The European Union (EU) nominates a city to be the Capital of Culture on an annual basis, which in turn hosts a number of cultural events with a strong pan-European emphasis for a year. The title and responsibility of becoming the European Capital of Culture provide a city a dart on the world map. It gives a chance to reap significant cultural, social, and economic advantages. It can further facilitate urban renewal, improve the city’s perception, and increase the city’s exposure and reputation on a global level. Only EU cities are eligible for three of the capitals each year.

History of Veszprem | European Capitals of Culture

One of Hungary‘s oldest cities, Veszprém, is located on the southern slope of Bakony Mountain, about nine miles (15 kilometres) north of Lake Balaton. Veszprém is set across seven hills. The Baroque structures atop Castle Hill, which rises above the valley of the Séd Stream, are the most notable landmark and a distinguishing aspect of the city’s history.

European capitals of Culture: Veszprém (Hungary)- Sheet1
Veszprem, Image ©

Hungary. The city has had a significant cultural and political history. It is one of Hungary’s oldest cities. As the bishop’s seat in 1001, Veszprém rose to prominence as one of the Catholic Church’s most important cities. It belonged to the estate of the reigning family when its history began with the Hungarian colonisation of the nation in the ninth century. Queen Gisela, St. Stephen’s wife, considered Veszprém her favourite city. The bishop of Veszprém has crowned Hungary’s queens for ages. “The city of queens” is still a common moniker. For centuries, law and the arts were studied at Veszprém University, one of the first in.

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Statues of Saint Stephen and Gisela, Image ©

The Hungarian city has one other feather in its cap. It is one of UNESCO’s “cities of music”. Veszprém encourages a variety of musical genres through concerts, workshops, and festivals, since it is a city of music. VeszprémFest, the Street Music Festival, the Auer Violin Festival, and the Dance Festival have all taken place in the city. In terms of culture, Veszprém is justly renowned for its iconic zoo (the second biggest in Hungary) and handball club, which has a strong local fan following and has consistently competed in Europe‘s top league.

Projects for the following year: Repurposing the old 

26 kilometres from Veszprem, Inota was a former lignite-fired power station that was shut down at the beginning of the new millennium. Its abandoned cooling towers will host a festival of electronic, light, and experimental music the following year. 

Daniel Besnyo quoted: “This is the largest remaining industrial relic in Hungary. It’s important to us that we reach the locals. The power plant is important to them because their parents or grandparents worked here. They have a connection to this place. We are leading by example by bringing life back to the site. We want to make the program sustainable and organise it anew every year.”

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The cooling towers of the former Inota lignite-fired power plant will be used as a location for a music festival, Image ©,_Inota_Power_Plant_from_south,_2017_V%C3%A1rpalota.jpg

In the outskirts of Veszprem, an abandoned orphanage will also be put to new use. It was constructed in 1903, and in 2023 it will become a centre for culture and recreation. The ActiCity Centre will offer perfect training and performance spaces for organisations that have previously been dispersed around the city. Here, organisations devoted to classical ballet, folk dance, diverse social dance styles, and contemporary forms of movement will, at last, find an inexpensive, self-sustaining home.

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An abandoned orphanage is being transformed into a training and performance facility for dance groups, Image ©

The Ruttner House, built in the early 19th century, was actually spared from collapse at the last second. Here is an excellent illustration of how a run-down area of the city that was previously exclusively occupied by the homeless has been transformed and given new life. The home might have been converted into a five-star hotel, but the organisers had other plans. After looking at the city’s lodging options, they concluded that nothing would work for school field excursions. Among other things, it will serve as a dormitory for students. 

The motto of the Old Town eatery Papirkutya (Paper Dog) is “No more dull Tuesday evenings.” The eatery fills a void in the city’s cultural landscape since, before to its opening, there was nowhere where people could take in local cuisine, wine, and fascinating activities till late at night. It now hosts music on Tuesday nights.

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‘No more boring Tuesday evenings’ is the motto of the restaurant Papirkutya in the Old Town Image ©

Veszprem-year Balaton’s as the European Capital of Culture will get underway with a street event on January 21, 2023. A festival of modern literature will take place in February after this. A blues festival will occur in April, while an international dance festival will occur in May. There will also be an opera festival in July and a festival of Hungarian movies in June. Following this will be a jazz festival in November, the festival of light in Inota in September, and a global music festival in August.

Opening ceremonies at Veszprem Image ©


  1. Veszprem (2023) Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation. Available at:  [Accessed 13 February 2023]
  2. Veszprem. Britannica.  Available at:  [Accessed 13 February 2023] 
  3. Agnes Szabo. Veszprem-Balaton 2023: Hungary’s New creative region. Available at: [Accessed 13 February 2023] 
  4. Veszprem City Municipality. Beyond Veszprem 2023, European Capital of Culture BidBook.  Available at :[Accessed 13 February 2023] 

Arushi Bhargava is a literary enthusiast and an architect! Throughout her life and education, she has been on a quest for discovering more artistic, literary, and architectural treasures.