From myths and discoveries to the chaos and cohesion of the 20th century, the House of European History will take visitors on a journey along the path of Europe’s history and challenge them to contemplate its future.
To give visitors a better understanding of the tumultuous events of the 20th century, the permanent exhibition will focus firstly on the convictions and beliefs that defined the 19th century – Europe’s ‘entry into modernity’ – before moving on to consider Europe’s descent into war and destruction.
This will be followed by the search for a better life in an increasingly united Europe.
Visitors will be encouraged to think about the Europe of today, the status and position of the European Union, and the part that everyone can play in shaping Europe’s future.
European Parliament President Antonio Tajani officially opened the House of European History (HEH) last Thursday in a formal ribbon-cutting ceremony held in the presence of former EP president Dr Hans-Gert Pöttering (chair of the Board of Trustees) and Professor Wlodzimierz Borodziej (chair of the HEH Academic Committee). The museum opened to the public on Saturday 6 May.
Mr Tajani said “This house is about the things we have in common, the events we have lived through together. This is indeed not only the House of European History, it is also the Home of European identity and European memory.”
Former EP President Hans-Gert Pöttering, Chair of the Board of Trustees of the HEH said “The House of European History is intended to help citizens to step into the future wisely and with confidence, a future which, from today’s standpoint, looks likely to be troubled and full of threats. It is a house which, by showing us the dynamics of European history, enables us to better understand recent history, as well as the present. “
Professor Wlodzimierz Borodziej, Chair of the HEH Academic Committee, said “Like the Union, the work of the House of European History will never be complete. It will always remain a record of the time in which modified versions of the permanent exhibition and of the subsequent temporary exhibitions will be born. Last but not least, it will remain a record of the disputes about this, our tiny appendix of Asia, where we nest and which we have the right to be proud of.”
The House of European History (HEH) aims to encourage citizens to reflect upon and debate about the history of Europe and of European integration. It wants to increase knowledge, arouse curiosity and, over time, become a place for the exchange of ideas, reflection and debate about Europe and its history, linking up people, institutions and networks dealing with European history. Visitors will be challenged to critically assess European history, its potential and its future.
Exhibits in the HEH permanent exhibition have been brought together from around 300 museums and collections from across Europe and beyond.
“Interactions. Centuries of Commerce, Combat and Creation” is the House of European History’s first temporary exhibition. It will run until 31 May 2018. It illuminates exemplary moments and revealing stories of encounters and exchanges in European history.
The Museum also offers educational programmes; events for local and visiting publics; publications and a range of online information.