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newsEuropean Heritage Days: “Living Heritage” celebrating cultural traditions and skills

Today marks the start of the 2023 European Heritage Days, with tens of thousands of events taking place in 48 participating countries. This year's theme is “Living Heritage”, which will showcase the vibrancy, diversity and significance of cultural traditions, knowledge and skills across Europe.As from today until November 2023, exceptional sites and monuments will open their doors to visitors. In addition, cultural events, exhibitions, artistic performances, interactive workshops, lectures, and guided tours will take place, all inspired by the theme of "Living Heritage". These activities valorise the cultural traditions and skills in shaping our societies.

Jointly organised by the Commission and the Council of Europe, the European Heritage Days is an opportunity for citizens to learn more about Europe's rich and diverse culture and promote the protection of our shared heritage for present and future generations.

This year, the impactful initiatives introduced in 2019 will continue. These initiatives include the engaging European Heritage Days Stories, a platform dedicated to amplifying the voices of heritage professionals and spotlighting the remarkable preservation efforts carried out by individuals and groups across Europe. Another noteworthy initiative, "Young European Heritage Makers," formerly known as European Heritage Makers Week, empowers and provides a genuine platform for children and young individuals, identifying the future champions of European heritage. This initiative has also nurtured European cross-frontier co-operation projects, fostering collaboration among diverse heritage sites. Notably, a dedicated Call for European Heritage Label (EHL) sites was launched, enhancing synergies between these initiatives. These actions are aimed at fortifying the European dimension by endorsing cross frontier activities led by the National Coordinators of the European Heritage Days program. As the legacy continues, the European Heritage Days remain committed to celebrating and safeguarding the rich cultural tapestry of Europe.

The European Heritage Days website features detailed event schedules, participating countries, and ways to engage.


Initiated by the Council of Europe in 1985, the European Heritage Days foster cultural diversity, dialogue, and heritage preservation. Taking place annually across participating European nations, the celebrations offer a range of cultural events and activities. In 2022, around 20 million people have participated to the European Heritage Days.

Since 1999, jointly organised by the Commission and the Council of Europe, the European Heritage Days stand as a testament to the richness of European cultural heritage, while fostering dialogue, inclusivity, and cross-border activities. European Heritage Days are organised in close cooperation with national coordinators in each of the 48 countries that have ratified the European Cultural Convention. Every year has a distinctive, unifying pan-European theme.

For More Information

Council of Europe press release

Living Heritage brochure



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