European Heritage Days

European Heritage Days (Journées du Patrimoine) that organised every year on the third weekend of September, will take place on Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 September 2023. The event was first held in France on September 23, 1984 under the leadership of the Ministry of Culture, headed by Jack Lang. At the time, it was a one-day event called "Open Day in Historic Monuments". The aim was clearly defined even at that time: to show the general public the incredible wealth of French cultural heritage through a series of unusual events, original tours and visits to museums and historic buildings and through amazing discoveries.

By 1985, just one year after the start of the new cultural event, the day had developed into a European event under the auspices of the Council of Europe. In 1992, the "Open Day in Historic Monuments" was renamed "National Heritage Days", which was held over several days. But it was not until 2000, that the name was finally adopted.

The cultural event became known as the European Heritage Days. And while in 1993, 34 European countries took part in the event, in 2000, the number rose to 40, making the European Heritage Days one of the first major international cultural events. In 2010, the event was organised in 50 countries around the world.

The pan-European context of the events brings together all citizens, drawing attention to the values and cultural heritage of the 50 countries participating in the European Cultural Convention. Some 20 million people are projected to visit more than 30,000 places of interest and historic sites.

Every year, a national theme is highlighted. The theme may vary from country to country, but they all share a common motto: emphasising the European cultural dimension. For 2023, two themes have been chosen -- the 40th edition of the event is dedicated to "living heritage" and "sporting heritage".

Thousands of monuments and notable sites, often inaccessible to the general public throughout the year, will open their doors to visitors until November. Cultural events, exhibitions, performances, interactive workshops on traditional crafts, lectures and guided tours for people of all ages and life trajectories -- all dedicated to the theme of Living Heritage draw attention to the relevance and continuing contribution of cultural traditions and skills to our societies. The theme of this year gives us a sense of consistency through a wide variety of skills, crafts and trades that allow us to preserve a testimony for future generations.

The works of French artisans and masters are stored in various sections of the museum Collection extensive exposition. First of all, in the section "Western European Glass art and Ceramics" that features the works by Emil Gallé and Daum Freres, Rene Lalique and Gabriel Argy-Rousseau, Burgun, Schverer & Cie and Muller Freres.

Besides, there are numerous "Automata” and "Singing Birds", "Wind Instruments" and "Stringed Instruments"; "Recording and Play back Devices" and "Music Boxes" are presented in the section "Mechanical Musical Instruments and Items".

The works of the scilled French watchmakers such as Paul Buhre, Robert-Houdin, Breguet and many others are presented in all sections of the Clocks and Objects with Movement entrylong case clocks, wall and console clocks, mantel and table clocks, carriage clocks and pocket watches.

The museum collection will help you immerse yourself in the colourful world of French decorative art and learn new facts and fascinating stories about the lives of talented masters and their creative work in the Authors section.