Over 410 properties and events across Northern Ireland will be opening for free on Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 September as part of this year's European Heritage Open Days 2013 (EHOD).
This year, the organisers been inspired by the City of Culture 2013 and have a programme of special cultural events. See and hear the built heritage as sites and buildings come alive with living history, film screenings, literary events, theatre performances, visual arts, art exhibitions and much more!
This is the 16th year that Northern Ireland has taken part in this Europe wide event, which reflects our common and varied European Architectural Heritage.
This year the range of free events for all ages, has more variety than ever before as EHOD embraces the Derry~Londonderry UK City of Culture 2013 by placing culture itself as its sub-theme, and seeking to encourage more places to visit in that city.
In addition to the opportunity to see inside many fascinating historic buildings, there will be the opportunity to enjoy our ‘living history’, heritage and cultural programme of events hosted in venues across Northern Ireland over the weekend 14th and 15th September.
Northern Ireland is one of 12 European regions celebrating the launch of the Council of Europe’s European Heritage Days website, and many of the events have taken the opportunity to include even more information about their events at www.europeanheritagedays.com.
There are plenty of buildings and associated events in each county, ranging from old favourites, like St Augustine’s on the City Walls, to cultural events, like the University of Ulster graduate Jade Magee (one of seven participating UU artists) presenting a visual art installation about and within the Indian Community Centre, Belfast.
For the first time during EHOD, the Royal Society of Ulster Architects is celebrating our built environment by arranging the opening of award winning buildings, with talks and tours by RSUA architects.
Additionally PLACE, the Architecture and Built Environment Centre, has again organised a number of insightful tours covering all aspects of our heritage, revealing our history from the very buildings around us. Poetry readings will mark the 50th anniversary of the death of poet Louis MacNeice in the Arts Council’s own Victorian building.
Libraries NI has broadened its participation in EHOD this year by inviting visitors to attend cultural events and exhibitions in seven of its libraries – where you can discover the extensive heritage archives, including photographic collections, online history resources, microfilm as well as maps and periodicals.
As last year was the biggest year yet for EHOD, welcoming over 61,000 visitors, a pilot initiative is being launched with Volunteer Now offering volunteers the chance to help out over the weekend. NIEA hope that this initiative will grow in future years, providing volunteering opportunities for those interested in learning about and helping heritage buildings and projects.
If you attend one or more properties and events during the weekend, please share your experiences and photos with us via Facebook and Twitter.
Visit the European Heritage Open Days 2013 website
Download the EHOD brochures