THE EUROPEAN CAPITALS OF CULTURE 2014 ARE ON THE BALTIC SEA
The year 2014 will be perfect for travelling to and experiencing the colours and atmosphere of Northern Europe, as this year the European Capitals of Culture are Riga and Umeå. Supranational Hotels is the right choice to enjoy these cities and all the events taking place there.
Umeå stands on an inlet of the Gulf of Botnia very close to the Arctic Polar Circle and to Riga, whose historical centre is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Both cities are perfect for experiencing Northern European culture and the festivities of 2014.
Riga, more than two hundred events in a meeting of past and present
Riga is an architectural jewel that unites Nordic modernity with the elegant Art Nouveau style of its historical centre, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city will celebrate being the European Capital of Culture with the theme of the past encountering the present, including all its fascinating contradictions and consequences.
The art district, around the streets of Kalnciema and Miera, and the National Museum of Latvian Art will host over two hundred musical and literary events. Two of the most important musical events are a multimedia, futuristic interpretation of Wagner's opera "Rienzi, der Letzte der Tribunen" and the "World Choir Games", the largest choir competition in the world. There will also be a variety of nocturnal events, such as open museums and white nights, which are always favourites with both the locals and tourists. The biggest visual art event is "Heartbeats" by the French artist Christian Boltanski, which is a collective work that blends recordings of visitors' heartbeats into one harmonious sound.
Other important events are: a Book Show at the National Library dedicated to the last 500 years of printed books; the exhibition "Amber through the Times" dedicated to Latvia's most unique natural resource; many shows dedicated to the future, contemporary art and street art; the 27th edition of the "European Film Academy Awards"; celebration of traditional holidays and the summer solstice; the Staro Riga Light Festival from 14 to 18 November; the Riga Punkts Festival, which is a wonderful blend of science and art.
Maritim Park Hotel – Riga
The Maritim Park Hotel in Riga offers an elegant ambience, culinary specialities, comfortable rooms, personalised services and an attentive staff. The hotel is located in front of the peaceful Uzvaras Park and is a short walk or ride from the historical centre and major attractions. The hotel has 231 rooms, a wide range of services and modern equipment for conferences, business meetings, banquets and all types of celebrations.
Umeå, a varied programme of events halfway between Stockholm and the Arctic Polar Circle.
Umeå, located about 600 km north of Stockholm, will be hosting many events to celebrate 2014, which will take place in the art district of Väven, the Cultural Centre (Folkets Hus) and the University Art Museum (Bildmuseet). Pedestrians and cyclists in the city's historical centre can visit the Västerbottens Museum, which is dedicated to the culture of the Sami people, and the open-air Umedalen Sculpture Park that has shown over 200 Swedish and international artists in both permanent and temporary exhibitions.
For the occasion of the European Capital of Culture, a new museum has recently opened in downtown Umeå. It is called "Guitars" and houses one of the most beautiful private collections of vintage guitars and electric bass guitars. It also has a space for live shows, a recording studio, a photography studio and a restaurant. Not far from the museum is Sweden's oldest record store!
Some of the highlights of this year's event programme include an Annual Dance Festival for young dancers and choreographers, the performing arts programme of the Norrlands Operan, an exhibition of Sami art and the Umeå White Night on 25 May with 150 free events.
Hotel Aveny - Umeå
The Hotel Aveny in Umea, located in the heart of the city, is a modern, colourful hi-tech hotel with an international staff and many amenities. Guests can enjoy its cosy lounge bar, the "Pipes of Scotland" pub and the "Angelini" restaurant, offering American and Italian cuisine. As well, guests can use the nearby Formtoppen gym, which offers a wide selection of recreational activities, a sauna and a gym.
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Space Hotels has 80 three to five star hotels in over 50 cities throughout Italy. The affiliates of both Space Hotels and Supranational Hotels can be reached through 21 reservation offices, the GDS (code SX), the Internet at www.spacehotels.it or their tollfree number 800-813-013. The Space Hotels offer includes: business or leisure stays with interesting special rates; organisation of meetings and conferences; fine cuisine by some of the best Italian chefs; relaxation, massages and saunas in elegant spas and wellness centres.
This year, both groups will celebrate their fortieth anniversary.
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