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Heritage Days

The Hôtel de Ville in Paris

It’s something to look forward to every year—the European Heritage Days. The 40th edition takes place on September 15th, 16th and 17th. This year there are two themes: “Patrimoine vivant” et “Patrimoine du sport” (“Living Heritage” and “Heritage of Sport”).

Poster for European Heritage Days in France

The “Living Heritage” theme enables the spotlighting of practices, expressions, knowledge, and expertise passed down from generation to generation. These encompass traditional crafts, nature-related wisdom, understanding of the universe, as well as cultural heritage like songs, dances, rituals, and festivals. The theme “Heritage of Sport,” which is the second focus, is illuminated through the lens of the Cultural Olympiad. Over the course of the 20th century, the legacy of sports has significantly evolved alongside the growing prevalence of athletic endeavors.

European Heritage Days is the most renowned cultural event in which all European citizens can participate together. Launched in 1985 in France, the program has been a joint initiative of the Council of Europe and the European Union since 1999. Many places all over France are spotlighted. Monuments, libraries, schools, and museums will be opening their doors to the public, for a few days of incredible discoveries!

Throughout the weekend, guided tours, workshops, and many other activities will take us behind the scenes of the country’s most famous landmarks to meet the people behind French heritage, which is unique in the world. The event now takes place in over 50 countries. Tens of thousands of buildings will open their doors to us free of charge so that we can discover their history and special features. This is our once-a-year opportunity to visit and admire places that are normally closed to the public, such as companies, ministries, or even backstage at theaters!

Visit the official website to decide what you want to visit! May I make a few suggestions for Paris?!:

* Hôtel de Ville de Paris
3 rue Lobau 75004 Paris, Île-de-France, France
Saturday, 16 September 16, and Sunday, September 17, 2023, from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

On the occasion of the 40th edition of the European Heritage Days, the Hôtel de Paris opens its doors! Visitors will be able to discover the office of the Mayor of Paris, the library of the City Hall, the Council Room, the ceremonial salons and the Paris Rendez-Vous boutique. The Parisian heritage will be at the heart of this visit. Entry upon prior registration.

* Maison de Victor Hugo
6 place des Vosges 75004 Paris, Paris, Île-de-France, France
Saturday, 16 September 16, and Sunday, September 17, 2023, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Inside the Maison de Victor Hugo in Paris

At Place des Vosges, the apartment occupied by Victor Hugo from 1832 to 1848, then Place Royale traces the entire life of the writer through the three great periods that he himself set out in Actes et Paroles: before exile, during exile, since exile. Founded by Paul Meurice in 1902, who donated his collections to the City of Paris, the Maison de Victor Hugo has a large collection of drawings, paintings, photographs and sculptures.

* Senate – Palais du Luxembourg, Hôtel de la Présidence
Place Paul Claudel – Porte Odéon du Jardin du Luxembourg 75006 Paris
Saturday, 16 September 16, and Sunday, September 17, 2023, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Palais du Lucembourg and the Senate chambers

As every year, the Palais du Luxembourg, seat of the French Senate, opens its doors as part of the European Heritage Days. You’ll enter the hemicycle where 348 senators sit, representing all the French territories. You’ll also be able to discover this important part of our history, which began with Marie de Médicis in 1615. For these two days, the Palais, the Hôtel de la Présidence, the Jardin du Luxembourg, and the greenhouses will be open to the public.

And if you’re in Nice or environs, as I will be at that time, here are a couple of suggestions:

* Hôtel de Ville
5, rue de l’Hôtel-de-Ville, 06300 Nice
Saturday, 16 September 16, and Sunday, September 17, 2023, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

The Hôtel de Ville in Nice

Guided tours depart every 30 minutes. From a seminary to a prison, then a hospital turned town hall in 1868, this 18th-century building has undergone constant metamorphosis. What does it look like today? To reserve, visit this website.

* Espace Culturel Départemental Lympia
2 quai d’entrecasteaux 06300 Nice
Saturday, 16 September 16, 2023, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

L'Espace Lympia in Nice

The departmental cultural area, Lympia, is located in the former prison of the port of Nice. Today a temporary exhibition space, its programming is of high quality, with partnerships with major national museums. Currently, the departmental cultural space Lympia hosts the exhibition Tatoueurs/Tatoués, presented at the Musée du Quai Branly. What’s on NOW is an exhibition of Vasarely’s work along with concerts under the theme of “Reprendre des couleurs” by composer and musician Sébastien Béranger who plays with the musicality of shapes and colors. Using a device of his own devising, he transforms works of art into sounds in real-time, giving Vasarely’s paintings a whole new dimension.

Poster for the Vasarley exhibit at the Lympia in Nice

Concerts will take place: Saturday, September 16, 2023 at 2 p.m., 3 p.m., 4 p.m. and 5 p.m.

For complete information of all possible venues for all of France and beyond, visit their site. Enjoy your weekend discovering La France in a very “profonde” way!

A la prochaine…

Adrian Leeds in front of the Hôtel de Ville in NiceAdrian Leeds
The Adrian Leeds Group®

Adrian at the Hôtel de Ville

P.S. We host or speak at a number of events each year. To see what we’re up to next, please see our Events page on our website.

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