Three new Capitals of Culture for 2023
From January 1, three cities hold the title of European Capital of Culture for 2023 in Europe – Elefsina (Greece), Timisoara (Romania) and Veszprém (Hungary).
Opening: 4 – 5 February
The city’s artistic programme for the year is called the “Mysteries of Transition,” taking its cue from the Elefsinian mysteries of ancient Greece. It kicks off with an opening ceremony on 4-5 February, with another 465 events involving 130 projects throughout the year.
The programme has three main elements: people/society, environment and labour. Environment will have a special focus as a subject inextricably linked with the challenges Elefsina as a (post)industrial city – as well as the wider world – is facing.
Elefsina is the fourth city in Greece to hold the title. Athens, the birthplace of the European Capitals of Culture (ECoC) programme, was the first city in Greece to hold it.
Opening: 17 – 19 February
In 1884, Timișoara was the first city on mainland Europe to have electric street lighting. In 1989, the sparks of the Revolution against Ceaușescu’s regime were ignited on the streets of Timișoara. In 2023, the Timișoara European Capital of Culture will light up with conversation about courage and diversity.
Under the theme “Shine your light – Light up your city!” the programme kicks off with opening events on 17-19 February. The programme is structured around people, places and connections.
Throughout the year there will be learning opportunities (conferences, seminars, workshops), exhibitions, performances and many music and performative arts festivals.
Timisoara is the second city in Romania to hold the ECoC title, after Sibiu in 2007.
Opening: 21 – 22 January
Veszprém, Hungary, the ‘City of Queens’, is the second Hungarian city to hold this prestigious title after Pécs in 2010. It is a regional title that is shared with the Bakony-Balaton region.
Over 100 towns and villages in three neighbouring counties have cooperated to develop literally thousands of ambitious and exciting projects in 2023 – and beyond.
The Grand Opening takes place in Veszprém on 21-22 January. Under the title “Come shine with us!” the year-long programme for events includes music and dance festivals, art exhibitions, performance art and the gastro and wine scene, and much more.
About European Capitals of Culture
In 1985, the then Greek Minister of Culture, Melina Mercouri, started the European Capital of Culture initiative. It has since become one of the most high-profile cultural initiatives in Europe.
Cities are selected based on a cultural programme that must have a strong European dimension, including
- promoting participation and involvement by city inhabitants, communities and stakeholders
- contributing to the long-term development of the city and its surrounding region
Read more about the initiative and see future and past European Capitals of Culture