La Journée de Patrimoine 2023

Journee de patrimoine 2023 in the kiosk

La Journée de Patrimoine 2023

18 september 2023

La Journée de Patrimoine 2023

18 september 2023
Familie den Hartog
Last Sunday we had a group of about 60 people come visit the château. Not just a random visit though, it was La Journée de Patrimoine.

Each year in September, several European countries organize heritage days. On these days monumental buildings open their doors to the general public. 
Here in France, there are many heritage buildings, and it's quite fun to see what is being organized. Some privately owned buildings 'just' open their doors, other buildings that are normally also open organize all kinds of activities.

Why do we participate in la Journée de Patrimoine with Château de Pazayac?

Château de Pazayac is currently not a listed monumental building. Something which amazes us by the way, as she is nearly 500 years old! The advantage that gives us, is that we can do what we want, without interference from the foundations. For example: if we want to replace windows, we can do that without counseling.

It also means that we are not obliged to open our doors to the public, something you are when you are listed. So why do we do it anyway?

We think it's important!
So far, we've only participated in small local events, organized by our own community. This means the visitors are all people from the area, Pazayac itself, or surrounding communities.

The visitors we've gotten are mostly people who know the château from the view from the road, but who have never seen the back, or the terrain.
The previous owners have never opened the doors, so we got a lot of people who were born and raised in Pazayac, and who are well in their years but have never visited.

We honestly think that's a shame! The château is such a beautiful building, and the locals are generally very proud of our village. We love to combine those two and open up a bit.

Drinks after la journee de patrimoine

Should we try to make some money?

It sounds awful, right? If you put it like that. 
But, not being a listed monument also means that we don't get any government support for the maintenance of the château. Meaning: if we need a new roof, we'll have to pay for that ourselves. To give you an estimate: around € 150.000,-.

Looking at it that way: we need all the extra money we can get. There are plenty of monuments that charge an entrance fee on La Journée de Patrimoine.

But it would also mean that we need to do a bit more than we have done so far. Offer access to the toilet for example!

It's an interesting idea, but we need to think about it.

What did we do for the past three editions of La Journée de Patrimoine?

We had just moved into the château in June, but we wanted to let the community know that we were open to sharing our château with others. So, we invited the local events group to have a drink in our courtyard after their regular program for la Journée de Patrimoine. 
It was meant to be just a drink in the courtyard, but we decided to open up a few rooms for people to look in. It ended up with me doing a tour for three groups and showcasing my not-so-great-yet-French.

Ayla giving a tour on the Jour de Patrimoine

We didn't do anything ourselves, since we just had baby Milou and weren't up for the whole village in our house. 
As a family activity, we visited the Château et Jardins de Losse. They had a display of all kinds of craftspeople who work on châteaux. Think stonemasons, people who gild intricate frames, etc.

This year we felt up to it again, so when asked to host, we immediately said yes! The event's organization asked a flutist to come play in several spots in the village. Among other places in the courtyard of a grand maison, in the church, and to finish it off in our kiosk!
We have been told that the kiosk must have once been built for creative purposes. Reading poetry, making music. So when there was talk of a musician coming, we directly said: kiosk!
And it was great. Even though it is an open structure, the music resonates very well in there and the concert was beautiful to hear.

And that's la Journée de Patrimoine so far!
Do you have good suggestions as to what we can organize for future editions?

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