Cork City Council A Cork City Council Initiative
Cork City Council A Cork City Council Initiative

15 years of Cork Heritage Open Day

Cork Heritage Open Day celebrates 15 years this year with a programme bursting with activities for all the family. For one day only many of Cork’s landmark buildings will open their doors to the public inviting them to explore their rich and vibrant history on Saturday, August 17th.

Cork’s stories and traditions, folklore and heritage will come to life on the day, thanks to the team behind Cork Heritage Open Day, that is so passionate about preserving the City’s fascinating legacy.

“For the past 15 years, Cork Heritage Open Day has seen the doors of many landmark building thrown open to welcome the young and old to immerse themselves in their rich histories”   said Lord Mayor of Cork City John Sheehan “From face painting to tours to  re-enactments, this event isn’t just for history buffs, but for everyone who loves the unique built heritage of Cork.”

While all events are free of charge, some taking place at the more popular venues must be booked in advance. As well as almost 40 buildings taking part, a series of five self-guided walks have also been created to help people plot their perfect Cork Heritage Open Day.

This year’s programme sees the return of firm favourites like St Fin Barre’s Cathedral, where free guided tours will take place every hour. There’ll also be a demonstration of the cathedral bells in the North Bell Tower during the day.

Why not step behind the curtain at the Everyman Theatre and walk the hidden histories in an immersive backstage tour or join the guided walking tour exploring Cork’s historic spine.

A new addition to this year’s programme is the former Cork Savings Bank, on Parnell Place where architect Gareth O’Callaghan will lead tours throughout the day.

This year’s social media competition invites members of the public to record their own memories of Cork Heritage Open Day, to be in with a chance to win a midweek night for two and dinner at The Metropole Hotel or a €250 voucher for Brown Thomas Cork. Children can also get in on the action and win a family pass to Blackrock Castle Observatory in the annual The Echo Kidz Zone Colouring Competition.

Cork Heritage Open Day is organised by Cork City Council as part of National Heritage Week in partnership with the Heritage Council and is proudly supported by media sponsors, The Echo and Cork’s 96FM.

“There’s still time to get involved in Cork Heritage Open Day!” said Niamh Twomey Heritage Officer with Cork City Council.  “Volunteers are key to making this event a unique and special day, and we’d love to hear from anyone interested in supporting this event by joining the volunteer team!”

For a full list of events and booking details, visit or pick up a brochure at Cork City Library or Cork City Tourist Information Office on Patrick’s Street.

To become a volunteer, contact Volunteer Coordinator Deirdre McCaffrey