Isle of Tenerife

Santa Cruz bids to be European Capital of Culture

Spain has been designated to provide the European Capital of Culture in 2016 and already a dozen cities, including the Tenerife capital of Santa Cruz, are lining up to compete for the glittering prize.

Also battling for the coveted nomination will be the mainland cities of Cordoba, Cuenca, Cáceres, Burgos, Tarragona, Pamplona, Zaragoza, Segovia, Valencia and Alcalá de Henares.

And while Santa Cruz may not have some of the glamour of its peninsula rivals, it need not feel inferior in any way.

The stunning Auditorio rivals any concert hall anywhere in Spain for sheer architectural magnificence, while the annual carnival is hugely popular both locally and internationally.

It also has in its environs the World Heritage Site of La Laguna and the sheer natural beauty of the Anaga Mountains.

The European Capital of Culture is designated by the European Union for a period of one year during which the city has a chance to showcase its cultural life and development.

A number of European cities have used the City of Culture year to transform their cultural base and, in doing so, the way in which they are viewed internationally.

Conceived as a means of bringing citizens of the EU closer together, it was launched in 1985 and was the brainchild of the Greek Minister of Culture Melina Mercouri.

Since then, the initiative has become more and more successful, having an increasing cultural, social and economic impact on the chosen cities.

Three Spanish cities have so far been honoured – Madrid in 1992, Santiago de Compostela in 2000 and Salamanca in 2002.

Glasgow is thus far the only UK city to be honoured, though Liverpool takes the accolade in 2008.

This entry was posted on Friday, March 16th, 2007 at 3:00 am and is filed under Anaga Mountains, Culture, La Laguna, Santa Cruz de Tenerife.

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