Every year millions of Europeans visit historical monuments and sites throughout Europe on European Heritage Days. These are a joint initiative of the Council of Europe and the European Union in which over forty countries participate each year. The main aim of European Heritage Days are to promote awareness of our built, natural and cultural heritage and to promote Europe’s common cultural heritage. In Ireland we celebrate European Heritage Days with a full week of events throughout National Heritage Week.
National Heritage Week is coordinated by The Heritage Council and its aim is to build awareness and education about our heritage thereby encouraging its conservation and preservation.
Each year, during the last week of August, many national and hundreds of local community organisations participate by organising events throughout the country. Many of the events that take place during the week are free and the programme highlights the abundance of great work that is carried out in all communities in Ireland to preserve and promote our natural, built and cultural heritage.
The Heritage Council assumed the role of coordinator of National Heritage Week from the Department of the Environment, Heritage & Local Government in 2005. Since then the week has grown into a highly successful programme of over 1700 events which take place during the last week of August each year.
National Heritage Week 2015 will run from August 22nd to 30th.