After that first Journée Portes ouvertes dans les monuments historiques (Historical Monuments Open House) on the third Sunday in September. The Sunday visits became so successful, that in 1992 the event became a day-two French affair taking place the third weekend in September. The name changed to Journées du Patrimoine. Europe adopted the name Journées européennes du patrimoine in 2000.
For the French, this is an opportunity to visit their national monuments that are closed to the public or have limited access the rest of the year.
The visits include national monuments, churches, theaters, castles, private residences, banks, parliament buildings, government buildings, justice buildings, city halls, chambers of commerce.