Join us!

About ECoC

European Capital of Culture is a prestigious title awarded by the European Union, supporting the significance of culture in city development.

Plzeň 2015, prestavba starých skladov na kultúrne centrum DEPO 2015

Valetta 2018, úvodný ceremoniál

Aarhus 2017, ekologicko-umelecký projekt The Garden

Wroclaw 2016, umelecký sprievod mestom

Liverpool 2008, pohyblivá inštalácia La Princessa

Košice 2013, projekt SPOTS – premena výmenníkov tepla na komunitné centrá

Plzeň 2015, reconstruction of the old transport depot into the DEPO 2015 cultural center

Valetta 2018, opening ceremony

Aarhus 2017, ecological project The Garden

Wroclaw 2016, art parade

Liverpool 2008, La Princessa installation

Košice 2013, projekt SPOTS – reconstruction of old heat stations into community centres

The project’s main goal is to highlight the diversity of European cultures and the European values, and to put emphasis on the role of culture in society.


The European Capital of Culture format was established in 1983, arising out of the intention of Greek Minister of Culture Melina Mercouri to recognise the importance of the culture at a particular period of time, to open a dialogue on current topics and to connect individual nations and cultures. The first holder of the title was Athens, and since 1985 more than 60 cities have been awarded the European City of Culture title.

In 2026, the title European Capital of Culture will be held by one Slovak and one Finnish city.

Candidacy process

The choosing of a winner among nominated Slovak cities will have two stages.

The first stage is focused on submitting the application (i.e. bid book), where the city presents in detail its intentions and plans for cultural development within the European context.

The second stage is focused on comments and application form revision. The decision will be made by the Council of EU, based on recommendations of the European Commission, consisting of independent international experts.

Časová os kandidatúry

The Slovak Ministry of Culture’s call for applications into the 1st round of candidacy for ECoC 2026.


Open meeting of Nitra’s cultural and creative industries contributors.


City Council in Nitra approved the candidacy for ECoC 2026 and allocated €50,000 for the 1st round.


Establishment of the Nitra 2026 project team and formation of sector working groups.


Public tender for the project’s visual identity in cooperation with the Union of Graphic Designers in Slovakia, project’s website, application finalising and printing.


Continuous collection of data and incentives, working on application – Nitra 2026 Bid Book.


Website and marketing campaign launch, opening of NITRO - an open participation call.


Submission of application for the 1st round of candidacy.


Jury presentation and decision-making on cities advancing to the 2nd round.


The European City of Culture is announced five years prior to the actual year of the title, i.e. in 2021. The following years are focused on developing a solid concept for an all-year-round presentation of the title. The city of Nitra already applied for the title in 2013, when Košice, historically the first Slovak city to win the title, won.

Becoming a holder of the European Capital of Culture title means a positive impact on culture and the city’s image and furthermore on social and economic influence.

It is one of the most ambitious cultural projects in Europe and the city of Nitra has a great opportunity to put itself on the cultural map of Europe, where it rightfully belongs.