It’s Time to Think About Tallinn

The annual European Capital of Culture Award has done wonders for tourism in cities across Europe including Istanbul which received the award last year.  This year’s winner, Tallinn, is particularly special, as Estonia celebrates its 20th anniversary of Soviet independence.  To celebrate both the award and the country’s independence Tallinn will be hosting daily art, music, literal and cultural exhibitions throughout the year.

During the year an impressive 251 different events are planned, with one large festival each month, including the Jazzkaar jazz festival in April, Tallinn Old Town Days in June, the Youth Song and Dance Celebration and Tallinn Maritime Days in July, the Birgitta Festival for opera in August and the Black Nights Film Festival in November.  This, the largest cultural event in the history of Estonia, will attract some of the world’s biggest names in art, literature, music, film and culture.

Tallinn Old Town

Tallinn has chosen for its Capital of Culture theme `Stories of the Seashore’, to tell the story of Tallinn and Estonia’s spiritual and cultural associations with the seashore, as the city continues to re-open the city to the sea.  As part of the seashore development the new Estonia Maritime Museum will open in July in the re-developed vast concrete sea-plane hangars, located on the coast to the west of Tallinn centre.  The route to the museum will be along a specially marked walkway, enabling visitors to walk the one kilometre route from the city to the Museum.

A full programme of events has been scheduled and information about the daily events in the city can be found at www.tallinn2011.ee with a `What? When? Where?’ event planner and search engine to help visitors plan the date and itinerary of their visit to Tallinn.

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A Summer of Fun in Estonia

This summer there are all manner of events taking place in Estonia which will no doubt attract many visitors.  First there is the Medieval heritage celebration, when participants dress in Medieval costume and for markets, workshops and street theatre.

Tallinn at night
Tallinn at night

A full list of events throughout the summer are listed below:

Medieval Days, 8 – 11 July
Visit Tallinn’s Old Town between 8th and 11th July 2010 and you’ll think you’ve slipped back in time. A medieval procession opens the event followed by workshops, events and theatre performances, with participants in full Medieval dress. In Town Hall Square a large medieval market is manned by Medieval merchants while musicians and dancers perform on stage. Children are invited to participate in workshops, knight tournaments and other exciting activities and the whole town reverts to a time when Estonia was a major player in the Medieval Hanseatic League.  www.folkart.ee

American Cars in a Medieval setting, 9 – 11 July
To see American cars in a Medieval setting head for Haapsalu from 9th – 11th July when an expo of American cars takes place in the castle grounds, followed by drag-racing and a cruise through the streets of Haapsalu on 11th July.  www.american.ee

The Baltic’s biggest beer festival, 14 – 17 July

The Baltic’s biggest beer festival and the largest open air event in Estonia, the `Summer 2010’ takes place in the Tallinn Song Festival Grounds from 14 – 17 July 2010 when up to 80,000 music fans are expected to attend to see performances by over 100 international bands, including Calvin Harris, the Scissor Sisters and tributes to Sting and George Michael.  www.ollesummer.ee

Tallinn Maritime Days, 16 – 18 July
Between 16 and 18 July, Tallinn’s Maritime Days – the biggest free family event in Tallinn this summer – will be bringing a sailing regatta, a swimming competition a Jazz arena and an amazing boat dance show with a police and Border Guard flying squad to Tallinn Bay.  The 2010 festival will offer more seaside entertainment than ever before.  www.tallinnamerepaevad.ee

Birgitta Festival, 12 – 21 August
Tallinn’s Birgitta Festival is a spectacular and unique opera and ballet festival, held in the ruins of St. Bridget’s Convent, just outside Tallinn centre. This year’s programme includes performances of “Orpheus and Eurydice”, Bizet’s ballet Carmen, Richard Wagner’s opera “Lohengrin”, Rossini’s `Barber of Seville’ and a concert of jazz arrangements of opera music on the final evening, including arias from Carmen, Travita, Don Giovanni and the Magic Flute, Turandot and Tosca.  www.birgitta.ee

Rotermann Estonian Food Market running until 30 September
In the heart of a modern city, experience rural Estonian producers bringing their produce from Estonia’s farms, smallholdings and gardens for sale in the Rotermann Quarter. The food market is open from 10am – 7pm, Weds – Sun (10am – 4pm at weekends), with handicrafts for sale each Sunday from 10am – 5pm,

For a full list of events and to find out what’s on in Estonia, visit www.visitestonia.com and www.tourism.tallinn.ee

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Spring & Summer Events in Lithuania

Uzupis District, Vilnius
Uzupis District, Vilnius

Tourists and locals alike enjoyed the exceptionally festive year Lithuania had in 2009. The country celebrated two significant occasions during 2009: the official 1,000th birthday of its name; and the European Capital of Culture was awarded to Vilnius, encouraging tourists to uncover more about the Baltic gem.  The festivities have not stopped their and this year should prove to be just as much fun…

Kaziukas Fair, 5-7 March, Vilnius
The festival is dedicated to St. Casimir the patron saint of Lithuanian born in the 17th century. It is one of remarkable calendar festivals with deep traditions, each time presenting ingenious handworks, and having no rivals in the surrounding areas. For more information visit www.vilnius-events.lt/en/festivals/kaziukas-fair

Street Musicians Day, 1 May, Vilnius, Klaipėda
On the first Saturday in May thousands of people go out to the streets to play music. Street Musician Day is the event which unites all who speak the world’s most universal language – the language of music. www.gatvesmuzika.lt/en/

15th International classical music Festival “Pažaislis Music Festival”, 30 May – 29 August, Kaunas
The listeners of the most particular taste may find in the schedule of the festival something what interests them, starting from the old music and finishing with jazz, from the subtle chamber music to the grand vocal instrumental pieces, from the modern music premieres to the impressive pageants of Lithuanian dramaturgy in the surroundings of Kaunas Castle. www.pazaislis.lt

Read more…

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Celebrating Chopin in 2010

Delacroix Chopin
Chopin

Today the Polish city of Częstochowa is getting ready for the opening concert of Chopin 2010, marking the bi-centenary of Chopin’s birth.  The next 12 months will be a celebration of the composer Frederic Chopin, as Poland honours his genius with concerts, events, educational programmes, exhibitions and workshops.

The inaugural concert of Chopin 2010 in Częstochowa, famous for its Black Madonna, gets underway at 7pm tonight with a performance of Chopin’s music by the Częstochowa Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra.  Just half an hour later the Warsaw Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra will strike up a chord as the capital pays its own homage to one of Poland’s favourite sons.

Many more events are planned throughout the year, both in Poland and further afield, and you can find out more by logging on to www.chopin2010.pl

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