Map of activities

European Cultural Capitals 2016

Wroclaw/Poland and San Sebastian/Spain offer interesting cultural programmes


Both cultural capitals were called two unequal sisters several times: the Polish city Wroclaw (over 600 000 inhabitants), ingrained and grounded in the middle of Europe, as well as the Basque city San Sebastian (nearly 200 000 inhabitants) scenically situated by the sea. They both have in common that they look back on a very difficult and painful history. San Sebastian has been kept in suspense many years through the ETA terrorism, Wroclaw’s population had to struggle longtime with the very radical population exchange after the Second World War. Today both cities use culture as an instrument that creates identity and encourages the peaceful living together in Europe.

With the motto “Cultura para convivir” (culture for living together) San Sebastian will give an example for reconciliation and leave the dark sides of the ETA terrorism behind. Eneko Goia, mayor of San Sebastian, is convinced that culture can help to support the peaceful living together. San Sebastian will therefore especially emphasise this aspect in the official event programme.

For Wroclaw, a city that always brought forth a lively avant-garde, it will be particulary important in 2016 to anchor the culture in the city even more than so far. For Wroclaw’s town president Rafal Dutkiewicz it is an important concern to engage even more citizens in the cultural programmes and to actively involve them. The long queues in front of exhibition centres shortly after the official opening ceremonies at the beginning of January 2016 built confidence. Therefore, one may well be curious, which experiences the city will make in particular with programmes and projects that will focus on urban spaces in problem districts and thereby place great importance to participation.

Further information on the programmes under the homepage of Wroclaw and the homepage of San Sebastian.