely opened sites and unique events.

The European dimension of the EHDs is reinforced by countries working together on the same theme, such as “hidden treasures”, inviting visitors in Lithuania, Norway or Switzerland to see an unknown and unexpected face of heritage- concealed on the walls, underground, or in the landscape. France, Ukraine, Cyprus and Finland have decided to exemplify the theme of “heritage voyage” and “cultural routes”, uncovering a dynamic, creative side of heritage created at crossroads of influences in the artistic, scientific and commercial fields.

Launched in 1985, the European Heritage Days have been organised since 1999 as a joint action of the European Union and the Council of Europe. The 50 signatory States to the European Cultural Convention take part in the European Heritage Days by putting new cultural assets on view and opening up historical buildings normally closed to the public. The cultural events highlight local skills and traditions, architecture and works of art, but the broader aim is to promote mutual understanding among citizens.

Find out more about European Heritage Days 2011 on: http://www.coe.int/t/dg4/cultureheritage/heritage/ehd/default_en.asp

See the list of events for each country on: http://www.coe.int/t/dg4/cultureheritage/heritage/ehd/National_Events/map_en.asp