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Riga – European Capital of Culture 2014
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     It is not unusual for Riga to be a venue for cultural events of an international scale. However, in 2014, it moves beyond even the previous experience to become the cultural centre of Europe as the European Capital of Culture. During this year, hundreds of special events will take place, engaging with culture in the very broadest sense of the concept. Riga aims to deliver a new understanding of culture as a positive force of change in people's lives.


  Throughout its history, Riga has provided a rich tapestry of various contributions to the European and world culture. The Old Riga, Art Noveau blocs, and wooden architecture are of great architectural importance. The elusively multicultural environment has been a characteristic of Riga since its very beginnings, with many peoples –Latvians, Germans, Russians, Poles, Swedes, Finns, Jews, and others – contributing to it. The rich variety of influences, from Johann Gottfried Herder to Immanuel Kant and beyond, has played an important role in development of the German Enlightenment Philosophy, cradled the great cinema director Sergey Eisenstein and philosopher Isaiah Berlin, and gave an asylum to Richard Wagner. For centuries, Riga has been a source of inspiration for a range of great European personalities.


     Throughout 2014, the visitors of Riga will be able to immerse themselves into the architectural, cultural, and intellectual milieu within which these great minds operated. They will be able to form – or renew – acquaintance with their works, and examine the effect that they have had on the modern Latvian music, fine arts, cinema, and popular culture. Museums will prepare special exhibitions and shows for this event. World-renowned Latvian choirs, magnificent opera staging, modern art performances, popular music concerts, art exhibitions, grand celebrations, and many other events will contribute to a unique cultural atmosphere.


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