While the European Heritage Days is an event that is celebrated in many countries across the continent, the original idea was born in France. 2018 will be the 35th edition, which means that for more than three decades visitors has become closer to various monuments, buildings, gardens and other iconic places that are usually closed to public. 

This event will take place this September 15 and 16, and it will be the unique opportunity to discover the lesser known French heritage and participate in the many cultural activities and guided tours that will be organized. 

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The European Heritage Days are celebrated every year on the third weekend of September. For two days, public buildings such as ministries, embassies or city halls which would normally be closed to the public will open their doors, in addition to other locations such as castles or privately owned factories. Won’t you dare to discover the most extraordinary places? 

​These are some of the most peculiar locations that, as a one-off opportunity, you will be able to visit in France during the event.

Élysée Palace (Paris)

The European Heritage Days, a unique occasion to visit places like the Elysee Palace - Images courtesy of wikipedia

This mansion was the property of the Marquise de Pompadour, and later owned by King Louis XV. It adopted the name of “Élysée Palace” in the late 18th century, given its proximity to the Champs Élysées. It is currently an office of the President of the Republic, and is therefore closed to the public most of the year. During this event, you can visit its halls, the beautiful gardens and other locations.

Musée des Arts Forains (Paris)

Located in Parc de Bercy, the Musée des Arts Forains is a true wonderland. It is home to the largest collection of items related to the world of fairs and entertainment. This is a unique place that is sure to dazzle both children and adults. Throughout the year, reservations are required to enter, but not for the duration of this event.

​Hôtel de Ville Louis Pradel (Lyon)

The city hall of Lyon is one of the places that can be visited during the European Heritage Days

The Hôtel de Ville Louis Pradel is actually the Lyon ​City Hall, and it is for this reason that it usually can’t be visited. Many of its halls will be accessible due to this event. Once you walk through its doors, you will realize the grandeur of its ornaments. And more than that, this place reminds many of the Palace of Versailles.

Le Fer à Cheval Soap Factory (Marseille)​

In addition to being an interesting vacation destination, Marseille ​is known across the world for its soaps. This is why visiting a soap factory such as Le Fer à Cheval is the perfect opportunity to know how these products have been manufactured since the mid-19th century. Here soaps are still manufactured the old-fashioned way, so it is sure to be a very enlightening visit.

 The Croix-Rousse Workshops (Lyon)

The history of Lyon cannot be understood without its relationship with the silk industry. And, needless to say, without referring to the thousands of canuts (silk workers) that exercised their trade in the district of the Croix-Rousse. Even though that golden age is now over, it is still possible to visit some workshops as part of the European Heritage Days to discover how they used to work.

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