To: FY; LH
Sent: Friday, September 11, 2009 23:32:59
Subject: Open Monumentendag
European Heritage Days in the Netherlands
The Open Monumentendag (Heritage Days) is designed to bring people into contact with the historic environment, and to encourage interest in and understanding of historical monuments and the need for their preservation. During the Open Monumentendag – every second weekend of September – thousands of historical buildings and sites (about 4,000) are open to the public free of charge. Besides opening their doors, many locations also organise on-site activities like exhibitions, music and guided tours. Each year around 80 to 85 percent of Dutch municipalities participate in the Open Monumentendag, organised by local committees. In recent years around 900,000 visitors have participated annually, making the Open Monumentendag one of the Netherlands’ premier cultural events.
The Open Monumentendag in the Netherlands started in 1987 and is co-ordinated nationally by the Stichting Open Monumentendag, which has its office in Amsterdam. The Open Monumentendag is part of an international organisation, the European Heritage Days. The Netherlands was one of the first countries to participate and played a key-role in establishing this Europe-wide phenomenon in the 1990s. Today 48 countries are affiliated with the European Heritage Days, which attracts around 20 million visitors every September and October, all keen to explore Europe’s cultural heritage.
Open Monumentendag has established itself as an integral part of the Dutch cultural calendar and has helped significantly in rallying support for the preservation of historical monuments in the Netherlands.