Plzeň, European Capital of Culture
From beer capital to city of culture: Will 2015 change the west Bohemian city's image?
When you say Plzeň (Pilsen), beer is the first thing that comes to most people's minds. The west Bohemian city now has the chance to change its public perception from beer capital to city of culture, however, having yesterday being selected as the 2015 European Capital of Culture.
Ostrava, in the east of the country, was the other Czech candidate competing for the prestigious title of EU culture capital, but this city of heavy industry and coal mining lost out by just one point.
A jury consisting of 11 members (two were missing) made several visits to both cities, carrying out detailed on-site inspections of their plans and visions.
Plzeň, with a population of 167,000, had submitted a highly ambitious plan, which includes building a new theatre and a museum of design and environment. The city also plans to turn the old Světovar brewery into a multi-genre cultural centre. Its slogan: "Pilsen Open Up".
The nomination is to be approved first by Czech Culture Minister Jiří Besser and then by the EU's Council of Ministers.
Plzeň is the second Czech city to become Europe's cultural capital and will share the title with the Belgian city of Mons.
Europe's culture capitals gain access to EU funding (roughly 1.5 million euros) to develop their infrastructure. They stage cultural programs that showcase their culture and history throughout the year. Should the designated cities fail to meet these plans, however, the funding is withheld.
This year's capitals of culture are Istanbul in Turkey, the Ruhr Valley region in Germany and Pecs in Hungary.
Video on YouTube
Švandovo divadlo celebrates 135th anniversary by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV
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State Opera productions are now at Karlín by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV (Foto: Narodni Divadlo)
A long-planned renovation has pushed the program to a new home
Taking Shakespeare to the streets of Prague by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV
One of the Bard's most obscure plays will be performed as a walking tour
4+4 Days in Motion will explore another disused building by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV
The annual performance and art festival will be centered near Old Town Square
Stanislav Libenský Award entrants on display at DOX by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV (Foto: DOX - Natsuki Katsukawa, Japan)
Contemporary glass art from over 30 young international artists is showcased
Red Bull Flying Bach blends classical and hip-hop by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV
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Všichni svatí (All Saints) by Nová Galerie - Prague.TV
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Free opera at Divoká Šárka by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV (Foto: wikipedia)
Smetana's Two Widows will play one show at the outdoor theater
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