Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Capital of Culture, Capital of Beer

Plzen, or Pilsen, as you may know, is the town where I live. And last week the news were great for this town of 170.000 people: Plzen has won the contest to become European Capital of Culture in 2015. The title is to be shared with the Belgian town of Mons. Congratulations to the team behind this success: they defeated the excellent candidature of Ostrava and this was no easy task as the North Eastern town has worked hard to rebuilt itself from it's mining past into a fun place. But Plzen's passion and the effort put into creating it's future, paid off.

Ever since I first came to Plzen I felt the town prepare itself for the big party that took place on Thursday last week, the day the winner was announced. All year long there were cultural activities such as several national and international film festivals, the international festival of folklore (with a decade of history behind it), historical festivities, open air theater and so on.


Plzen had projects that go beyond this candidature as it prides itself in being a place for good food, good music, quality entertainment, a stage for modern and classical. It's all about bon vivre a la Czech.

The plans for the following year include a new museum and cultural center in an old Brewery, exhibitions, and more activities. Besides being the capital of beer, Plzen is also a fun town to leave in. And it's not afraid of controversies: the Techmania museum will host David Cerny's very peculiar art work on the European Union: Entropa.

There are a lot of things to look forward to in the next period, so come have a beer in the big square in Plzen, or have a goulash for lunch at one of the big Hospoda or Czech style restaurants. You can enjoy a  concert in the Sinagogue or see the new additions of the Zoo. There is really something for everyone in this town.


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