If you happen to find yourself in Estonia this March then make sure you stop off at the third edition of Tallinn Music Week with a line-up of 150 bands and artists from 10 different countries. The festival will take place over three nights (24th to 26th of March) and will include all styles of music from indie-rock and electronic to metal, folk, jazz, contemporary classical and, for the first time this year, a special night of classical music at the Estonia Concert Hall.
London Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 2011 kicks off this Friday and we at Charlotte’s VVeb are particularly excited about the debut of Kristian Steinberg. The London-based Estonian menswear designer will showcase his designs at London Fashion Week for the first time this season. The Central Saint Martins graduate established his label in 2007 and has created dresses for the likes of Kylie Minogue and HRH Queen Rania of Jordan; while fans of his menswear label include Brett Anderson and Billy Bob Thornton. The designer will unveil his autumn/winter 2011 collection Scars on 23rd February 23 at the Rag Factory.
Tallinn is arguably one of the most picturesque and romantic cities in Europe. There is an abundance of chic cafes, gourmet restaurants, and a backdrop including 13th century church spires, red slate roofs and cobbled streets. However, what makes this place THE destination to visit this Valentine’s Day is the fact that it boasts its very own Kissing Hill! This place is one of the most private spots in town, surrounded by trees and dotted with benches. This is just the place for a loving glance, coy smile and passionate embrace!
Book a last minute two-night break with Regent Holidays (Tel: 0845 277 3317; Website: www.regent-holidays.co.uk). Prices from £289 per person, based on two sharing a double room on bed and breakfast basis in the three star l’Ermitage Hotel, including return flights in economy class from London Gatwick with Estonian Air, sparkling wine on arrival and flowers and candles in your room.
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 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.
The theme to the Usedom Baltic Fashion Catwalk held at Berlin Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 2011 was from the Bath Tub for the Berliners to the Fashion Island of the Baltic Sea. The show has been a platform for designers from the Baltic region for more than 10 years. The show featured: Marita Huurinainen (Finland) – Wave and Poems; Agnese Narnicka (Latvia) – Coming Soon; Grosser Heinrich (Germany) – Blue – the foxes of August 2nd; Zanete Auzina (Latvia) – The Dream. Show”; and Sandra Straukaite (Lithuania). Check out our favourite top ten looks from the show below…
This festival, which takes place this year between 28 January and 6 February, was originally initiated by an Estonian early music ensemble Hortus Musicus and its leader Andres Mustonen in 1989 as a series of winter baroque music concerts in the historical Tallinn Old Town and the Tartu University Hall. It soon acquired international recognition, attracting many internationally famed performers including Gustav Leonhardt, Jordi Savall, Barthold Kuijken, Emma Kirkby, Patrick Gallois, Edward Parmentier as well as Liana Isakadze, Michel Lethiec, Natalia Gutman, ensembles Timedance, Consort of Musicke, The Tallis Scholars, Red Priest, Providence, Concerto’91, Kremerata Baltica with Gidon Kremer, Taganka Theatre with Yuri Lubimov.
Since 2002 the Festival has significantly widened its repertoire but visitors are always guaranteed the brilliance of the Hortus Musicus and its Academic Orchestra. Most recently the festival has focused on the interaction between Eastern and Western music cultures.
Following the opening night’s Golden Bach, this year’s programme includes the works of Dufay, Monteverdi, Byrd, Händel and a new opus from Giya Kancheli. The Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, Hortus Musicus, Ramin Bahrami, I Virtuosi Italiani, Stile Antico will all perform at the festival.
Christmas Markets are a true highlight of the advent period and are sure to get everyone into the festive spirit. Head to one of the many markets in Eastern Europe to enjoy some real festive fare including local wine, beers, sausages and artisan crafts. Here’s our top ten…
During Advent Vienna is a city of nostalgia and romance with many concerts, nativity displays and traditional Christmas markets taking place throughout the city. The most renowned markets include the Viennese Christmas Markets on Freyung, at Spittelberg, at Am Hof and in front of the church of St. Charles Borromeo (Karlskirche).
Prague, Czech Republic
Christmas is a special time of year in Prague and the Christmas markets (Vanocni trh) are a key ingredient in the Czech festive magic. The Prague Christmas markets bring visitors and locals together to share the holiday spirit in a true ‘winter wonderland’ setting. The main markets can be found at the Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square with smaller ones at Namesti Republiky and Havelske Trziste. Open 9am to 7pm daily.
The Festive Fair, held in the Town Centre (Breg and Cankarjevo nabrežje embankments, Prešernov trg square) is well known for its vibrancy and cheerful atmosphere. Festively decorated green stalls, designed specially for the fair, sell a fine choice of products suitable for giving as gifts including food and drink, clothes and fashion accessories. Open from 10am to 10 pm daily.
Each festive season Nuremberg’s Old Town is decorated in its Christmas regalia and the tempting aromas of mulled wine, sweet roasted almonds, sausages and gingerbread create a truly unforgettable atmosphere. The Christkindlesmarkt is situated in the heart of the city which is steeped in more than 400 years of tradition providing an international showcase for all Franconian and German Christmas Markets. While younger visitors can enjoy the Kinderweihnacht (Children’s Christmas Market) where historic steam-powered merry-go-rounds and other activities are waiting for them. Open from 9.30am to 8pm Monday to Thursdays, 9.30am to 10pm Fridays and Saturdays, 10.30am to 8pm on Sunday.
Cologne holds an impressive seven Christmas Markets. The four largest Christmas markets are located at Cologne Cathedral, on the Alter Markt (Home of the Heinzel Christmas Market), on the Neumarkt and on the Rudolfplatz (Fairytale Christmas Market). Every year these four markets attract almost 2 million visitors. Open every day from 11am to 9pm.
With well over 50 Christmas Markets and advent bazaars every year, Berlin features prominently on Germany’s calendar of Yuletide events. A popular market is situated next to Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church amidst the bustle of shoppers on the high street between the Kurfüstendamm and Tauenzien. The Berlin Christmas Market shown on the map on the left is WeihnachtsZauber situated on the Gendarmenmarkt. This is probably one of the most popular markets in Berlin and is well sited in terms of nearby hotel accommodation. Open 9am to 9pm daily.
One of the most popular Christmas fairs in Europe awaits the lovers of winter programmes this year again in the heart of Budapest, in Vörösmarty Square. There are more than 100 wooden pavilions, which sell unique high quality folklore and applied arts products. Christmas decorations, small presents, candles, gloves, woollen hats, wrought iron and woven products are also sold here, as well as other special articles that cannot be found anywhere else. You can experience the real wonders of winter while enjoying traditional products that have been evaluated by a jury, and satisfying your appetite at typical Hungarian buffets, which offer mulled wine, kürtoskalács (sweet Hungarian pastry), roast chestnuts and other market snacks. Open 10am to 8pm daily.
Sibiu Christmas Market is one of the most popular events of the year in the city. Being the first traditional Christmas Market opened in Romania, it was first held in 2007, in the Little Square located in the downtown area, with a total number of 38 wooden cabins. In 2008 and 2009, Sibiu Christmas Market took place in the Large Square, one of the best places to be visited in the historical center of the city. Open from 10am to 9pm daily.
Cologne in London, UK
Once again Londoners and visitors to the city can enjoy a taste of Cologne this Christmas at the London Southbank Christmas Market. While wandering about, look for and find unusual Christmas presents such as amber and silver jewellery, hand-crafted toys, fragile glass ornaments for your Christmas tree, hand tatted laces, tin toys, candles in all shapes and sizes, hand-made ceramics and creative metal design. Sip on a glass of glühwein or bottle of Kölsch” and nibble on some gingerbread hearts, roasted almonds and candies or even a delicious crepe. Open 11am to 8pm Mondays to Thursdays, and Sundays, 10am to 10pm Fridays and Saturdays.
Estonia’s medieval capital is inherently festive and though temperatures do dip quite drastically this time of year, the city’s celebratory atmosphere does well to dispel the cold. Tallinn’s Christmas Market may be one of the most recently established but it is now among the most well-loved in Europe. December’s darkness is dispelled with colourful lights, music and an abundance of activity. Head to Tallinn’s Town Hall Square, Raekoja Plats, and visit more than 50 merchant stalls featuring products by local artisans. These stalls surround a beautiful Christmas tree. Open daily from 10am to 6pm.
Symbolically, the Tallinn Light Festival celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2010, continuing to offer art projects in public space during the darkest time of the year. The conception of the Light Festival is not solely centered on light art and design, but also offers possibilities in various fields of culture and for different age groups. The 10th festival will be marked by a selection of artists and works that have participated in the Festival during these 10 years, but they are presented in new situations. The main axis of the spots of events is formed by 11 cultural cauldrons many of which have started to boil during these 10 years and that have accommodated the festival by chance: Battery Prison, Cultural Factory, Telliskivi Environment for Creative Industries, Polymer, Baltika Quarter, Latin Quarter, Tartu Yeast Factory, Pärnu Museum of Modern Art, Von Krahl Theater, Rotermanni Quarter.
The agenda follows the last year’s pilot of moving the opening of the Festival to Christmas time, thus supporting the developing idea of the Winter Festival introduced bu the town government. The programme starts in the Christmas teepee on the 20th of December and the winter solstice journey on the 21st of December. Light installations can be seen primarily within the period from Dec 29th to Jan 10th, on the 12th and 13th of January the projects in Tartu and Pärnu are opened. Traditional burning of the fire sculptures made from old christmas trees takes place in the Fish Market on 16th and Mustamäe on 17th of January. On the 30th of January the Festival reaches its apogee in Kadriorg with the Fire and Ice Show. This years cold winter also hopefully enables the building of the Snowtown in Tallinn and to greet the year of tiger on Valentine’s Day.
The 14th Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival will takes place from 19th November to 5th December 2010. This is a particularly unique event combining a feature film festival with the sub-festivals of animated films, student films and children/youth films. The festival aims to present Estonian audiences a comprehensive selection of world cinema in all its diversity with the emphasis on European films, providing a friendly atmosphere for interaction between the audience, Estonian filmmakers and their colleagues from abroad. Alongside this festival there will be a number of others taking place in the Baltics this winter. Check out the programme below…
Black Nights Film Festival main programme (24 November – 5 December) – International competition programme EurAsia and Tridens Baltic feature film competition.
Student and Short Film Festival Sleepwalkers (20 – 24 November) – International competition of student films from previous 2 years.
Animation Film Festival Animated Dreams (19 – 23 November) – Competition of short animations from previous 2 years.
Children and Youth Film Festival Just Film (19 – 28 November) – Competition of children’s films and youth films.
Nokia Mobile Phone Film Festival MOFF (1 September – 3 December) – Competition of short films made with mobile phones.
Black Market Industry Screenings (1-3 December) – regional cinema and audiovisual market focusing on the new films from the neighbouring regions and smaller film industry countries.
During the festival Baltic Event film and co-production market (1- 4 December) takes place, which screens the newest feature films from the Baltic countries along with a co-production market open for projects from the Baltics, Central and Eastern Europe, Russia and Scandinavia.
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.
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,