our selection of sites opening for the first time

Château de Boulogne, Kermorvan lighthouse, Berthier workshops... many exceptional sites are taking part in the event for the first time on 17 and 18 September.

Kermorvan Lighthouse in Finistère

The most westerly land lighthouse in France, recently restored, opens its doors to the public for the first time this year, 173 years after having guided its first sailors in the Iroise Sea. Lit for the first time in 1849, the square tower, 20 meters high, is located at the end of the peninsula of the same name, renowned for its beautiful walks. Visitors will have to walk about twelve minutes from the car park to be able to admire, from the top of the 77 steps, the port of Le Conquet, the Pointe Saint-Mathieu, the islands and the Trezien lighthouse.

Visit every 20 minutes per group of 10 people maximum. Visits will be interrupted or even stopped in the event of strong winds, stormy weather or heavy rain. Saturday from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. then from 2 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Free, on reservation.

The Château de Boulogne in the Oise

At the end of the 19the century, Charles de Boulogne bought the title of Count and had a unique monument built in Boulogne-la-Grasse, on the remains of the castle of the Lancry family. A real architectural madness, the castle, which became a military camp during the First World War, had been withering away for decades, until it became the subject of crowdfunding. Thousands of co-lords now own the building, which they are committed to safeguarding. One of them, Jean-Pierre Passot, guardian and lover of the place, will lead guided tours this weekend to reveal the secrets of the Château de Boulogne-la-Grasse.

Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. 22 Rue du Flot à Sec, Boulogne-la-Grasse (60). Free, on reservation.

The decor and costume workshops of the Paris Opera

Located on boulevard Berthier, in 17e arrondissement of Paris, the Berthier workshops are dedicated to the manufacture and renovation of decorations for the Palais Garnier. Designed by the architect Charles Garnier, with the help of Gustave Eiffel, the buildings have been listed in the inventory of Historic Monuments since 1990. Exceptionally open to the public, the workshops which house nearly 60,000 pieces, exhibit this weekend unique costumes of various styles and periods worn by the greatest artists. Visitors will also discover ancient Italian painting techniques specific to theater sets.

Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. then from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Ateliers Berthier, 32 boulevard Berthier, 75017 Paris. Free, upon registration. Groups of 15 people.

The Ateliers Berthier are dedicated to the manufacture and renovation of sets and costumes for the Palais Garnier. Copyright Elena Bauer, OnP and Christian Leiber, OnP

Concert at the National Institute for Blind Youth in Paris

If the National Institute for Blind Youth (INJA) is not quite at its first participation in European Heritage Days, the establishment is organizing an organ concert for the first time, Saturday at 5.30 p.m. Dominique Levacque, organist and professor at the INJA, will play works by Jean Langlais and Adolphe Marty on the occasion of the inauguration of the Louis Braille musical circuit, himself an outstanding organist. The "Blind Corner" will also offer various workshops to discover the heritage of the visually impaired (Braille, adapted sport, tactile model of the monuments of Paris, demonstration of guide dogs by the school of Paris, audio description).

Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 56 Boulevard des Invalides, Paris (75). Free.

La Contemporaine: a new cultural hotspot in Nanterre

Inaugurated in 2021 at the entrance to the Paris-Nanterre university campus, La Contemporaine is both a library, archives and a museum, the Atelier de l'histoire. Behind the scenes of this new Hauts-de-Seine cultural center and its collections specializing in the history of the XXe and XXIe centuries are revealed during exceptional visits lasting 1h30.

Guided tour, group of 10 people for each visit. Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Information and registration: 01 40 97 79 00. Free.

Located at the entrance to the Paris-Nanterre campus, La Contemporaine houses a library, archives and a museum. Photo The Contemporary

Rediscover the Richelieu site, historic site of the BnF

After twelve years of work (2011-2016 then 2017-2022) the historic site of the BnF, the "Quadrilatère Richelieu", reopens its doors to the public (in preview) on September 17 and 18 for Heritage Days. Many activities await the public for a cultural and festive visit under the sign of "Réveil". Throughout the course more than fifty artists – dancers, musicians, actors, acrobats – will accompany the public during their visit.

In addition, seven routes have been organized with guide actors to discover the entire site, its nooks and especially its recesses. In the reading rooms of the library, texts by Victor Hugo, Simone de Beauvoir, Anatole France, Georges Perec will be read. Music will also be part of the game with a quartet that will perform works whose scores are in the collections of the BnF, such as the Beethoven trio, and a literary dance will take place in the main courtyard. Anne Solier.

Saturday and Sunday, from 10 a.m. and 11 p.m. 5 rue Vivienne, Paris (75). Free, on reservation.

The oval room of the Richelieu site of the BnF is to be discovered during Heritage Days. Jean-Christophe Ballot - BnF - Oppic

The Hotel Lesdiguières, at the heart of the history of Dauphiné

Built on the site of part of the Gallo-Roman walls of Grenoble, the Hotel Lesdiguières became the town residence of François Duke of Lesdiguières, governor of Dauphiné, from 1602. His descendants set up lounges there with Louis XV woodwork and parquet floors by Hache cabinetmakers, classified as historical monuments. The 1.3 hectare building complex, one of the oldest in the region, also includes a garden known as the "meadow of the Treasury" and now houses the Maison de l'International. It opens its doors exceptionally on the occasion of the European Heritage Days.

Saturday, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Former Hôtel de Lesdiguières, Grenoble (38). Free, by reservation: [email protected]

A perfume factory in Burgundy

Founded in 1920, in the heart of the industrial revolution, the Bourbon-Lancy perfume factory today claims French and artisanal know-how. It proposes to reveal its manufacturing secrets by inviting visitors to enter the perfume cellar and the packaging workshop. An exciting journey punctuated by sensory activities.

Saturday, visits at 10:30 a.m., 3 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. 15 rue des Varennes, Bourbon-Lancy (71). Information and booking: [email protected] or 03 85 89 90 95. Free.

A place of power: the hotel of the Gard prefecture

The European Heritage Days are also an opportunity to discover places of power steeped in history, usually closed to the public. The hotel of the Gard prefecture, in Nîmes, is taking part in the event for the first time and is offering one-hour guided tours for the occasion. Visitors will thus be able to discover the building built in the Napoleonic era, its courtyard and the main staircase, the gardens of the prefectural hotel, the reception rooms, the office of Madame la Préfète and also the departmental operational centre.

Saturday, tours depart at 10 a.m., 11:15 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 2:45 p.m. and 4 p.m. Guided tour. Information: 04 66 36 40 18.10 avenue Feucheres, Nîmes (30). Free.

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