Library in former Benedictine's abbey, Amorsbach ©Deutsche Stiftung Denkmalschutz (Roland Rossner)
Aug 14, 2017

Heritage Day in Germany – an excursion into the past

On Heritage Day, or Tag des offenen Denkmals, sites of historical and cultural interest throughout Germany open their doors to the public. It's a fantastic way to delve into the past and gain new insights!

If you've always wanted to explore history up close, then the upcoming Heritage Day on 10 September 2017 provides the perfect opportunity. This nationwide event, which attracts millions of people every year, was first held in 1993 and is run by the German Foundation for Monument Protection. It sees buildings and sites of historical interest that would otherwise be closed or only partly accessible to the public welcome visitors free of charge, inviting them to step back in time.

You can take a stroll through the historical waterworks in Quedlinburg, for example, or gaze at long-lost treasures such as the disc brooch found at 'tomb 292' in Aschheim, Bavaria. Alternatively, head to Eichenzell in Hessen to discover what connects porcelain to the daughter of a Tsar … 'Power and prestige', the theme for this year's Heritage Day, offers the promise of all manner of surprises and sensational stories.

A rare opportunity to peek behind the scenes

On guided tours organised specially for the event, archaeologists, restorers, conservationists and artisans will point out details that are otherwise hidden from the casual observer. They show how the creators of these sites – which range from churches, abbeys and towers to tucked-away corners – sought to convey beauty, prosperity and power in their use of materials, shapes and artistic styles and even in their choice of location.

You can also use Heritage Day, which has its official opening in the city of Oldenburg in Lower Saxony, to find out more about what curators and conservationists do and the methods and techniques that they use. The complete list of over 7,000 participating sites can be found here.