European Heritage Days 2020 in France Occitanie

Heritage day

Since 1984, the European Heritage Days have taken place every year between August and November. As the name already indicates, this is an event that aims to highlight our European heritage, especially buildings and places that are often only exceptionally open to the public. In addition, every year there is a theme highlighting a certain aspect of heritage and this year (2020) it will be: Heritage and education: learning for life!

This event was first launched on September 23, 1984, by the French Minister of Culture, Jack Lang, under the name "Journée portes ouvertes dans les monuments historiques" (Open House Day in Historic Monuments).

His slogan: "Bringing the breath of life back to heritage"

And with this he was so successful that already the following year, in 1985, Lang proposed during the second conference of the Council of Europe to extend this project to the whole of Europe. Following this, many countries joined the initiative by organising similar events. Even non-European countries joined and in 2010 the number of participating countries rose to 50! In France, the day is always well received: in 2016, 12 million visitors came to one of the 26,000 events offered by the 17,000 open monuments.

​​​​​​​The particularity of these days is that not only are you allowed to visit places normally closed to the public, but also those that are always open offer special activities such as guided tours, exhibitions or concerts. In short, it’s a programme that differs from the usual. And the best part: the entrance will for the most part be free! In addition, so that everyone can join in, each year a family-friendly programme is designed to encourage first of all the participation of children and pupils.

These principles are common in all the countries participating in the European Heritage Days!

And what about 2020 ? This year is the 37th edition of the European Heritage Days and it will take place on Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 September 2020. The guiding theme of these days will be Heritage and Education: Learning for Life! The Ministry of Culture specifies on its website:
​​​​​​​"This year we want to celebrate the role that takes education in heritage. Whether we are talking to 5- or 95-year-olds, our goal for the European Heritage Days 2020 is the same: to leave a legacy that illustrates the potential of heritage as a learning tool and inspiration for the future. Our ambition is to reconnect with the knowledge, traditions and skills that once defined how we live, and in doing so, to reinvent what education means for the 21st century."

To find out what's going to happen in Montpellier (or in other cities), you can consult the official website of the EHD here:,-17.3034700,3.03

Anyway, I'm going to take full advantage of this extra program! Long live heritage!