AN ENTIRE WEEKEND CELBRATING A NATION’S HERITAGE

Journees Europeennes du Patrimoine 2020 poster. Photo, normandie-tourisme.fr

Every year in September, most European countries devote an entire weekend to the celebration and exploration of their cultural heritage through the European Heritage Days program.  This year in France it was held on 19th – 20th of the month celebrating the theme “Heritage and Education:  Learning for Life”.

Public and private owners of historic properties, members of associations for the protection and enhancement of heritage, curators, restorers, guardians and chief architects of historic monuments and objects, all mobilised to welcome visitors to hundreds of sites, free of charge.  It’s a wonderful opportunity for everyone to celebrate the beauty and history of their own heritage.

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CELEBRATING CULTURE AT AN ALL NIGHT FESTIVAL

Poster for the 2020 European Nuit des Musees. Photo, moreeuw

The idea of celebrating culture with an annual all-night event that brings together all ages and tastes, started back in 1982 and has since become a world-wide phenomenon.  In France, the Fête de la Musique is held on 21 June every year, and La Nuit des Musées falls around the middle of May.  Events are free, hugely popular, with a festive atmosphere and above all, great fun.

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DISCOVER THE CANAL SAINT-MARTIN NEIGHBOURHOOD IN PARIS

Take a leisurely cruise along the Canal Saint-Martin. Photo, Paris + Plus

For many visitors to Paris, if they know of its existence at all, the attraction of a leisurely boat ride along the Canal St. Martin lies in its being a great way to relax after a frenetic few days packed with sightseeing, or a few too many shopping trips.  Delightful as a canal trip is, there is a whole lot more to this northern part of Paris to discover.

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EXPERIENCE THE UNIQUE ATMOSPHERE OF A CONCERT IN A PARIS CHURCH

A concert in the magnificent Sainte Chapelle. Photo, monuments-nationaux.fr

If you’ve never attended a concert in one of the many historic churches in Paris, you’re in for a very special treat.  The wonderful acoustics, soaring ceilings, beautiful stained-glass windows, timeless stone sculptures and sometimes priceless paintings, all combine to create an atmosphere that cannot be experienced in a regular concert venue.

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DISCOVERING THE PALAIS-ROYAL, PARIS

The Palais-Royal and Gardens. Photo, parisselect

It has always come as a surprise to us that the Palais-Royal, although situated in the heart of Paris, is so often missed by visitors.  Perhaps it’s because the entrance isn’t obvious or perhaps visitors are distracted by a visit to the Louvre, which is opposite.  For a weary visitor, the beautiful gardens of the historic Palais-Royal are a haven of peace and relaxation away from the crowds of the Louvre and the hustle and bustle of the city.

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