European Capitals of Culture
More than 30 years
The European Capital of Culture is a city designated by the European Union for a period of one calendar year during which it organises a series of cultural events with a strong European dimension.
Wrocław (Poland) is the European Capital of Culture for 2016 along with San Sebastián.
The European Capital of Culture programme was initially called the European City of Culture and was conceived in 1983, by Melina Mercouri, then serving as minister of culture in Greece.
European Capitals of Culture since 1985
1985 Athens Greece
1986 Florence Italy
1987 Amsterdam Netherlands
1988 Berlin Germany
1989 Paris France
1990 Glasgow United Kingdom
1991 Dublin Ireland
1992 Madrid Spain
1993 Antwerp Belgium
1994 Lisbon Portugal
1995 Luxembourg Luxembourg
1996 Copenhagen Denmark
1997 Thessaloniki Greece
1998 Stockholm Sweden
1999 Weimar Germany
2000 Avignon France The year 2000, called the millennium year, was treated by the European Union in a special way, in order to emphasize the enduring heritage and contribution of European cituies to the achievements of world culture and civilization.
Because of that, as many as seven European Union cities were chosen, together with two cities of new member states that were to join the EU on 1 May 2004.
Prague Czech Republic
Santiago de Compostela Spain
2001 Rotterdam Netherlands
2002 Bruges Belgium
2003 Graz Austria
2004 Genoa Italy
2005 Cork Ireland
2006 Patras Greece
2007 Sibiu Romania Sibiu 2007Luxembourg Luxembourg
2008 Liverpool United Kingdom, Stavanger Norway
2009 Vilnius Lithuania, Linz Austria
2010 Essen Germany representing the Ruhr as Ruhr
2011 Turku Finland
2012 Guimarães Portugal
Maribor Slovenia Maribor 2012
2013 Marseille France Marseille-Provence 2013
2014 Riga Latvia
Umeå Sweden Umeå 2014
2015 Mons Belgium Mons 2015
Plzeň Czech Republic Plzeň 2015
2016 San Sebastián Spain San Sebastián 2016
Wrocław Poland Wrocław 2016
2017 Aarhus Denmark Aarhus 2017
Pafos Cyprus Pafos 2017
What is it?
The European Capitals of Culture initiative is designed to:
Highlight the richness and diversity of cultures in Europe
Celebrate the cultural features Europeans share
Increase European citizens’ sense of belonging to a common cultural area
Foster the contribution of culture to the development of cities
In addition to this, experience has shown that the event is an excellent opportunity for:
Raising the international profile of cities;
Enhancing the image of cities in the eyes of their own inhabitants
Breathing new life into a city’s culture
Go visit European Capitals of Europe!