For Salamanca, the first task was to forge a reputation beyond that of its rich architectural heritage and of its university. Referring to this prestigious institution, Salamanca has styled itself "a city of thought, meetings and knowledge". Focusing on music, theatre and dance, its programme was intended to combine its past and present, projecting them both onto the national, European and international stage. The programme included 115 theatre and dance performances, a rich cycle of baroque operas with 8 works being staged, around 100 concerts, 52 exhibitions, and more.
Salamanca has attracted particular attention by developing new infrastructures. It was made a World Heritage Site in 1998, and has also built a new Scenic Arts Centre and a multipurpose hall seating 6 000. A whole series of buildings have also been renovated and given new functions, such as the Liceo theatre and the former prisons, converted into exhibition halls, workshops and a library.
As one century ends and another begins, Salamanca 2002 took the opportunity to present an overview of European drama over the past century as one of its leading projects. This was the spirit behind "Travesía escénica por la literatura dramática del siglo XX ", the first of the projects supported by the European Commission's Culture 2000 programme. The programme involved five theatrical creations, each of which was directed by five Spaniards who are very different but united in their strong commitment to contemporary theatre. These five directors presented five major works from all over the Union, spanning a century of European theatrical composition: "Quai Ouest" by the French dramatist Bernard-Marie Koltès, "Die Dreigroschenoper" by the German Bertolt Brecht, "Luces de Bohemia" by the Spaniard Ramón Maria del Valle Inclán, "The Collection" and "The Lover" by the Englishman Harold Pinter, and "San Francisco, Juglar de Dios" by the Italian Dario Fo.
Following on immediately from this project, Salamanca 2002 also led us along the "Nuevos caminos de la dramaturgia europea contemporánea" . This second theatrical cycle, which was also funded by the European Commission's Culture 2000 programme, questioned new theatrical approaches through three contemporary texts by young European authors with a punch. Starting on 22 October, the cycle comprised "4.48 Psychosis" by the Englishwoman Sarah Kane, "Une envie de tuer sur le bout de la langue" by the Frenchman Xavier Durringer, and a "Trilogía de la Juventud" by the Spanish group "Cuarta Pared".
Apart from its programme focusing on the scenic arts, Salamanca 2002 also offered a series of other important events, including the Festival of Ancient and Religious Music, a cycle specially dedicated to women artists, an exhibition of Rodin sculptures in the city, a festival of photography and video, an exhibition on war propaganda, another on "The Europeans" by Henri-Cartier Bresson, a cycle concentrating on 100 years of European film-making, and much more.
Summary of the 25 year anniversary conference [2 MB] on the European Capitals of Culture
The brochure: the road to success from 1985 to 2010 [8 MB]
European Capital of Culture for the years 2007 to 2019