Wroclaw may stand in the shadow of cities like Krakow and Gdansk but being awarded European Capital of Culture 2016 is certainly helping to put it on the world map. With over a thousand events taking place to mark the yearlong occasion, this is why you should choose Wroclaw.
What is European Capital of Culture 2016?
The European Capital of Culture is an initiative by the European Union (EU), which awards a number of countries each year with the recognition. The idea behind this initiative is to bring Europeans closer together as one entity whilst raising awareness of the richness, diversity and heritage of the EU member countries. This is a huge opportunity for celebration, funding for regeneration and to put the city’s name on the European map.
Wroclaw and the European Capital of Culture
Wroclaw felt it had a strong story to tell. The city went to ruin during World War II, and had been rebuilt and regenerated into a contemporary and multi-cultural city. It recognizes how its past has shaped it into the destination it has become today. It has taken Wroclaw eight years to get here but this year, 2016, is the European Capital of Culture. This investment and vision are not just for 2016 but for years to come. Here are just some of the highlights for 2016. More information and a full list of events is available on their website.
Spaces for beauty
During 2016, over a thousand cultural events are taking place based on the overall theme ‘Spaces for Beauty’. The goal is to promote economic growth, a sense of community and to fund regeneration projects. With European funding, a number of building and art projects have been started and throughout the city, you will see festivals, events, concerts and plenty of other happenings taking place.
UNESCO World Book Capital
On April 23, the city hosted the European Night of Literature, which kicked off Wroclaw’s inauguration as the UNESCO World Book Capital. This status lasts for one year before being passed to another city. With it, brings a series of literary events across the city for readings, talks, walks, exhibitions and much more.
The Flow Quartet
As with all quartets, this art initiative comes in four key parts: People, Space, Sound/Design, and Design, and Dramaturgy. Chris Baldwin has set out to piece together Wroclaw’s past and present, to create a dialogue between the two, through four main projects. It started in 2015, when the city’s bridges were celebrated and transformed into cultural spaces for the enjoyment of the people through a series of events. The official opening ceremony (pictured above) took place in January 2016, with a spectacular show dedicated to the Spirits of Wroclaw and the project will continue until December.
The schedule of the summer activities taking place in the city is long and varied. The listings include:
- the 12th edition of the Brave Festival, an international festival of the people and forgotten cultures
- showcasing European cinema at the T-Mobile New Horizons International Film Festival
- Singing Europe, the largest choral event in Europe
- the first Capital of Rock Festival, with Rammstein and Limp Bizkit
- Authors’ Reading Month
If you are traveling to Wroclaw this summer there is plenty to capture your attention. At the Radisson Blu Hotel, Wroclaw, you will be at the heart of the action near the Market Square. For planning which events you want to be part of, research ahead of your visit or simply ask the hotel concierge for recommendations when you arrive.
Top image © www.wroclaw.pl