The Heritage Days of Land and Mills are a national event highlighting the heritage of the French countryside and its diversity takes place every third weekend in June. Perhaps less known than its Journées Patrimoines sister-event which takes place every 3rd weekend in September, Les Journées du Patrimoine de Pays et des Moulins was created to honour, celebrate and share heritage, landscapes and traditional know-how.
Too often, history is presented as an abstract, depicted on a national scale. Living in an area so culturally and historically rich as the Vendée, it’s sort of normal to drive through the landscape without seeing it. We become conditioned to the vast contours of an ancient castle, or the wings of a windmill frozen against the horizon.
But if history were presented as a puzzle, its many individual pieces are the parts that form the whole picture and they were created not in a factory on a conveyor belt, but over time in the pages of human needs and development. The puzzle pieces present an opportunity to drill down into how they were formed and why, what purpose they served in the immediate and in the wider community.
Through site visits, hiking, discovery tours, demonstrations of forgotten trades and crafts, conferences and youth events Les Journées du Patrimoine de Pays et des Moulins offers locals, expats and tourists a perfect opportunity to discover trades and industries that helped to define a region–from its territory to its local history and way of life.
Events are FREE and takes place on 22-23 June 2019. The overall theme for this 22nd edition is Naturellement DURABLE (Naturally sustainable)
Per the organization's press release: “Heritage can be considered as a unifying element at the local level. In protecting and enhancing it, it generates an economy: trades, dynamics of tourism while transmitting an identity, a terroir. Sustainable development is a global approach in which the valuation of country heritage responds perfectly by preserving our landscapes and our know-how without opposing modernity.
Plan your visits with these handy tools:
** Les Journées du Patrimoine de Pays et des Moulins France Interactive Map
** Les Journées du Patrimoine de Pays et des Moulins Program for Pays de la Loire
** Check our Facebook Group for event announcements/ locations we found interesting.
NOTE: this weekend offers the opportunity to visit historical locations not normally open to the public - often because they are privately owned. While free, it is sometimes necessary to make a reservation.
French people have great pride in local products flavoured by the terroir and quite often the terroir is a product of its history. For the younger generations it's important to learn, for tourists an interesting way to travel deeper, and expats can find in Les Journées du Patrimoine de Pays et des Moulins a different avenue in the multi-faceted integration process.
No matter how you twist and turn it... heritage = treasure! Plan ahead to make it an adventure on 22 and 23 June this year !
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