Celebrated in 50 signatory States to the European Cultural Convention, European Heritage Days highlight the diversity of local skills, traditions, architectural styles and works of art that constitute shared European Heritage. Launched by the Council of Europe in 1985 in France, the Days have been organised as a joint initiative of the European Commission and the Council of Europe since 1999. Enabling citizens to explore a wide range of cultural assets through a number of themed events, European Heritage Days help uncover histories of people and places that have contributed to shape the culture and heritage of Europe.
The aim is to increase understanding of a shared European past, encourage appreciation of traditional values and inspire new heritage conservation and education practices. Cultural heritage has always been recognised as a priority by the Council of Europe. Moreover, it is now a pivotal theme under Creative Europe, the EU’s programme for the cultural and creative sectors.