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Best time to go to France

Journées Européennes du Patrimoine (European Heritage Days) 2022

Take advantage of the Open Doors Days to visit prominent cultural and historical sites across France

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Last updated: by Olga Valchyshen
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Founded in France, European Heritage Days (EHD) has become one of the best ways to explore the most prominent historical sites of the continent. This annual program, supported by the Council of Europe and the European Commission, has been enacted in 50 European countries. Its main goal is to provide access to monuments, historical buildings, and other sites, which are usually closed to the public. Open Doors Days showcase the common heritage, culture, and education to ensure the distribution of knowledge across Europe.

Journées Européennes du Patrimoine was first held in France in 1984. Later, it took place in Ireland, Scotland, Belgium, Sweden, and Armenia. Every year, a new theme is announced, and there's always something unconventional to see. Some 17,000 attractions across France—museums, monuments, galleries, and castles—open their doors for free to let visitors enjoy guided tours and exhibitions.

For example in 2021, France celebrates the 40th anniversary of its railway company, the TGV. Hence it will provide unique access to stations, legendary locomotives, and trains, which have historical importance. Passengers could enjoy a special ride from Riom es Montagnes to Chambéry-Roche-sur-Foron, to highlight the line which was critical to the industrialization of France.

Open Doors Days encompass many regions of the country. In 2021, contemporary sculptor Fabienne Hanteville opens the doors of her workshop in Normandy. For two days only, during Journées Européennes du Patrimoine, visitors will be granted an insight into the artists' creative space, located near Courgeoût in north-western France.

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