The city of Wrocław, located in southwestern Poland, will officially receive the title of 2016 European Capital of Culture next week.
The official opening gala, titled “Awakening”, will take place from 15 – 17 January and will comprise over 100 cultural events, including concerts and exhibitions.
The opening culminates on Sunday 17 January with four parades, each telling Wrocław’s history, beginning in the four corners of the city and converging on the central square. Each of the parades will be made up of artists representing the so-called four “Spirits of Wrocław”: the Spirit of Many Faiths, the Spirit of Innovation, the Spirit of Rebuilding and the Spirit of the Flood. The parades have been designed by British theatre director Chris Baldwin together with French visual artist Philippe Geffroy. More than 2,000 artists are due to take part.
The programme for Wrocław’s year as European Capital of Culture takes on the title “Spaces for Beauty” and draws on the city’s diversity and history of change. Events taking place during the year include an international theatre festival and the 29th European Film Awards. During 2016, Wrocław will also become UNESCO World Book Capital, and will host a special edition of European Literature Night.
San Sebastián, located in Spain’s northern Basque Country, has also been named 2016 European Capital of Culture alongside Wrocław.
Initiated in 1985, the European Capital of Culture project sees the European Union select cities to become European Capital of Culture for a period of one calendar year, during which they host a range of cultural events with a strong European dimension.