Cultural gems open doors

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The Derry public will this weekend get a chance to explore the city’s unique history and architecture as part of the European Heritage Open days.

Ebrington Barracks, the Freemason’s Hall, Culturlann Ui Chanáin and Long Tower Church are among the iconic buildings to open their doors to the public as part of European Heritage Open Days which take place on September 10 and 11.

For the first time people will also be able to download an innovative audio tour of Derry’s Walls as part of the celebrations.

The Playhouse, the Apprentice Boys Memorial Hall, the Tower and Workhouse Museums and Ashbrook House will also allow the public in free of charge.

Environment Minister Alex Attwood says since it launched in 1997, the European Heritage Open Days weekend has become the largest built heritage cultural event in the North.

Across Northern Ireland more than 300 buildings and special events such as walking tours and history re-enactments will be available to the public - all free of charge.

“It provides an opportunity for people to see behind the façades of some of our historic buildings that would not normally be open and also demonstrates the importance that the built environment has in our daily lives,” he says.

“European Heritage Open Days gets better and better every year with more buildings and events. Additionally, three audio tours have been included this year and they are free to download. These provide a new way to explore the historical highlights of Belfast, Derry’s Walls and the Causeway Coastal Route at your own pace.”

More information is available online at www.doeni.gov.uk