17/09/2003

NI host European Heritage Open Day weekend

Some of Northern Ireland's most exquisite buildings will be open to the public this weekend as part of the European Heritage Open Days event.

Organised by DOE’s Environment and Heritage Service, 190 buildings of all descriptions including private houses, public buildings, gardens, churches, and ancient monuments will open to visitors free of charge on Saturday and Sunday across the province.

Commenting on the event, NIO Minister, Angela Smith said: “The European Heritage Open Days provides everyone, young or old, with the chance to visit buildings that are not normally open to the public. This year there is such a wide variety of buildings open, that there will be something to satisfy everyone’s curiosity.

“We are fortunate that Northern Ireland’s heritage is richly diverse and this is reflected in the range of buildings throwing open their doors. I am delighted that this year there are an extra 55 new properties and events available to the public."

Northern Ireland has been taking part in European Heritage Open Days since 1997 and each year there is a variation of sites and events. Last year nearly 30,000 members of the public engaged in this weekend long festival of built heritage.

Free brochures detailing all of the properties open and the various events taking place are available from libraries and Tourist Information Centres across Northern Ireland.

(MB)

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