30 Years of European Heritage Days in Flanders, Belgium

The picturesque Flanders region of Belgium celebrates an important European Heritage Days anniversary in 2018. On 9 September, its historic towns and villages will participate in the local version of European Heritage Days - Open Monumentendag (Open Monuments Day) for the 30th time.

To mark this important milestone, the region will offer a rich programme of activities covering a number of relevant themes. An important focus will be the theme of Heritage in Europe – Europe in Heritage, which will encourage event organisers to explore European dimension of heritage and get involved in the celebrations of European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018.

Along with themes such as Families and Children, Open houses, and Restoration, the one dedicated to European Heritage will enable citizens to get a new perspective on the region’s most important cultural and historic sites. It will particularly examine the following three aspects of Flemish heritage:  

  • Travelling through Europe, which will present European backgrounds of different heritage sites in Flanders. It will also invite for exploration of cultural cross-roads, migrations, and destinations that have been attracting Europeans through history.
  • Castles with European Dimension - Castles Mortsel, Heverlee, and Castle of Groot Bijgaarden are just some Flemish historic buildings that are linked to European traditions. Brief overviews of their histories are outlined here and they are meant to serve as an invite for a more detailed exploration of their past within European Heritage Days.
  • One hundred Years of the Great War – The hundredth anniversary of the end of the World War I will be an important theme within this year’s heritage celebrations. Many events will look back at this event as a turning point in their modern histories and will use the theme to celebrate peace and unity. More information on how this theme can be covered in Flanders, Belgium, can be found here.

These are just some of the ideas for this year’s events, and there are many more in the specially designed ebook titled 30 Years of Open Monument Day, 30 Event Ideas. Containing interviews with heritage pioneers and a number of ideas on how to explore European dimension of heritage, the ebook is an incredible resource for anyone looking to join the celebrations. 

Additional inspiration for this year’s events can also be found in the interactive timeline representing the 30 years of Open Monumentendag in Belgium, Flanders. The timeline presents an impressive collection of digitised materials from past events, which witness the success and creativity of those involved in the celebrations over the last thirty years.

With so many themes, ideas, and resources to work with, the organisers in Flanders, Belgium can indeed offer a wide variety of experiences for citizens of all ages and interests. More information about the programme and applications can be found on the official Open Monumentendag website.