"Heritage is a fundamental part of the history, culture and identity of a country. It is an essential reflection of our memory. Our obligation is to take care of our cultural heritage, also to put it to good use and make it known. The European Heritage Days have these objectives; this year, the events are focused on Education and are held throughout the autumn with the collaboration of the provincial councils of Alava, Biscay and Gipuzkoa. These days offer us the opportunity to get to know, enjoy and live our heritage better".

Heritage and Education: Learning for Life!

This year, the European Heritage Days common theme ‘Heritage and Education: Learning for life!’ was celebrated in the Basque Country, on what also marked the 20th anniversary of the festival there.

Throughout October, across 61 municipalities, activities were hosted by town halls, cultural centers, museums, archives, tourist offices, parks and natural reserve, cultural associations and institutes, neighborhood associations and local development organizations, and educational institutions.

To put the spotlight on this year’s common theme, it was important to celebrate Education and Learning in creative ways. Acknowledging that even though primary schools, institutes, universities, arts and vocational schools have a leading role in knowledge transmission, they are not the only ones. Live storytelling, concerts and competitions involved visitors in dynamic and participatory ways.

Special events in Bizkaia

Who has the most to teach us? Undoubtably it’s nature! In the Parketxe, childrens’ games aimed to inspire by using the senses like touch, smell and sight. Bermeo Maritime Vocabulary, as shared through the family workshop, revealed much about Bermeo's lexicon that has always been interesting and sometimes difficult to understand. Families visiting the Fishermen's Museum had the chance to immerse themselves in the language of the trade. A “Classroom of nature” was also organized in Bolue. The Bolue wetland is one of the natural sites of Getxo which has become a center of many environmental projects, awareness campaigns, educational programs, environmental studies and inventories in recent years.

Along with hundreds of events at natural reserves, beautiful parks, hidden caves, there were a variety of workshops, traditional dance festivities, exhibitions and plenty of music! A musical educational tour in Zalla invited participants to explore the transformation of recent years in the field of music. The composition pieces played at the event were carefully selected for offering small informative outline of the historical context of recent decades.

The full programme of the European Heritage Days in Bizkaia can be explored here.

Coordination of this work would not have been possible without the joint effort of small associations and popular groups that managed to generate a great common project, with a shared horizon and past, placing the European Heritage Days values in the center of their work. The whole program was implemented respecting social distancing and other COVID-19 sanitary measures.