In 2023, the Hungarian city of Veszprém is one of this year European Capitals of Culture, along with the entire Bakony-Balaton region. The city of 50 thousand, with its castle towering over it, is only three hours by car from Trenčín. It will open its doors on 21 January with a spectacular event in the city centre, to which admission is free. During the year, Veszprém-Balaton 2023 will bring up to 1,000 events across the region.
In Slovakia, we have little idea of what is hidden under the European Capital of Culture project. Many of us have not experienced it even in Košice. This year we have a unique opportunity to sample something of the offer of the European Capitals of Culture, which is close to us not only by distance.
"Veszprém holds the title with the entire Bakony-Balaton region, which is also known to Slovak holidaymakers. The city of Veszprém itself is very similar to Trenčín. It has about 50 thousand inhabitants, a castle and a university. It is only three hours by car from Trenčín. There will be no European Capital of Culture closer to our title in 2026," says Mirka Gúčiková, PR manager of the European Capital of Culture Trenčín 2026.
Veszprém-Balaton will open its doors on 21 January 2023. The opening ceremony is always the biggest event of the European Capital of Culture and can be imagined as a winter festival.
What will the opening ceremony look like in Veszprém?
"On 21 January, Veszprém's streets, squares, courtyards, cultural institutions, restaurants and pubs will be filled with music, dance and art throughout the city," explains Daniel Swartz, International Communications Manager of the European Capital of Culture Veszprém-Balaton 2023. In addition, visitors will be able to take part in special guided tours of Veszprém's cultural treasures or discover the art and culture of Kaunas, Lithuania, last year's European Capital of Culture. In Veszprém, 25 cities will be presented in this way successively throughout the year, including Trenčín in November.
The day will culminate in a spectacular artistic experience in the city centre named Shine Veszprém, under the direction of Can Togay János. "The nearly one-hour production will consist of a series of successive, interlinked musical performances, dance productions, musical events, a light show and large-scale building projections," adds Swartz. After Shine Veszprém, DJs will be entertaining the streets into the night. The celebrations will continue on Sunday 22 January, which is Hungarian Culture Day. Details of the programme for the opening ceremony can be found here: https://veszprembalaton2023.hu/en/page/opening-event.
From music and dance festivals to exhibitions, gastronomy and wineries, the entire Bakony-Balaton region will offer an interesting programme of up to 1,000 events during 2023. The programme can be found in English and German at www.veszprembalaton2023.hu.
Photos: Veszprém 2023