On March 24, 2016, Rijeka was awarded the prestigious title of European Capital of Culture 2020 for the Port of Diversity program, which aims to create a city of culture and creativity for Europe and the future.
The selection process took almost two years and took place through the Ministry of Culture. The basic idea of the European Capital of Culture project is to connect European citizens by presenting and learning about the cultural diversity of the countries that make up Europe's total wealth. In the year of the title, ECOC cities have the opportunity to showcase the customs, events and artists of their country and to host European and international artists who represent the culture of other countries.
Rijeka is also the first Croatian city to carry this title. Having become the European Capital of Culture, Rijeka has been included in the list of some sixty European cities that have carried this title so far, such as Dublin, Liverpool, Athens, Rotterdam, Genova and many others.
This year, Rijeka carries this prestigious title, and the citizens of Rijeka and Primorje-Gorski Kotar County become ambassadors of Croatia to European cultural audiences and visitors from all over the world. Rijeka is placed under the lights of European floodlights and offers all its citizens, citizens of Croatia and Europe, numerous tourists and guests many attractive, larger and smaller cultural and entertainment programs in which everyone finds something for themselves - from attractive openings, outdoor shows, large exhibitions and festivals through conferences on various topics, concerts and films, all the way to interesting landscaping in the city and the opening of newly renovated cultural buildings.
The project not only represents Rijeka and the region, but it is also a national project that ensures the visibility of the whole of Croatia in Europe and in the world. As citizens of Croatia, we are becoming more visible on the cultural map of Europe, being an integral part of European cultural diversity.
The grand opening is expected on Saturday, February the 1st, when, from the early hours in the morning, a cultural and entertainment program is taking place at over 30 locations in the center of Rijeka and in the Port of Rijeka the central opening program of the Opera Industriale.
The 4 buildings of industrial heritage in the center of Rijeka are getting their new cultural purpose: the Museum of the City of Rijeka, the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, the Rijeka City Library and the Children's House intended for the development of children's creativity, the first of its kind in Croatia.
The Galeb boat becomes a ship-museum and cultural and tourist attraction in Rijeka.
The cultural program of the European Capital of Culture itself brings to Rijeka new landscaping within the program direction Sweet & Salt, which changes Rijeka in the area by the sea (salty) and the river Rječina (sweet). Then Balthazar's Hurricane, Delta Basin, Skyscrapers - a city among clouds, Sound carburetor, etc. In places along the coast and in Rijeka, world-renowned and renowned artists create and set various artistic sculptures in the Lungomare Art project (Volosko, Lopar, Mali Losinj, Baška, Crikvenica, Lovranska draga, etc.).
Cultural and tourist route The Frankopan routes, which include 17 Frankopan castles and 3 sacral sites, all in the Primorje-Gorski Kotar County.
No doubt, Rijeka is on the 1st of February Europe's most interesting city, which remains throughout 2020, as it offers over 600 individual events in the cultural and artistic program of the European Capital of Culture, involving more than 300 organizations from 40 countries in Europe and the world.