European Heritage Days 2016: Celebrating the people behind the places

As custodians of local traditions, histories and values, Heritage Communities are the living transmission of Europe’s cultural richness. Under the pan-European theme of “Heritage and Communities”, this year’s EHD events will bring together 50 European countries in a celebration of citizens’ roles in promoting and sharing common European heritage. Throughout Europe, more than 50 000 national and local events, many of them free of charge, will celebrate Europe’s true treasure – its communities and the people behind the places.  Museums, galleries, historic archives, libraries and many other places will be brought into the spotlight to encourage active participation in heritage conservation and interpretation.

Being part of the EHD community this year means you can enjoy the first annual Porridge Making Championship taking place in Dyrsku'n, Norway’s oldest marketplace, take part in storytelling tours in the cultural heritage landscape of Scotland’s sacred mountains or try out your artistic skills in linocut in Ljubljana’s ethnographic museum. If you are more interested in smugglers, spies and stolen plum pies, the EHDs have got you covered! Check out the newest play about the smuggling and trading shenanigans in the 18th century, around the Scottish town of Alloa.  Or why not join a world-class jazz concert in a community-restored building in Germany, or a 24-hour pyjama party at the city library in the Hungarian town of Ózd?

In Bosnia and Herzegovina the library for blind and visually-impaired persons in Banja Luka will bring back from oblivion forgotten literary names and their legacies, whilst the ‘Other Yerevan’ virtual museum will showcase the city’s architectural jewels dating back over the centuries and highlight the history of the town’s urban heritage.

In celebration of its best-loved landscape gardener, Lancelot “Capability” Brown, England will be casting a light on secret gardens with a special story to tell, whilst up to 500 bell towers are set to ring in unison nationwide as a mark of this 400-year-old community tradition.

This year’s theme focuses on the role of people as carriers and inheritors of cultural heritage and highlights an important aspect of the Council of Europe Framework Convention on the Value of Cultural Heritage for Society (Faro Convention) which recognises inter-relationships of people and their environments as critical for heritage research, interpretation and conservation initiatives. Focusing on the people whose work and knowledge help make a positive impact on European culture and heritage, the European Heritage Days provide a unique prism for interpreting our shared values. As the most widely celebrated cultural event in Europe, the European Heritage Days have a challenging task of finding new ways to engage millions of people in heritage exploration.

To download the full press release, click here.