Journees du Patrimoine ceiling interior of the bank Societe Generale Boulevard Haussmann
Events,  History

History of Journées Européennes du Patrimoine

Journees du Patrimoine ceiling interior of the bank Societe Generale Boulevard Haussmann
Journees du Patrimoine ceiling interior of the bank Societe Generale Boulevard Haussmann

Jack Lang decided in 1984 to open the doors of French public buildings to the public. 50 countries in Europe now do the same, annually the third week in September.

After that first Journée Portes ouvertes dans les monuments historiques (Historical Monuments Open House) on the third Sunday in September. The Sunday visits became so successful, that in 1992 the event became a day-two French affair taking place the third weekend in September. The name changed to Journées du Patrimoine. Europe adopted the name Journées européennes du patrimoine in 2000.

For the French, this is an opportunity to visit their national monuments that are closed to the public or have limited access the rest of the year.

The visits include national monuments, churches, theaters, castles, private residences, banks, parliament buildings, government buildings, justice buildings, city halls, chambers of commerce.

Connect on Facebook for more information or visit the European Heritage Days (EHD) Web site.

Newspapers for listings and maps
Check the Wednesday or Thursday newspapers “Aujourd’hui“. “Le Parisien” or L’Etudiant”  before the event for a hard copy of the addresses and times.

Go on line and use the search keywords “journees du patrimoine” for these newspapers every year. Chances are they will have a listing of patrimony openings in Paris (by arrondissement) and in France. You choose the “Ile-de-France”, “Paris 75” and then an “arrondissement number”.

Enlarge the map or scroll down for the list of open venues in that arrondissement. Choose one, for the days and times and a history.

Le Parisien has an application “LeParisien.sortie” to download on either iTunes or Samsung.

Alternative Online Information
Two other alternatives for help in finding information: (1) the iPhone and smartphone application “Patrimap” and (2) a sense of adventure.

The Download
Downloading the “Patrimap” is the easiest way to search for the story behind Paris patrimony anytime. The app is available on iTunes and for other smartphone downloads. On the iPhone/iTunes, it is located in the “Travel” section in English.

Once you open the application, “Patrimap” your top choice is “Nearby”. The app will read your location and list the venues in your vicinity and a short description about the place. It does not list the hours. It is useful even when it is not time for Journées du Patrimoine.

While in Paris, use the nearest park for a WiFi connection to avoid roaming charges or download an application to find Hotspots.
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This Web site and and its blog articles are for travelers to Paris who are looking for advice from someone who lives in Paris. These tips are "for Parisians at heart". Many people would like to visit, some can and some cannot - so I will help you enjoy a glimpse of the city and its surroundings. This project has been ongoing since 2002. Prior to living in Paris (since 1992) my European history began in the early 70s with three years in Wiesbaden, Germany. My next foray onto the Continent was in the mid-80s after graduation from the University of Florida (where I met Erik): traveling around Europe and UK with my friend, Margie, hitchhiking around and working in Ireland. After living and working as a journalist in Sweden for four years, traveling on boats, the Trans-Siberian Railway, local trains and planes took Erik and I around the world. I began working as a flight attendant in 1990 for American Airlines, based in Chicago. We moved to Paris, France in 1992 where I commuted between Paris and Chicago for my flight attendant/stewardess job. Finally my inner voice said "Stop!" and I left American Airlines six weeks shy of 20 years January 1, 2010. Now that is over and I am back working as a journalist and photographer full time on Colleensparis.com - My videos are posted on YouTube on the colleensparis youtube channel. and I am active in Toastmasters 75. Enjoy!