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European Heritage Days

Created in 1984 by the Ministry of Culture and Communication, the European Heritage Days take place on the third weekend of September every year. As the cultural event of the autumn, these days are proof of French people’s interest in the history of places and art. The success of the event relies on the great variety of heritage attractions on offer to visitors: alongside masterpieces of civil or religious architecture, it also features reminders of industrial or farming activities, parks and gardens, archaeological sites, furniture, and literary, fluvial and military heritage. Combining many different initiatives, the European Heritage Days are an occasion for large numbers of visitors to discover public buildings (Élysée Palace, Senate, ministries, embassies, prefectures, town halls, and also theatres, hospitals, schools and gymnasia), and private buildings (villas, castles, factories) which open their doors to the public just for this occasion. All these monuments, as well as monuments which are regularly open to the public, offer special activities for the event: guided tours, skills demonstrations, concerts, theatre performances and themed circuits.