Ruhr Valley: European Capital of Culture 2010

Once the industrial heartland of Germany, the city of Essen – and the surrounding multicultural Ruhr region – has been named a European Capital of Culture by the European Union for the year 2010.

Places once associated with hard physical labour have been transformed into recreational attractions where culture thrives, including the UNESCO World Heritage Zollverein coal mine and renaturalised landscapes such as Duisburg-Nord Industrial Landscape Park. Thousands of art and culture events are planned for the coming year and over five million visitors are expected.

The selection of the Ruhr region, home to 53 cities and 5.3 million inhabitants, marks the first time a region, rather than a city, has been awarded the distinction of a European Capital of Culture.

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