National theme 2017


Through the theme of Farmers, Citizens and Rurals, the 31st Open Monumentendag celebrates the national agricultural history, particularly by exploring relationships between the city and the countryside. The theme focuses on similarities and differences between urban and rural lifestyles, as well as the unifying traditions that are a part of national heritage.

Reflecting on the European Heritage Days common theme Heritage and Nature, the events will showcase idyllic Dutch landscapes, traditional architectural styles and typical lifestyles associated with the city and with the countryside. The theme also allows for examining the important economic and social aspects of different settings to offer a comprehensive overview of typical Dutch lifestyles.

The events takes place on 9th and 10th September, when a multitude of farms, mills, family homes, community buildings and other rural edifices will be opened for free. This is  a unique opportunity to get an inside look into the history of rural Netherlands and learn more about its unique heritage.

In addition to this, workshops, tours and walks take place across the country with a goal of examining the links between urban inhabitants and country people. Constantly in contact through food, transport, markets, communications and entertainment, people from different areas and regions have been shaping the common history of the country for centuries.

“With this year’s theme, the audience will certainly enjoy the variety of monuments and will get involved in taking care of them for future generations. The Heritage Day in the Netherlands is a celebration designed to enable the people to become closely involved with tangible heritage, to become engaged in their historical, built environment, and to stimulate interest in historical buildings, as well as the care for historical structures. The most important feature of the Open Monumentendag is the fact that it raises awareness, both among the public and at a political level. Special stories of this built heritage are told on this day, and these stories help familiarize the public with its values,” said Edith den Hartigh, European Heritage Days coordinator.

The opening of the event takes place in the municipality of Drenthe in the Westerveld province, the rural idyll in the north of the country. The ceremony invites locals to take part in of the celebration and use the opportunity to spend the exciting autumn weekend exploring heritage around them.

With 80-85% of Dutch municipalities and almost a million people participating in the event in recent years, Open Monumentendag is one of the favourite Dutch cultural festivals. Its value for the citizens and event organisers is the ability to showcase the richness and diversity of Dutch culture through centuries and help strengthen the bonds between people and their heritage.

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