European Heritage Days (EHD) Launched in 1985 in France. John Gerrard, then Director of the Scottish Civic Trust, saw the European Heritage Days scheme operating in Europe, and decided to pilot it in Scotland. In 1990 Glasgow (European City of Culture 1990) and Ayr hosted the first ever Doors Open Days (DOD) in Scotland. The celebrations have grown over the years to include almost every region in Scotland.
Doors Open Days is proud to be a longstanding part of a pan-European scheme celebrating heritage and history throughout the month of September. EHD focus on a different theme each year, and this year EHD is celebrating the intrinsic relationship between people and nature: “Heritage and Nature: A Landscape of Possibilities”.
So, do any events and venues taking part this year in DOD celebrate EHD's theme of heritage and nature?
Dumfries & Galloway (9th)
visit the Whithorn Trust's replica Iron Age Whithorn Roundhouse - built in 2016 after archaeologist unearthed a perfectly preserved large settlement. There will be dressing up for children, and an Iron Age Barbecue!
Visit a miniature recreation of a Pictish Fort in Moray and see a display of a recent archaeological dig that uncovered a previously unknown Pictish Longhouse and 1100 year old coin! Get access to the Burghead Visitor Centre offering an unrivalled view to spot Moray Firth dolphins, seals and possibly even whales.
In Aberdeenshire, experience the magnificent sandy sweep of Montrose Bay; towering volcanic cliffs, yellow dunes, and a spectacular wildflower meadow that supports a number of rare plants and insects. In celebration of EHD’s theme join poet Petra and ranger Therese for a walk along the beach of St. Cyrus Nature Reserve to explore tales of salmon fishing, bait and lost boats.
In Glasgow you can bring along a picnic and listen to some fantastic classical chamber music performances in the heart of The Hidden Gardens; a beautiful greenspace dedicated to peace, where people can escape the busy city streets.
Each year Scotland flings open its doors and welcomes visitors to explore their heritage and celebrate our cultural diversity. This year over 1000 buildings are opening their doors across Scotland throughout September.
European Heritage Days has been organised as a joint initiative of the European Union and the Council of Europe since 1999. EHD highlight the diversity of local skills, traditions, architectural styles and works of art that constitute shared European Heritage.
Celebrated in 50 signatory States to the European Cultural Convention, EHD enables citizens to explore a wide range of cultural assets through a number of themed events organised for free.