Bad Ischl, together with Estonia’s second largest city Tartu and the Norwegian city Bodo will form the 2024 Capital of Culture. / Picture: © Wikimedia Commons / MrsMyer at German Wikipedia [CC BY-SA 3.0 de (]

Within Austria, the competing projects from Vorarlberg “Dornbirn plus” (towns of Feldkirch and Hohenems, and the Bregenzerwald) and the Lower Austrian provincial capital of St. Pölten were shortlisted.

Bad Ischl, together with Estonia’s second largest city Tartu and the Norwegian city Bodo, will therefore form the 2024 Capital of Culture.

The Salzkammergut region, together with municipalities from Upper Austria and Styria, had applied for the title with the concept “Salt and Water as DNA”.

By returning to its origins, the applicant argued, the aim was to revitalise the cultural life of the region with the necessary pinch of salt and the power of water.

The project will burden the budget with up to 30 million euros.

The decision of the twelve-member jury was announced by Culture Minister Schallenberg, the EU Ambassador to Austria, Martin Selmayr, and jury chairman Cristina Farinha.

Over the past few days, the jury had visited all the applicant cities and had the cultural concepts presented to them. This was preceded by an intensive application process, which finally resulted in the three finalists from a total of 17 cities.

About European Capital of Culture

According to Wikipedia, “the European Capital of Culture (from 1985 to 1999 European City of Culture) is a title awarded annually by the European Union (since 2004 to at least two cities). The aim of the title is to highlight the richness, diversity and commonalities of Europe’s cultural heritage and to help European citizens understand each other better.

On 13 June 1985, the Ministers responsible for Cultural Affairs meeting within the Council of the European Community, acting on a proposal from Melina Mercouri, then Greek Minister for Culture, adopted a resolution on the annual designation of a “European City of Culture”.

This event, for which Community funding has been made available, was intended to make specific cultural aspects of the city, region or country concerned accessible to the European public”.

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