Plovdiv has been the only Bulgarian city so far to host the European Capital of Culture initiative. In 2019 our city celebrated this landmark cultural initiative of the European Union.

What happened a year ago

Each month in “What Happened a Year Ago” we look back at some of the highlights in our programme during the landmark year 2019. We call to mind this incredible energy and focus on the efforts and creativity of the hundreds of partners who joined in our programme. More than 300 projects and nearly 600 events engulfed Plovdiv but also the entire South Central Region as well as the cities in the second round of the competition for hosting the title — Varna, Sofia and Veliko Tarnovo.

January 2019

We Are All Colors,” the opening ceremony on 12 February 2019, was a symbolic recreation of the programme’s four thematic platforms—Fuse, Transform, Revive and Relax. It was done as a succession of images, music, light and dance, involving more than 1,500 performers from Bulgaria and abroad.

A programme of more than 30 events welcomed Plovdiv’s guests over the long weekend of 11-13 January for the
Opening of European Capital of Culture 2019.

We launched “SMOKE. Tobacco Stories” (11 January–28 March), the exhibition that introduced the European
Capital of Culture 2019. Dedicated to Tobacco City, it was one of the programme’s highlight projects.

We also saw the outdoor exhibition “Art Liberty–From the Berlin Wall to Street Art” (12 January–5 April), the only
travelling exhibition of original fragments from the Berlin Wall marking the 30th anniversary of the fall of the emblem of East-West division.

The children’s science centre Muzeiko was in Plovdiv throughout the year, presenting some of the most popular
discoveries of the 19th and 20th centuries, showcased in “Eureka” (13 January–31 December), the travelling
exhibition hosted by the Museum Centre for Contemporary History.

Plovdiv also welcomed “The Unlit Yards” (13 January–8 February, City Art Gallery), the unique exhibition
dedicated to the noted Bulgarian writer Yordan Radichkov in celebration of his 90th anniversary.

Boundlessly About Kolyo K.” (7–30 January) was a large-scale retrospective in the City Art Gallery which presented the multifarious body of work of the noted Plovdiv artist Kolyo Karamfilov.

Check the Opening Weekend

programme HERE.



General partners

EU Japan Fest

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