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Why is Nitra running for European Capital of Culture?

The ECoC project is a great opportunity for Nitra to strengthen the position of culture in the city, to present our city within the European area, and also to open difficult topics among us – the citizens of Nitra.

  • What is Nitra’s role in the 21st century?
  • How to stop the outflux of people and potential from the city?
  • How to strengthen the role of culture and creative industries in the city?
  • How to break the barriers of closed communities and initiate a healthy dialogue among them?
  • How to revive public areas not only in the centre but also in the suburbs?

The Nitra 2026 project shall be a story of the city and its past and present people within the European context. Not a made-up story but a real one, reflecting on both the strong moments and problems in the city, a story of the future cultural Nitra in 2026 and long after.

What can ECoC bring to Nitra?

European Capitals of Culture of the past clearly show that being awarded such title has a visible impact on city development, tourism, social and economic network and, last but not least, it supports the cultural sector and evokes a feeling of cultural belonging among the citizens.

For example, in 2013, thanks to the SPOTS Project, heat exchanger stations in Košice were turned into small community centres scattered all around the town; thanks to the Plzeň 2015 project, a former bus depot turned into one of the most functional cultural and creative centers in the Czech Republic and in 2019, the Italian city Matera  became one of the centres of world design thanks to the Open Design School project.

“There is a breaking point in our town’s culture ahead. Let's create a project based on our lives and institutions and let’s make it a timeless one.”

Marek Hattas, Mayor of Nitra

The 2026 programme will be based on the presentation of individual artistic disciplines, focusing on the current social and European context. A significant portion of the activities will be aimed at building and reconstructing the cultural infrastructure in the city.

Nitra in 2026 and beyond

The Nitra 2026 project will not just be about a cultural programme for one year but about completely transforming the city and its culture. Alongside the candidacy preparations, the Culture and tourism development plan for 2021 – 2031 is being prepared, in which we define the priorities and goals for this sphere, along with particular steps towards reaching them.

We want Nitra to be a better place to live, with its people having the opportunities to fully enjoy culture and to be an attractive destination for creative people from all over Europe.

“It is up to all of us to join forces and work towards meeting this beautiful European vision to make Nitra a better place and a city of the Future!”

Milan Belica, Chairman of Nitra self-governing region