A Fine Time to Be in the Netherlands

Posted in on site, opportunities by Editor on September 2, 2010

This annual event (second weekend in September) includes sites all over the Netherlands; this year’s theme in Amsterdam is On the Map while the overall theme focuses on The Nineteenth Century. The following description comes from the Amsterdam pages:

Open Monumentendag / Heritage Days
The Netherlands, 11-12 September 2010

Open Monumentendag (Heritage Days) annually explores and celebrates architecture, both in Amsterdam and the country at large. It is aimed at bringing people into contact with their heritage, and to stir interest in and an understanding of preserving historical monuments. From 11 to 12 September, thousands of historical buildings and sites (about 4,000) are open to the public free of charge. This year’s theme is On the Map.

With a city like Amsterdam that’s partially built on sand, the event gives history lovers a golden opportunity to dip their toes into its architectural sandbox. From Gothic revival and Berlage to modern industrial, what’s not to stop and admire. The focal point this year is On the Map, referring to a variety of maps, topography and architectural plans of buildings that are particularly striking, and which form the subject of the city’s views, postcards and inspiration for drawings, paintings and poems.

Buildings open to the public include listed (graded) churches and castles, monuments due for restoration and icons long gone from Amsterdam’s skyline. On the Map also highlights structure: the relationship between the monument and its surroundings; and the site of the building in relation to the growth of the city.

Besides opening their doors, many locations also organise on-site activities like exhibitions, music and guided tours. Each year around 80 to 85 percent of Dutch municipalities participate in the Open Monumentendag, organised by local committees. In recent years around 900,000 visitors have participated annually, making the Open Monumentendag one of the Netherlands’ premier cultural events.

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