Opening ceremony in Vesprem

Exactly one year ago, Kaunas entered an important stage – last January, the European Capital of Culture year was opened with the program “Confusion”. Today, these experiences are relived by three other European cities – the map of Capital of Cultures leads to Vesprem, Elefsina and Timișoara.

The title of Capital of Culture not only provides an opportunity to implement rich cultural programs and promote tourism, but also to increase the need for culture, and to involve various cultural sectors in the process. Thousands of artists, institutions, volunteers and citizens participate in the projects.

Last weekend the year of the Capital of Culture was opened in Veszprem. On February 4 the events will start in Elefsina and will be followed by Timisoara on February 17.

Opening ceremony in Vesprem

Vesprem will take to Kaunas for a week

The European Capital of Culture year in Veszprem started on January 21. On Saturday morning various city museums and galleries opened their doors to visitors, offering exhibitions and guided tours.

The most anticipated event of the weekend – the official opening ceremony – took place later in the evening in three locations: Old Town Square, Kossuth Street and the Castle. Thousands of spectators flocked to watch the hour-long production of music, dance, light painting and building projections. Promising a magical, dreamy, and at the same time slightly grotesque and humorous performance, the organizers gathered a team of professional artists – the opening event was created by international and national award-winning choreographers, dancers, musicians and film directors. After the grand opening, electronic music lovers flooded various spaces of Vesprem, where the night program took place.

In 2023 Vesprem celebrates not only the year of the European Capital of Culture but also the 200th anniversary of the national anthem. Thus, the weekend programme included theatre performances, cultural walks and exhibitions, as well as, a joint Hymn recital.

In 2023, the project is bringing creative talents from 25 countries to Veszprém and the Bakony-Balaton region. Every two weeks, new artists from different cities will visit Hungary and present exhibitions, performances and events. The attention of Vesprem residents and guests last week turned to Lithuanian artists – Kaunas was the first one to present an international program. Concerts by Daumantas Lukošiūnas and “CinaMon” took place in the city, while the creative writing workshop with Sandra Bernotaitė, a photo exhibition by Remis Ščerbauskas, and a screening of the film “Folds” by artist Aideen Barry are awaiting in the upcoming days.

Daumantas Lukošiūnas performing in Vesprem

Elefsina: attention to people and the environment

Elefsina is an industrial city, home to the most important religious celebrations in the ancient world, as well as, the birthplace of Aeschylus. The city’s fabric comprises extraordinary traces of antiquity, modern stories of population displacement, labour movements and industrial and cultural development, making it a unique historical landmark of ancient and modern Greek history. All these aspects are expected to be revealed in more than 400 cultural events during the year. Focus in 2023 will be shifted towards three main axes – people and society, work and environment. Performances and exhibitions of 192 Greek and 137 international artists are planned this year.

The grand opening event will take place on February 4 on the seafront of the city. The celebrations begin with the arrival of four large processions, land and sea, symbolically coming from distinct points of Europe, Attica and the city of Elefsina itself. An informal procession will also be the arrival of all visitors and invitees to the grand event of the Opening Ceremony. Until late at night, the city of Elefsina will celebrate with a rich program of exhibitions, concerts, parties and a multitude of parallel events throughout the city.

Virginija Vitkienė in Veszprém-Balaton 2023

Shine your light in Timisoara

“Shine your light! Light up your city!” – with these words, Timisoara welcomes the year of the European Capital of Culture. The motto is an invitation to a double mobilisation: on the one hand, citizens are invited to express their values and attitudes, and on the other hand, to remove the darkness and passiveness around them through a civic process fuelled by culture.

For many years, Timișoara has been the centre of changing nationalities, religions and cultures. “When Timișoara became complacent and conformist, it stagnated” – believes the organizers. “With the European Capital of Culture title, but also with the Opening, we want Timișoara to celebrate and rediscover this spirit. It has the courage and openness to be a good host for experimentation and collaboration, whether we are talking about arts, technology, architecture, education or culture in general.” Before and after the grand opening, music, visual arts, conferences and various exhibitions will take place in Timișoara.