EXCEPTIONAL locations around France – such as the “rock houses” in Alsace pictured here - will be open to visit on the Journées du Patrimoine later this month.
Called European Heritage Days in English, the event on September 20-21 is now marked across the continent, but was inspired by France’s Journées Portes Ouvertes which started in 1984.
It is a chance to see special places, many usually closed to the public, and usually free of charge, often with extras like guided tours, workshops, talks and concerts.
This year the event is themed on the link between the natural scenery and human culture – so it is focusing especially on places like the Maisons des Rochers at Graufthal Eschbourg, which are open for free guided tours on Sunday September 21 at 11.00 and 16.00. These “semi-troglodytic” homes were built under overhanging rock and were extensively restored in the 1980s.
To find out what is happening in your area, visit the website, which has just gone live for this year’s events: Journées du Patrimoine
Scroll down on the homepage to put in your region and/or department and, if you want, narrow the choices down further by types of activity, whether the location is open “exceptionally” (ie. it is not usually possible to visit it) etc.
Photo: Frédéric Engel