2018 Heritage Day in the Netherlands: In Europe

On 8 and 9 September 2018, the Netherlands hosts its 32nd annual Heritage Day: BankGiro Loterij Heritage Day.The title of this year’s event is In Europe, corresponding with the European theme of European Heritage Days and the 2018 European Year of Cultural Heritage.

European dimensions
Heritage Day takes a closer look at what connects us on this continent on a cultural level. On 8 and 9 September, visitors can explore European aspects of our cultural heritage: international architectural movements, comparable and distinct (building) techniques, mutual inspiration in applied arts, exchanges of knowledge and expertise, and of course the historical context in which historical monuments were built and used. Europe is a colourful patchwork of peoples, countries, languages and religions unique in its diversity. At the same time its heritage has so much in common.

Open Historical Monuments
In Europeincorporates a wide range of buildings opened on Heritage Day to the general public – from town halls, commercial buildings, country houses and estates to churches, forts, shipyards and water works such as drainage windmills and pumping stations. European heritage is not just about material heritage. Much of it is intangible: stories, traditions, craftsmanship, as well as music and literature, all of which play a role in this unique edition of Heritage Day. European dimensions of cultural heritage are examined in all kinds of ways and European stories are told. And there are lots of them!

National opening in The Hague
This year, Heritage Day weekend is officially launched on the preceding Thursday in The Hague. This city of embassies, the International Court of Justice and home of the Dutch government is the perfect place to start off this international edition Heritage Day. The official opening is by Marietje Schaake, D66 member of the European Parliament.

Local committees
In the Netherlands, Heritage Day is run by around 300 local committees each organising their own local programmes. The committees are supported and stimulated by the national Heritage Day project office, a department of the Nederland Monumentenland foundation. On Heritage Day weekend as many as 5,000 historical monuments often attract around a million visitors.

Heritage Class Day and Heritage Day Specials
Heritage Class Day is organised specially for primary schools: guided tours are offered to groups of schoolchildren at various historical monuments with accompanying teaching materials. Many schools take part on the Friday before Heritage Day, while others organise a separate Class Day on another day in the year. Another activity connected to Heritage Day is the Heritage Day Special. Specials can also be organised at other times in the year as a local or regional Heritage Day with a specific theme. This year there are six Heritage Day Specials in the Netherlands at different times in the year.

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