France's national heritage weekend - Les Journées du Patrimoine - was introduced by the Minister for Culture in 1984. Throughout the weekend (traditionally the third weekend in September), millions of visitors are offered free access to participating local heritage sites that are usually closed to them; anything from large public buildings to private properties. Many events are also organised during the weekend.
Since 1991, the scheme has spread across Europe and the event now takes place in 50 countries. Since 1995, a different theme is chosen each year.
In Reims, the weekend is organised by the city's cultural events department together with the Tourist Office. The city authorities produce a free brochure each year listing those sites in the Reims area that are taking part.