The Opening Weekend inaugurating the year of the European Capital of Culture Wrocław 2016

On January 15 the three-day celebrations of the greatest cultural feast in the history of the city begin in Wrocław. Almost 100 events, including outstanding art and architectural exhibitions, concerts, and spectacles, will take place during the Opening Weekend inaugurating the year of the European Capital of Culture Wrocław 2016.

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Culture will pervade urban space – it will enter the spaces of shopping centres, railway stations and even hospitals. Słodowa Island became a Burning Island, while Nowy Targ Square is filled with food trucks and a tent hosting cultural events. The official beginning of the year of ECoC in Wrocław will be marked by the Sunday “Awakening”- a spectacular march of the Four Spirits of Wrocław with a dazzling finale in Rynek. During the Opening Ceremony, temporary changes to bus and tram schedules, traffic, as well as pedestrian traffic in Rynek will occur.

For three days, Wrocław will be packed with culture. On Friday, January 15, highlights of the Opening Weekend included the vernissage of an exhibition of the outstanding Spanish sculptor Eduardo Chillida entitled “Sonoridades” in Awangarda BWA Wrocław Gallery; a concert of the Symphonic Orchestra of the National Forum of Music conducted by Ernst Kovaćic as part of the “Mercouri/Xenakis” project of the Avant Art Foundation; and a premiere spectacle “Insenso” in CeTA Audiovisual Technology Centre. Two big events are scheduled for Saturday: premiere of a project combining painting, literature, music and theatre “Museum of Dreams”, featuring, for example, Bartosz Porczyk and Jacek Dehnel; and the vernissage of an exhibition dedicated to the most important European award in architecture – „Mies van der Rohe Award” (Museum of Architecture in Wrocław).

Thanks to the “Sounds of Wrocław” project, culture will enter the spaces of shopping centres, museums, hospitals, and railway stations with performances of actors, musicians, and circus entertainers. 15 Infopoints for ECoC Wrocław 2016 will be located around the city centre. Here you can acquaint yourself with the detailed programme for the weekend, warm up by the flames of braziers, and drink some hot tea. Nowy Targ Square will be transformed into an epicentre of entertainment; it will host the Food Truck Festival – Culture of Tastes and SFERA Tent offering a programme packed with concerts, workshops, and film screenings. For Friday and Saturday, Słodowa Island become a Burning Island; people of Wrocław will watch fire shows directed by Aneta Zwierzyńska. These will be complemented by pyrotechnic and smoke displays, as well as burning artistic installations. Also, outdoor multimedia shows will be projected onto the façade of the National Forum of Music (videomapping).

Maps of events, ESK magazine and the Information Centre „Barbara”

Organizers have prepared a special guide for all those willing to participate in the Opening Weekend – Maps of Events, available in Polish, English and German on Wrocław 2016, in the Information Centre of the Opening Weekend „Barbara” (8c Świdnicka Street), 15 infopoints in Rynek („Wrocław Warms Up”) and all the locations of the „Sounds of Wrocław” project. The map, as well as the first issue of a quarterly of ECoC Wrocław 2016, can be also found in pubs, bars and restaurants. For the duration of the Opening Weekend celebrations, “Barbara” will become the main operating centre for the events. Everyone visiting the infopoint on Świdnicka Street will have the opportunity to indulge in the rich and tasty menu of the bistro, find out everything about ECoC, as well as check the locations of all events and the routes for four marches of the Spirits of Wrocław on a large-format map.

Sunday with the „Awakening”

Sunday, January 17, will mark the finale of the Opening Weekend of the European Capital of Culture Wrocław 2016. “Please, help us tell the history of the city! Our joint participation in the parade inaugurating the European Capital of Culture will render the „Awakening” of Wrocław an event on a European scale,” invites Chris Baldwin, the creator and director of the event.

All the information related to the organisation of the European Capital of Culture Wrocław 2016  can be found on

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Source: ESK Wrocław 2016 Press Office

Photo © Grzegorz Rajter /ESK Wrocław 2016