Welcome to the European Capital of Culture 2015

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Pilsen, the city in the west of the Czech Republic, has officially started its yearlong celebration as a European Capital of Culture 2015. The opening event took place January 17th and attracted some 25,000 people including VIP guests from all over Europe to the city’s main square. More than 200 journalists came to cover the event.

The opening event was called Symphony of the Bells and marked the return of four bells to the tower of the square’s St. Bartholomew’s Church. The new bells rang for the first time that day with music written and conducted by Marko Ivanovič.

The European Capital of Culture project has 600 events scheduled, including new circus and theater performances, concerts and exhibitions. This year will also see a big celebration for the 70th anniversary of the end of the World War II. The budget of the project is approximately 430 million czk. City officials report that there are already more tourists than in January last year. Full programme outline you can find here. Also check our photo gallery below to see amazing pictures of Pilsen.

Every year, the title of the European Capital of Culture is awarded by the EU to two cities from two EU member states with the aim of supporting European cultural cooperation. This support helps to unify Europe by recognizing common cultural values and the protection and development of the cultural wealth of individual member states.

In the past, cities like Patras, Cork, Genoa, Lille, Graz, Salamanca, Liverpool, Vilnius, Pécs, as well as the Slovak town of Košice in 2013 have all boasted the title. Over the years, awareness of this tradition has increased and with it the awareness of the citizens of diversity of the carefully prepared cultural program that accompany the event. Pilsen is not the first Czech city to hold the title, as Prague held it in year 2000.

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