13/08/2018

21st Annual European Heritage Open Day Launched

The Department for Communities has announced details of the 21st annual European Heritage Open Day, taking place across Northern Ireland on the 08–09 September.

With over 300 venues taking part, this is one of Northern Ireland's largest free events open to the public.

It is a celebration and appreciation of NI's rich and diverse culture and heritage where the 'doors will open' to historic buildings and monuments, some of which open to the public for the first time.

Adults and children will be entertained with living history, performances, arts and crafts and much more. The theme this year is 'The Art of Sharing', meaning that venues will have the opportunity to share heritage stories of their buildings and their connections to locations and people through talks, tours, exhibitions, craft, art and performance or screen.

European Heritage Open Days, now in their 21st year, are the most widely celebrated participatory cultural events shared throughout Europe, and in Northern Ireland their popularity has continued to increase over the last few years.
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This year's event was launched at the Middle Church (c.1668) Ballinderry. Speaking at the launch, the Director of Historic Environment Division at the Department for Communities, Iain Greenway said: "Our aim is to help communities to understand and realise the value of our historic environment. European Heritage Open Days are a key opportunity for everyone to do this, whether by visiting a new place or taking part in a new activity.

"This is particularly relevant in this European Year of Cultural Heritage which has a theme of sharing heritage. That heritage is shaped by history and people; its authenticity is derived through the connections with communities. It delivers prosperity, progress and personality. Let's go exploring and get involved on 08 and 09 September!"

Rosemarie McHugh, Director of Product Development, Tourism NI added: "We know our visitors are interested in exploring Northern Ireland's rich and diverse culture and heritage. With free access to over 300 properties and events, European Heritage Open Days offers a fantastic opportunity to both visitors and locals alike to sample the breadth and depth of what is available.

"Tourism NI is delighted to be working closely with Department for Communities Historic Environment Division on this and other initiatives to unlock the potential of our heritage."

Brochures are available at tourist information centres, libraries and are available to download here. Whilst all events are free some require pre-booking.

(MH)

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