For one weekend only, France’s historical locations, cultural institutions, and usually-inaccessible beautiful buildings will open their doors to the public for free for the annual Journées Européennes, on September 21 and 22, 2019.
All across Europe, institutions containing or representing a country’s cultural heritage will offer special visits, late-night hours and tours around the theme arts and entertainments. About 12 million people in France alone will enjoy one of the planned cultural offerings during the Journées Européennes (Heritage Days, in English), now in its 36th year.
Cultural heritage encompasses anything that could be thought of as patrimoine in the country’s history: civil, religious, medical, academic, military, urban, rural, performance… It’s basically the one weekend a year when France prioritizes their immaterial cultural heritage (opera, circus arts and haute couture craftsmanship) over the more-consumable physical incarnations of their culture (cheese, wine, World Cup trophies).
According to the website, there are approximately 12,800 events scheduled, hundreds of which are in Paris. Visit the Elysée Palace, the Opéra Comique’s costume department, the Cour de cassation at the Palais de Justice, the greenhouses of the Jardin de Luxembourg, listen to an organ concert, or tour endless hôtel particulier like Hôtel de Talleyrand, Hôtel de Beauvau and Hôtel de Massa. Additionally, ticketed sites like the Arc de Triomphe and Saint-Chapelle become free to enter.
See the full map of events here.