Scotland celebrates its links to Europe at Doors Open Days launch

We were delighted to join the Scottish Civic Trust and their guests to celebrate the 30th edition of Doors Open Days last week. Barony Castle Hotel in the Scottish Lowlands provided the backdrop to the special anniversary celebrations.

Alongside the Doors Open Days team, the reception was attended by regional coordinators and volunteers, past and present, who had seen the festival grow since it arrived in Scotland in 1990.

Barony Castle hotel is home to the Great Polish Map of Scotland. As a symbol of unity and friendship among European countries, it provided the perfect backdrop to the celebration of Scotland’s European heritage.

To mark this year’s important milestone, Doors Open Days has prepared a wide variety of activities. The European Heritage Days common theme of Arts and Entertainment will be explored at events across the country throughout September.

A team of regional coordinators, coordinated by the Scottish Civic Trust and supported by 6000 volunteers, have put together a colourful events programme for heritage lovers of all ages. 

In a project sponsored by Council of Europe, Doors Open Days also mapped out Scotland’s links with Europe in a special publication. The Cultural Embassies project discovered hidden European stories in Scotland’s heritage. Did you know about Robert Burns’s links to Slovenian poetry and how important Scotland’s scientists have been to Cypriot cheesemakers? Find out about this and much more in the map, available to download here.

The unique map of Europe, as an acknowledgement that “what joins us is greater than what divides us,” encourages Doors Open Days visitors to explore the stories behind the heritage sites across Scotland that connect different European cultures.

Together with Braw Buildings and the SculpTOURS art project, Cultural Embassies stands alongside a fantastic programme of events.

Maguelonne Déjeant-Pons, Executive Secretary of the European Landscape Convention & European Heritage Days, emphasised the role of the volunteers in heritage sharing:

“The European Heritage Days are a unique opportunity to celebrate the colourful stories of a vibrant and diverse Europe. The Council of Europe is dedicated to its vision of raising awareness about culture in order to promote the safeguarding of our cultural heritage, and to enable democratic participation in public life. European Heritage Days offer an opportunity for us to link our past with our future, allowing visitors to discover their place in the rich tapestry of Europe’s heritage.

Doors Open Days, as an exploration of the part Scotland plays in this, has contributed to the festival since 1990. We are delighted to be celebrating its 30th edition this year, and would like to thank and congratulate the 6000 volunteers who make the festival possible.”

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More information is available on their website. Download your copy of the Cultural Embassies brochure here.