Turku is Filled with Culture
Dating back to the Middle Ages, Turku is today the oldest city in Finland. In 2011, Turku will experience one of the highlights of its entire history as it celebrates its year as European Capital of Culture. The year will be filled with great reasons – both ancient and brand-new – to visit Turku.
In addition to its normal, already rich supply of culture, the city offers this year a special Turku 2011 Programme which includes approximately 5,000 individual events.
The versatile 2011 Programme introduces top international artists and local talent, and provides major events as well as small encounters. If you are a friend of the visual art, theatre, dance or opera, you will greet the year with joy. If you rather prefer club music and urban city events, you will find them equal in equal measure.
A peek into history
The long history of Turku and the historic landmarks of the city are honoured in many ways throughout the year. The Great Fire of Turku from 1827 has been an inspiration to a heavy metal musical, an interpretive dance performance and an experimental exhibition.
The fascinating Turku Castle provides the setting for exhibitions and two premiering operas to be performed in its courtyard. In addition, The Viva la Diva! concerts at Turku Castle park will allow audiences to witness Karita Mattila, one of the most recognised opera singers in the world, making a rare performance in her home town.
At Turku Cathedral the Dance Theatre ERI will interpret the Passion of Christ. Passion discusses the biblical events that took place during Easter. A similar theme will be presented at Turku Cathedral, in the exhibition The Last Supper, taking a contemporary look at the theme through the works of artists such as Andy Warhol.
Parks full of life
Numerous enchanting parks and hills in Turku will become oases for cultural experiences as creativity spreads outdoors and all around the city. Visitors and city residents can explore the magical Colourscape spheres, a network of coloured bubble-like chambers set up in Kupittaa Park, or dive into the Musical Sea of Inner Rhythms, an experimental music festival arranged at the Samppalinna open-air swimming pools.
During the summer, a wooden theatre stage constructed in Mannerheim Park will host the world’s top circus performers and stage performances that revive the tradition of variety theatre. The daring feats of international stars in the Cirque Dracula show can be enjoyed in style with a dining experience remember.
Culture by the water
Several Capital of Culture productions take place near water, both the surrounding sea and the river. For example, various music festivals organised in the western coast of Finland will come together with the Lights Concert Series from April to July. The concerts, set in the unique Baltic Sea archipelago, will range from classical music to jazz.
An international contemporary art exhibition will be held in Turku archipelago during the summer of 2011. Exhibition Contemporary Art Archipelago can be experienced from cruise ships as well as small boats, along the roads, on a remote islet, on ferries or via radio waves.
The hottest Finnish export, sauna, will be given proper focus during the summer 2011. The SaunaLab project will create saunas that re-interpret the entire sauna concept, acting as both art installations and functional public saunas.
The last weekend of August will be a climax of the summer season, and one of the highlights of the entire year. During this time, the River Aura will be visited by aerial acrobatics and pyro artists in The Elements spectacle, and the grand sailing ships gliding to the river as a part of Culture 2011 Tall Ships Regatta. The elegant museum ship Suomen Joutsen will set the stage for an evening of jazz and in the archipelago the bonfires will be lit to celebrate the Night of the Ancient Bonfires.
Logomo welcomes visitors every day
The new and spectacular centre for the Capital of Culture year activities is Logomo, an old railway engineering workshop renovated just for this purpose. Located right next to the Turku Railway Station, Logomo is hosting exhibitions that are open throughout the year as well as part of the major performance events.
In addition to internationally acclaimed visual arts, Logomo also hosts immersive exhibitions for the entire family where visitors are able to experience the works in completely novel ways. The schedule of events includes dance, theatre and wide range of music, from jazz to opera.
The Logomo centre, its exhibitions, its café and shop are open every day throughout the year, including Sundays and public holidays.