The Open Monumentendag (Heritage Day) 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.
European Heritage Days in the Netherlands – English summary
During 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 organize on-site activities like exhibitions, musical performances and guided tours. Each year around 80 to 85 percent of Dutch municipalities participate in the Open Monumentendag, organized by local committees. In recent years around 900,000 visitors have participated annually, making the Open Monumentendag one of the Netherlands’ premier cultural events.
Open Monumentendag in the Netherlands started in 1987 and is coordinated nationally by the Stichting Open Monumentendag, which has its office in Amsterdam. The Open Monumentendag is part of an international organization, 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.