Just had a chance to review the N.I. European Heritage Open Days programme
(11 & 12 September 2004, as in most of Europe but not all)
Once again you can make an invidious comparison between the effort being made in the north of Ireland and in the Republic.
The Republic has very few, almost no buildings open that are not usually open in their heritage offering this year. In other words places you could already see otherwise, even on the same day, are mainly featured.
Indeed the ROI programme is so very similar to last years one.
The North, like most or all other countries who have this type of day, manages to get lots of usually closed buildings to open up for public access. In Belfast alone several schools, or educational buildings, are open for example. It might help you if are asked the ultimate Ulster question, Which school did you go to?
In Ulster â€“ entrance is usually free, fairly important for the less well off.
In the Republic many / most places still charge full or reduced fees.
(It is mainly the National Monuments here that offer the concessions too, cue the music to Rip off Ireland as played by band of An Bord Pleanala)
Outside Belfast some possibly interesting places to visit include
Hillsborough Castle, Ebrington Barracks in Derry, which might be gone by next year, or Dromantine House.
Ulster being Ulster, some places do not open at all on the Sunday.
(Stormont curiously is not open on Saturday, but it is on the Sunday â€“ significant?)
A printed programme for the N.I. open days is available at the N.I. tourist office in Nassau Street in Dublin so you can plan your trip.
Probably better than wasting your time seeking Heritage down South.