European Capitals of Culture

Guimarães - Capital of Culture


European Capitals of Culture

Guimarães – European Capital of Culture – Portugal

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 – See, A Special Day in Tuscany

1987 Amsterdam  Netherlands

1988 Berlin  Germany

1989 Paris  France – Related: Paris Worldwide

1990 Glasgow  United Kingdom

1991 Dublin  Ireland

1992 Madrid  Spain

1993 Antwerp  Belgium

1994 Lisbon  Portugal

“Follow me to Portugal” is now live at Amazon

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 cities 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.

Bergen  Norway

Bologna  Italy

Brussels  Belgium

Helsinki  Finland

Kraków  Poland

Prague  Czech Republic

Reykjavík  Iceland

Santiago de Compostela  Spain – See St James Way

2001 Rotterdam  Netherlands

Porto  Portugal

2002 Bruges  Belgium

Salamanca  Spain

2003 Graz  Austria

2004 Genoa  Italy

Lille  France

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

Istanbul  Turkey

Pécs  Hungary

2011 Turku  Finland

Tallinn  Estonia

2012 Guimarães  Portugal


Maribor  Slovenia Maribor 2012

2013 Marseille  France Marseille-Provence 2013

Košice  Slovakia

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:

  • Visiting the Best European Destinations  and Regenerating Cities
  • 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
  • Boosting tourism



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