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Patrimony Days in France

An article (Près de 12 millions de Français ont profité des Journées du patrimoine, September 19) in Le Monde says that the number of visitors taking part in the 21st annual Journées du patrimoine this weekend increased by a half-million over last year. The idea is to open up all sorts of historical buildings to all visitors, for free, for a weekend, to give everyday French citizens the chance to connect with their cultural history. Although the focus this year was on science and technology, some of the big sites were the same as every year: Mont Saint-Michel (13,058 visitors), Cluny (5,400 visitors), the menhir fields at Carnac (2,250 visitors), Chambord (9,249 visitors). One site that was new to me was the Château d'Antoine d'Abbadie in the Aquitanian town of Hendaye, where this is a collection of historic astronomical instruments.

There is lots more coverage, which will disappear into the archives soon, from Le Figaro. To find out more about what the National Patrimony Days are, here are my posts on the event last year, on September 19 and September 25, 2003.

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