1. European Capital of Culture – An international panel of cultural experts is in charge of assessing the proposals of cities for the title according to criteria specified by the European Union. Consequently, the beneficial socio-economic development and impact for the chosen city are now also considered in determining the chosen cities. The European City of Culture programme was launched in the summer of 1985 with Athens being the first title-holder. During the German presidency of 1999, the European City of Culture programme was renamed the European Capital of Culture. This will be selected through an open competition, meaning that cities from various countries may compete with each other. Association for Tourism and Leisure EducationEuropean Capital of Culture – Mons (Belgium), the European Capital of Culture for 2015
2. Athens – Athens is the capital and largest city of Greece. In modern times, Athens is a large cosmopolitan metropolis and central to economic, financial, industrial, maritime, cultural life in Greece. In 2015, Athens was ranked the world's 29th richest city by the 67th most expensive in a UBS study. The municipality of Athens had a land area of 38.96 km2. The urban area of Athens extends with a population of 3,090,508 over an area of 412 km2. Athens is also the southernmost capital on the European mainland. The city also retains Byzantine monuments, as well as a smaller number of Ottoman monuments. Athens is home to two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the medieval Daphni Monastery. 108 years later it welcomed home the 2004 Summer Olympics. In Ancient Greek, the name of the city was Ἀθῆναι a plural. In earlier Greek, such as Homeric Greek, the name had been current in the form though, as Ἀθήνη. It was possibly rendered in the plural on, like those of Θῆβαι and Μυκῆναι. During the medieval period the name of the city was rendered again in the singular as Ἀθήνα. In an attempt to compel the people, Poseidon created spring by striking the ground with his trident, symbolizing naval power. Different etymologies, commonly rejected, were proposed during the 19th century.Athens – From upper left: the Acropolis, the Hellenic Parliament, the Zappeion, the Acropolis Museum, Monastiraki Square, Athens view towards the sea
3. Florence – Florence is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany and of the Metropolitan City of Florence. It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with inhabitants, expanding to over 1,520,000 in the metropolitan area. Florence was finance and one of the wealthiest cities of the time. It has been called "the Athens of the Middle Ages". A political history includes periods of rule by the powerful Medici family, numerous religious and republican revolutions. From 1865 to 1871 the city was the capital of the recently established Kingdom of Italy. It was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1982. The city is noted for its culture, monuments. Due to Florence's architectural heritage, it has been ranked by Forbes as one of the most beautiful cities in the world. In 2008, the city had the 17th highest average income in Italy. The language spoken during the 14th century was, still is, accepted as the Italian language. Florentine bankers financed the English kings during the Hundred Years War. Florence was home to the Medici, one of European history's most important noble families. Lorenzo de' Medici was considered a cultural mastermind of Italy in the late 15th century. Two members of the family were popes in the 16th century: Leo X and Clement VII.Florence – A collage of Florence showing the Galleria degli Uffizi (top left), followed by the Palazzo Pitti, a sunset view of the city and the Fountain of Neptune in the Piazza della Signoria
4. Amsterdam – Amsterdam is the capital and most populous municipality of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Its status as the capital is mandated by the Constitution of the Netherlands, although it is not the seat of the government, The Hague. Amsterdam has a population of 847,176 within the city proper, 2,431,000 in the Amsterdam metropolitan area. The city is located in the province of North Holland in the west of the country. The metropolitan area comprises much of the northern part of one of the larger conurbations in Europe, with a population of approximately 7 million. Amsterdam's name derives as a dam of the river Amstel. During that time, the city was the leading centre for finance and diamonds. Many new neighborhoods and suburbs were planned and built. The 19 -- 20th century Defence Line of Amsterdam are on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The city is also the cultural capital of the Netherlands. Seven of the world's 500 largest companies, including Philips and ING, are based in the city. The city was previously ranked 3rd in innovation by 2thinknow in the Innovation Cities Index 2009. Famous Amsterdam residents included Anne Frank the diarist, the philosopher Baruch Spinoza. The oldest stock exchange in the world, is located in the city center. The earliest recorded use of the name "Aemstelredamme" comes from a document dated October 1275.Amsterdam
5. West Berlin – It was 100 miles east of the Inner German border and only accessible from West Germany by narrow rail and highway corridors. It had a unique legal status because its administration was formally conducted by the Western Allies. East Berlin, de jure administered by the Soviet Union, was the de facto capital of East Germany. The Berlin Wall, built in 1961, physically divided East and West Berlin until it fell in 1989. With about million inhabitants, West Berlin had the biggest population of any city in Cold War Germany. The Potsdam Agreement established the legal framework in the wake of World War II. The territory of Germany, as it existed in 1937, would be reduced by most of Eastern Germany thus creating the eastern territories of Germany. The remaining territory would be divided into four zones, each administered by one of the allied countries. According to the agreement, the occupation of Berlin would end only as a result of a quadripartite agreement. At first, this arrangement was intended to be only a administrative structure, with all parties declaring that Germany and Berlin would soon be reunited. Soon, western-occupied Berlin had separate city administrations. In 1948, the Soviets tried to force the Western Allies out of Berlin by imposing a blockade on the western sectors -- the Berlin Blockade. The West responded by using its air corridors for supplying their part of the city with food and other goods in the Berlin Airlift. In May 1949, West Berlin as a separate city with its own jurisdiction was maintained. However, because the occupation of Berlin could only be ended by a quadripartite agreement, Berlin remained an occupied territory under the formal sovereignty of the allies.West Berlin – West Berlin, as of 1978
6. Berlin – Berlin is the capital and the largest city of Germany as well as one of its 16 states. Due to its location in the European Plain, Berlin is influenced by a seasonal climate. Around one-third of the city's area is composed of forests, parks, gardens, lakes. Berlin in the 1920s was the third largest municipality in the world. Following German reunification in 1990, Berlin again became the capital of a unified Germany. Berlin is a city of culture, politics, media and science. Its economy is based on the service sector, encompassing a diverse range of creative industries, research facilities, media corporations and convention venues. Berlin has a highly complex public transportation network. The metropolis is a popular destination. Significant industries also include IT, biomedical engineering, clean tech, biotechnology, construction and electronics. Modern Berlin is host to many sporting events. Its urban setting has made a sought-after location for international film productions. The city is well known for its festivals, diverse architecture, nightlife, a high quality of living. Over the last decade Berlin has seen the emergence of a entrepreneurial scene. All German place names ending on -ow, -itz and -in, of which there are many east of the River Elbe, are of Slavic origin.Berlin
7. Paris – Paris is the capital and the most populous city of France. It has a population in 2013 of 2,229,621 within the administrative limits. The agglomeration has grown well beyond the city's administrative limits. The Metropole of Grand Paris was created in 2016, combining its nearest suburbs into a single area for economic and environmental co-operation. Grand Paris has a population of 6.945 million persons. Paris was founded by a Celtic people called the Parisii, who gave the city its name. It retains that position still today. The city is also a major rail, highway, air-transport hub, served by the two international airports Paris-Charles de Gaulle and Paris-Orly. Opened in 1900, the Paris Métro, serves 5.23 million passengers daily. It is the second busiest system in Europe after Moscow Metro. Paris is surrounded by three orbital roads: the Périphérique, the A86 motorway, the Francilienne motorway. Most of France's major universities and écoles are located in Paris, as are France's major newspapers, including Le Monde, Le Figaro, Libération. The rugby union club Stade Français are based in Paris. The 80,000-seat Stade de France, built for the 1998 FIFA World Cup, is located just north in the neighbouring commune of Saint-Denis. Paris hosts the French Open Grand Slam tennis tournament on the red clay of Roland Garros.Paris – In the 1860s Paris streets and monuments were illuminated by 56,000 gas lamps, making it literally "The City of Light."
8. Glasgow – Glasgow is the largest city in Scotland, third largest in the United Kingdom. Historically part of Lanarkshire, it is now one of the 32 Council Areas of Scotland. It is situated on the River Clyde in the country's West Central Lowlands. Inhabitants of the city are referred to as Glaswegians. Glasgow grew from a small rural settlement on the River Clyde to become the largest seaport in Britain. From the 18th century the city also grew as one of Great Britain's main hubs of transatlantic trade with North America and the West Indies. Glasgow was the "Second City of the British Empire" for much of the Victorian era and Edwardian period, although many cities argue the title was theirs. In the 20th centuries Glasgow grew in population, reaching a peak of 1,128,473 in 1939. The entire region surrounding the conurbation covers about 2.3 million people, 41% of Scotland's population. At the 2011 census, Glasgow had a population density of 8,790/sq mi, the highest of any Scottish city. Glasgow hosted the 2014 Commonwealth Games. Glasgow is also well known in the sporting world for the football rivalry of the Old Firm between Celtic and Rangers. Glasgow is also known for Glasgow patter, a distinct dialect, noted for being difficult to understand by those from outside the city. Glasgow derives from Brythonic Glas Cau, "Green Hollow", referring to the Molendinar Burn. The Gaelic name Baile Glas Chu, town of the grey dog, is mere folk-etymology.Glasgow – Clockwise from top-left: View of Glasgow Science Centre, Duke of Wellington statue outside Gallery of Modern Art, Royal Exchange Square, cityscape view from The Lighthouse, Gilbert Scott Building of University of Glasgow, Finnieston Crane, Glasgow City Chambers
9. Dublin – Dublin is the capital and largest city of Ireland. It is at the mouth of the River Liffey. The city has an urban population of 1,345,402. The population of the Greater Dublin Area, as of 2016, was 1,904,806 people. Founded as a Viking settlement, the Kingdom of Dublin became Ireland's principal city following the Norman invasion. The city was briefly the second largest city in the British Empire before the Acts of Union in 1800. Following the partition of Ireland in 1922, it became the capital of the Irish Free State, later renamed Ireland. It is administered by a City Council. Dublin is a contemporary centre for education, the arts, administration, economy and industry. The name Dublin comes from the Gaelic Dublind, early Classical Irish Dubhlind/Duibhlind, dubh / d̪uβ /, alt. Irish rhymes from Dublin County show that in Dublin Leinster Irish it was pronounced Duílinn / d̪ˠi: lʲiɲ /. Other localities in Ireland also bear the Duibhlinn, variously anglicized as Devlin, Divlin and Difflin. Historically, scribes using the Gaelic script wrote bh with a dot over the b, rendering Duḃlinn or Duiḃlinn. Those without knowledge of Irish omitted the dot, spelling the name as Dublin. Variations on the name are also found in traditionally Gaelic-speaking areas such as An Linne Dhubh, part of Loch Linnhe.Dublin – Clockwise from top: Samuel Beckett Bridge, Trinity College, Custom House, Dublin Castle, O'Connell Bridge, and Convention Centre Dublin.
10. Madrid – Madrid is the capital city of Spain, the largest municipality in the Community of Madrid. The city has a population of almost million with a metropolitan area population of approximately 6.5 million. The municipality itself covers an area of 604.3 km2. As the capital city of Spain, residence of the Spanish monarch, Madrid is also the political, economic and cultural centre of Spain. The current mayor is Manuela Carmena from Ahora Madrid. Madrid is home to two world-famous football clubs, Atlético de Madrid. Madrid is the 17th most liveable city in its 2014 index. Madrid organises fairs such as FITUR, ARCO, the Cibeles Madrid Fashion Week. While Madrid possesses modern infrastructure, it has preserved the feel of many of its historic neighbourhoods and streets. Cibeles Palace and Fountain have become one of the monument symbols of the city. The first documented reference of the city originates as the Arabic مجريط Majrīṭ, retained in Medieval Spanish as Magerit. A wider number of theories have been formulated on possible earlier origins. According to legend, Madrid was named "Metragirta" or "Mantua Carpetana". Nevertheless, it is also speculated that the origin of the current name of the city comes from the 2nd BC. The Roman Empire established a settlement on the banks of the Manzanares river.Madrid – From upper left: view of business districts of AZCA and CTBA, Gran Vía street and Metropolis Building, the Palace of Communication, view of Royal Palace and Almudena Cathedral.
11. Antwerp – Antwerp is a city in Belgium, the capital of Antwerp province in the region of Flanders. With a population of 510,610, it is the most populous city proper in Belgium. Its metropolitan area houses around 1,200,000 people, second behind Brussels. Antwerp is on the River Scheldt, linked by the Westerschelde estuary. The Port of Antwerp is one of the biggest in ranking second in Europe and within the top 20 globally. Antwerp has long been an important city in the Low Countries, both economically and especially before the Spanish Fury in the Dutch Revolt. The city also hosted the 1920 Summer Olympics. For those who refused, he severed one of their hands and threw it into the river. Eventually the giant was killed by a young hero named Silvius Brabo, who flung it into the river. Hence the name Antwerpen, from Dutch hand werpen, akin to Old English hand and wearpan, which has evolved to today's warp. A longstanding theory is that the name comes from the Latin antverpia. Antverpia would come from Ante Verpia, indicating land that forms by deposition in the inside curve of a river. Note that the Scheldt, before a transition period between 600 and 750, followed a different track. This must have coincided roughly with the current south of the city, situating the city within a former curve of the river. More something like an outpost with a river crossing.Antwerp – Antwerp Antwerpen
12. Lisbon – Lisbon is the capital and the largest city of Portugal, with a population of 552,700 within its administrative limits in an area of 100.05 km². About 2.8 million people live in the Lisbon Metropolitan Area. It is continental Europe's westernmost capital city and the only one along the Atlantic coast. It lies on the River Tagus. The westernmost areas of its metro area is the westernmost point of Continental Europe. It is recognised as a global city because of its importance in finance, commerce, media, entertainment, arts, international tourism. The city is the 7th-most-visited city with 1,740,000 tourists in 2009. The Lisbon region contributes with a higher GDP PPP per capita than any other region in Portugal. The city occupies 32nd place of highest gross earnings in the world. Most of the headquarters of multinationals in the country are located in the Lisbon area. It is also the political centre of the country, as its seat of Government and residence of the Head of State. Julius Caesar made it a municipium called Felicitas Julia, adding to the name Olissipo. Ruled from the 5th century, Lisbon was captured in the 8th century. In 1147, since then it has been a major political, cultural centre of Portugal. Unlike most capital cities, Lisbon's status as the capital of Portugal has never been confirmed officially -- in written form.Lisbon – Clockwise, from top: Praça do Comércio, Parque Eduardo VII, Padrão dos Descobrimentos, Torre de Belém, the Sé de Lisboa, and Parque das Nações.
13. Luxembourg City – Luxembourg, also known as Luxembourg City, is the capital city of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, the country's most populous commune. The city contains Luxembourg Castle, established by the Franks in the Early Middle Ages, around which a settlement developed. As of January 2016, the commune had a population of 115,227, more than three times the population of the country's second most populous commune. The city's metropolitan population, including that of surrounding communes of Hesperange, Sandweiler, Strassen, Walferdange, reaches 180,000. In the 2011 Mercer worldwide survey of 221 cities, Luxembourg was placed first for personal safety while it was ranked 19th for quality of living. In the Roman era, a fortified tower guarded the crossing of two Roman roads that met at the site of Luxembourg city. Siegfried built his castle, named Lucilinburhuc, on the Bock Fiels, mentioned for the first time in the aforementioned exchange treaty. In 987, Archbishop Egbert of Trier consecrated five altars in the Church of the Redemption. At a Roman road intersection near the church, a marketplace appeared around which the city developed. The city, because of natural geography, has through history been a place of military significance. The first fortifications were built as early as the 10th century. In about 1340, under the reign of John the Blind, new fortifications were built that stood until 1867. In 1443, the Burgundians under Philip the Good conquered Luxembourg. Subsequently, the Burgundians, the Spanish, the French, the Spanish again, the Austrians, the French again, the Prussians conquered Luxembourg. In the 17th century, the first casemates were built; initially, Spain built 23 km of tunnels, starting in 1644.Luxembourg City – Skyline of Luxembourg City
14. Copenhagen – Copenhagen; Danish: København ) is the capital and most populated city of Denmark. It has a larger urban population of 1,280,371. The Copenhagen metropolitan area has just over million inhabitants. The Øresund Bridge connects the two cities by road. Originally a Viking village founded in the 10th century, Copenhagen became the capital of Denmark in the early 15th century. Beginning in the 17th century it consolidated its position with its institutions, defences and armed forces. After suffering in the 18th century, the city underwent a period of redevelopment. This included construction of founding of such cultural institutions as the Royal Theatre and the Royal Academy of Fine Arts. Since the turn of the 21st century, Copenhagen has seen strong cultural development, facilitated by investment in its institutions and infrastructure. Copenhagen's economy has seen rapid developments in the sector, especially through initiatives in information technology, pharmaceuticals and clean technology. With a number of bridges connecting the various districts, the cityscape is characterized by parks, waterfronts. Copenhagen is home to the University of Copenhagen, the Technical University of Copenhagen Business School. The University of Copenhagen, founded in 1479, is the oldest university in Denmark. Copenhagen is home to the FC København and Brøndby football clubs. The annual Copenhagen Marathon was established in 1980.Copenhagen – From upper left: Christiansborg Palace, Frederik's Church, Tivoli Gardens and Nyhavn.
15. Thessaloniki – The city is renowned for its festivals, events and vibrant cultural life in general, is considered to be Greece's cultural capital. Thessaloniki was the 2014 European Youth Capital. The city of Thessaloniki was founded in 315 BC by Cassander of Macedon. An important metropolis by the Roman period, Thessaloniki was the second largest and wealthiest city of the Byzantine Empire. It was conquered by the Ottomans in 1430, passed from the Ottoman Empire to modern Greece on 8 November 1912. The city's main university, Aristotle University, is the largest in Greece and the Balkans. Thessaloniki is a popular tourist destination in Greece. Among street photographers, the center of Thessaloniki is also considered the most popular destination for street photography in Greece. All variations of the city's name derive from the original appellation in Ancient Greek, i.e. Θεσσαλονίκη, literally translating to "Thessalian Victory". In local speech, the city's name is typically pronounced with a dark and deep L characteristic of Macedonian Greek accent. The name often appears in writing in the abbreviated form Θεσ/νίκη. He named it after his wife Thessalonike, a half-sister of Alexander the Great and princess of Macedon as daughter of Philip II. Under the kingdom of Macedon the city retained its own autonomy and parliament and evolved to become the most important city in Macedon. After the fall of the kingdom of Macedon in 168 BC, Thessalonica became a free city of the Roman Republic under Mark Antony in 41 BC. The city later became the capital of one of the four Roman districts of Macedonia.Thessaloniki – The 4th-century AD Rotunda of Galerius, one of several Roman monuments in the city and a UNESCO World Heritage Site
16. Stockholm – It is also the capital of Stockholm County. Stockholm is the cultural, media, economic centre of Sweden. The Stockholm region alone is among the top 10 regions in Europe by GDP per capita. It is the main centre for corporate headquarters in the Nordic region. The city is home to some such as the Stockholm School of Economics, Karolinska Institute and Royal Institute of Technology. It hosts the annual Nobel Prize ceremonies and banquet at Stockholm City Hall. The Vasa Museum, is the most visited non-art museum in Scandinavia. The Stockholm metro, opened in 1950, is well known for its decoration of the stations; it has been called the longest gallery in the world. Sweden's national arena is located north of the city centre, in Solna. The national indoor arena, is in the southern part of the city. Hosted the equestrian portion of the 1956 Summer Olympics otherwise held in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Thousands of years later, the lands became fertile, some life moved back to the North. They had a positive impact on the area because of the trade routes they created. Stockholm's location appears with the legendary king Agne. The first part of the name means log in Swedish, although it may also be connected to an old German word fortification.Stockholm – Aerial view of the Old Town, Skeppsbron, Stockholm City Hall, Hötorget buildings, Ericsson Globe and Stockholm Palace.
17. Weimar – Weimar is a city in the federal state of Thuringia, Germany. Weimar is well known in German history. Until 1948, Weimar was the capital of Thuringia. Many places in the city centre have been designated as UNESCO World Heritage sites and tourism is one of the leading economic sectors of Weimar. Relevant institutions in Weimar are the Bauhaus University, the Liszt School of Music, two leading courts of Thuringia. In 1999, Weimar was the European Capital of Culture. The oldest records regarding Weimar date to 899. Its name changed over the centuries through Wimari to Wimar and finally Weimar; it is derived from Old High German wīh - and - mari. Another theory derives the first element from OHG win. The place was the seat of the County of Weimar, first mentioned in 949, one of the mightiest actors in early-Middle Ages Thuringia. The Weimar settlement emerged around two small churches dedicated to St Peter, to St James. In 1240, the count founded the dynasty's monastery in Oberweimar, which ran under Cistercian nuns. Soon after, the counts of Weimar called civitas in 1254. From 1262 the citizens used their own seal. Nevertheless, the regional influence of the Weimar counts was declining as the influence of the Wettins in Thuringia increased.Weimar – Weimar
18. Bergen – Bergen, historically Bjørgvin, is a city and municipality in Hordaland on the west coast of Norway. At the end of the first quarter of 2016, the Bergen metropolitan region has about 420,000 inhabitants. Bergen is the second-largest city in Norway. The municipality is located on the peninsula of Bergenshalvøyen. Many of the extra-municipal suburbs are located on islands. Bergen consists of eight boroughs -- Arna, Bergenhus, Fana, Fyllingsdalen, Laksevåg, Ytrebygda, Årstad and Åsane. Trading in Bergen may have started early as the 1020s. According to tradition, the city was founded by king Olav Kyrre; its name was Bjørgvin, "the green meadow among the mountains". It served as Norway's capital from the end of the 13th century became a bureau city of the Hanseatic League. What remains of Bryggen, is a World Heritage Site. The city was hit by numerous fires over the years. From 1831 to 1972, Bergen was its own county. At the same time became a part of Hordaland county. The city is a national centre for higher education, media, tourism and finance. Almost half of the passengers are British.Bergen – From top to bottom: city centre, old town, Gamlehaugen, city square and Bryggen
19. Helsinki – Helsinki is the capital and largest city of Finland. It is on the shore of the Gulf of Finland. Helsinki is located some 80 kilometres north of Tallinn, 388 km west of Saint Petersburg, Russia. Helsinki has historical connections with these three cities. The Helsinki metropolitan area includes surrounding commuter towns. The city is the northernmost capital of an EU member state. The Helsinki metropolitan area is the fourth largest metropolitan area in the City of Helsinki being the third largest after Stockholm and Oslo. Helsinki is Finland's major political, educational, cultural, research center as well as one of northern Europe's major cities. Approximately 75% of foreign companies operating in Finland have settled in the Helsinki region. The nearby municipality of Vantaa is the location of Helsinki Airport, with frequent service to various destinations in Europe and Asia. The city was the 52nd Eurovision Song Contest 2007. In 2011, the Monocle magazine ranked the most liveable city in the world in its "Liveable Cities Index 2011". Helsinki is used to refer to the city in most languages, but not in Swedish. The Swedish name Helsingfors is the original name of the city. As part of the Grand Duchy of Finland in the Russian Empire, Helsinki was known in Russian.Helsinki – Clockwise from top: Helsinki Cathedral, view of central Helsinki, Headquarters of Sanoma, Helsinki city centre at night, beaches at Aurinkolahti, Parliament House and Suomenlinna.
20. Brussels – Brussels, officially the Brussels-Capital Region, is a region of Belgium comprising 19 municipalities, including the City of Brussels, the capital of Belgium. The region has a population of 1.2 million and a metropolitan area with a population of over 1.8 million, the largest in Belgium. Brussels is the de facto capital of the European Union as it hosts a number of principal EU institutions. The secretariat of the Benelux and the headquarters of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization are also located in Brussels. It has seen a shift from the 19th century onwards. Today the majority language is French, the Brussels-Capital Region is an officially bilingual enclave within the Flemish Region. Many services are shown in both languages. Brussels is increasingly becoming multilingual with increasing numbers of migrants, expatriates and minority groups speaking their own languages. The bishop of Cambrai made the recorded reference in 695 when it was still a hamlet. Charles would construct the first permanent fortification in the city, doing so on that same island. Lambert I of Leuven, Count of Leuven gained the County of Brussels around 1000 by marrying Charles' daughter. As it grew to a population of around 30,000, the surrounding marshes were drained to allow for further expansion. The Counts of Leuven became Dukes of Brabant at about this time. In the 13th century, the city got its first walls. After the construction of the city walls in the early 13th century, Brussels grew significantly.Brussels – A collage with several views of Brussels, Top: View of the Northern Quarter business district, 2nd left: Floral carpet event in the Grand Place, 2nd right: Brussels City Hall and Mont des Arts area, 3rd: Cinquantenaire Park, 4th left: Manneken Pis, 4th middle: St. Michael and St. Gudula Cathedral, 4th right: Congress Column, Bottom: Royal Palace of Brussels
21. Prague – Prague is the capital and largest city of the Czech Republic. It is the 15th largest city in the European Union. It is also the historical capital of Bohemia. The city has a temperate climate, with chilly winters. Prague has been a political, cultural, economic centre with waxing and waning fortunes during its history. It was an important city to its Austro-Hungarian Empire. Prague is home to a number of cultural attractions, many of which survived the violence and destruction of 20th-century Europe. Main attractions include the Prague Castle, the Charles Bridge, the Jewish Quarter, Petřín hill and Vyšehrad. Since 1992, the historic centre of Prague has been included in the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites. The city boasts more than ten major museums, along with numerous theatres, galleries, other historical exhibits. An extensive public transportation system connects the city. Also, it is home to a wide range including Charles University in Prague, the oldest university in Central Europe. Prague is classified according to GaWC studies. Prague ranked sixth in 2016. The city receives more than 6.4 million international visitors annually, as of 2014.Prague – Montage of Prague, clockwise from top: Panorama of Prague Castle and Charles Bridge, Dancing House, Star Villa, Old Town Square, Wenceslas Square, Wallenstein Palace, Royal Garden at Prague Castle, St. Vitus Cathedral and Municipal House.
22. Santiago de Compostela – Santiago de Compostela, commonly known as Santiago, is the capital of the autonomous community of Galicia in northwestern Spain. In 1985 the city's Old Town was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Santiago is the local Galician evolution of Vulgar Latin Sanctus Iacobus "Saint James". Other etymologies derive the name from local Vulgar Latin Composita Tella, meaning "burial ground", or simply from Latin compositella, meaning "the well-composed one". Other sites in Galicia share this toponym, akin to Compostilla in the province of León. The cathedral borders the main plaza of the well-preserved city. Legend has it that the remains of the apostle James were brought for burial. The shepherd quickly reported his discovery to the bishop of Iria, Bishop Teodomiro. The bishop immediately notified King Alfonso II in Oviedo. To honour St. James, the cathedral was built on the spot where his remains were said to have been found. Along the western side of the Praza do Obradoiro is the elegant 18th century Pazo de Raxoi, now the city hall. The best known, is depicted on the Spanish euro coins of 1 cent, 2 cents, 5 cents. Santiago is the site of Santiago de Compostela established in the early 16th century. The main campus can be seen best from an alcove in the municipal park in the centre of the city. Within the old town there are many narrow winding full of historic buildings.Santiago de Compostela – Santiago's Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site
23. Avignon – Avignon is a commune in south-eastern France in the department of Vaucluse on the left bank of the Rhône river. Of the 90,194 inhabitants of the city, about 12,000 live in the ancient centre enclosed by its medieval ramparts. Papal control persisted until 1791 when, during the French Revolution, it became part of France. The town is now one of the few French cities to have preserved its ramparts. The historic centre, which includes the Palais des Papes, the Pont d'Avignon, became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995. The annual Festival d'Avignon have helped to make the town a major centre for tourism. The commune has been awarded one flower by the National Council of Towns and Villages in Bloom in Bloom. The earliest forms of the name were reported by the Greeks: Аὐενιὼν = Auenion Άουεννίων = Aouennion. The site of Avignon has been occupied since the Neolithic period as shown by excavations at the Balance district. There were also an abundance of Hallstatt pottery shards which could have been native or imported. The name of the city dates back to around the 6th BC. The first citation of Avignon was made by Artemidorus of Ephesus. He said: "The City of Massalia, near the Rhone, the ethnic name is Avenionsios according to the Greek expression". This name has two interpretations: "city of violent wind" or, more likely, "lord of the river". Other sources trace its origin to the Celtic definitive article.Avignon – Palace of the Popes
24. Bologna – It is the largest city of the Emilia-Romagna Region in Northern Italy. Bologna is the seventh most populous city in Italy, located in the heart of a metropolitan area of about million. The first settlements date back to at least 1000 BC. It is also an important transportation crossroad for the trains of Northern Italy, where many important mechanical, electronic and nutritional industries have their headquarters. It is home to numerous prestigious cultural, political institutions as well as one of the most impressive trade fair districts in Europe. In 2000 Bologna was declared European capital in 2006, a UNESCO "city of music". The city of Bologna was selected to participate in the Universal Exposition of Shanghai 2010 from around the world. After a long decline, it was reborn under Bishop Petronius. According to legend, St. Petronius built the church of S. Stefano. In 728, the city was captured by the Lombard Liutprand, becoming part of the Lombard Kingdom. The Germanic conquerors formed a district called "longobarda" near the complex of S. Stefano. Charlemagne stayed in 786. Traditionally said to be founded in 1088, the University of Bologna is widely considered to be the first university. The university originated as an international centre of study of medieval Roman law including Irnerius. Bologna numbered Dante, Boccaccio and Petrarca among its students.Bologna – A collage of the city, showing Fountain of Neptune, Piazza Maggiore, Basilica of San Petronio, Two towers (Due Torri), Tagliatelle al ragù bolognese (dish of Bologna origin), and endless city arcades typical for Bologna
25. Rotterdam – Rotterdam is a city in the Netherlands, located in South Holland, within the Rhine–Meuse–Scheldt river delta at the North Sea. Its history goes back to 1270 when a dam was constructed by people settled around it for safety. In 1340 Rotterdam slowly grew into a major logistic and economic centre. Nowadays it has a population of 633,471, ranking second in the Netherlands. Rotterdam is part of the yet larger Randstad conurbation with a total population of 7,100,000. The city of Rotterdam is known for the Erasmus University, riverside setting, its maritime heritage. Rotterdam is home to some world-famous architecture from renowned architects like Rem Koolhaas, Piet Blom, others. The port of Rotterdam is the 10th largest in the world. Rhine, Meuse, Scheldt give waterway access into the heart of Western Europe, including the highly industrialized Ruhr region. , conversely; "Gateway to the World" in Europe. The settlement at the lower end of the fen Rotte dates from at least 900 CE. A dam on the Rotte or ` Rotterdam' was located at the present-day Hoogstraat. On 7 Count Willem IV of Holland granted city rights to Rotterdam, which then had approximately 2,000 inhabitants. Both in port activity and population, followed the completion of the Nieuwe Waterweg in 1872. The harbor started to expand on the south bank of the river.Rotterdam
26. Porto – Porto is the second largest city in Portugal after Lisbon and one of the major urban areas of the Iberian Peninsula. Lisbon Metropolitan Area, on the other hand, includes an estimated million people. The western part of its urban area extends to the coastline of the Atlantic Ocean. Its settlement dates back many centuries, when it was an outpost of the Roman Empire. Portus Cale, has been referred to as the origin of the name "Portugal", based on transliteration and oral evolution from Latin. In Portuguese, the name of the city is spelled with a definite article. Consequently, its English name referred to as Oporto in modern literature and by many speakers. In 2014, Porto was elected The Best European Destination by the Best European Destinations Agency. The history of Porto dates back to around 300 BC with Proto-Celtic and Celtic people being the known inhabitants. Ruins of that period have been discovered in several areas. During the Roman occupation of the Iberian Peninsula the city developed as an commercial port, primarily in the trade between Olissipona and Bracara Augusta. Porto fell during the invasion of the Iberian Peninsula in 711. Portus Cale, later referred to as Portucale, was the origin for the modern name of Portugal. Usually known as Condado Portucalense after reconquering the region north of Douro. The Portuguese-English alliance, is the world's oldest recorded alliance, which inspired the formation of NATO.Porto – From the top left corner clockwise: Clérigos Tower; Palácio da Bolsa; Avenida dos Aliados; Church of São Francisco; Porto Cathedral; Porto City Hall; Ribeira
27. Bruges – Bruges is the capital and largest city of the province of West Flanders in the Flemish Region of Belgium, in the northwest of the country. The area of the whole city amounts to more than 13,840 hectares, including 1,075 hectares off the coast, at Zeebrugge. The historic city centre is a prominent World Heritage Site of UNESCO. It is oval and about 430 hectares in size. The city's total population is 117,073, of whom around 20,000 live in the city centre. The metropolitan area, including the outer commuter zone, covers an area of 616 km2 and has a total of 255,844 inhabitants as of 1 January 2008. Along with a northern cities, such as Amsterdam and Stockholm, it is sometimes referred to as The Venice of the North. Bruges has a significant economic importance thanks to its port and was once the chief commercial city in the world. Bruges is well known as the seat of the College of an elite institute for European studies regarded as "the EU's own Oxbridge." The name probably derives from the Old Dutch for "bridge": brugga. Also compare Middle Dutch brucge, brugge, modern Dutch bruggehoofd and brug. The form brugghe would be a southern Dutch variant. The Dutch word and the English "bridge" both derive from Proto-Germanic *brugjō-. Bruges was a location of coastal settlement during prehistory. This Bronze Age and Iron Age settlement is unrelated to medieval city development.Bruges – A canal in Bruges with the famous Belfry in the background
28. Salamanca – Salamanca is an ancient Celtic city in northwestern Spain, the capital of the Province of Salamanca in the community of Castile and León. The city lies by the Tormes River. Its Old City was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988. It supplies 16 % of Spain's market for the teaching of the Spanish language. Salamanca attracts thousands of international students, generating a diverse environment. It is situated approximately 200 kilometres west of 80 km east of the Portuguese border. With its 30,000 students, the university is, together with tourism, a primary source of income in Salamanca. In the 3rd BC, Hannibal laid siege to the city. Its Roman bridge was a part of this road. With the fall of the Roman Empire, Salamanca was part of this region. Later the city was included in their territory. Signatures of bishops of Salamanca are found in the Councils of Toledo. Salamanca surrendered to the Moors, led by Musa bin Nusair, in the year 712 AD. After the battle of Simancas the Christians resettled this area. After the capture of Toledo by Alfonso VI in 1085, the definitive resettlement of the city took place.Salamanca – View of Salamanca
29. Graz – Graz is the capital of Styria and second-largest city in Austria after Vienna. On 1 it had a population of 310,391. In 2014, the population of the Graz Larger Urban Zone who had principal status stood at 605,143. Graz has a long tradition as a "town": its six universities have more than 44,000 students. Its "Old Town" is one of the best-preserved city centres in Central Europe. Culturally, Graz was for centuries more important for Slovenes than Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia, still remains influential. In 1999, the site was extended in 2010 by Schloss Eggenberg. Graz got the title of a City of Culinary Delights in 2008. The name of Graz, formerly spelled Gratz, stems most likely from the Slavic gradec, "small castle". Some archaeological finds point by Alpine Slavic people, which in time became a heavily defended fortification. The name thus follows the common South Slavic pattern for naming settlements as grad. The German name'Graz' first appears in records in 1128. Graz is situated in the southeast of Austria. It is about 200 southwest of Vienna. The nearest larger urban center is Maribor in Slovenia, about 50 km away.Graz – Rathaus (Town Hall) at dusk
30. Plovdiv – It is the second-largest city in Bulgaria with a population of 341,567 inhabitants as of 2015, while 544,628 live in its urban area. Plovdiv is an economic, transport, cultural, educational center. It has evidence of habitation since the 6th millennium BC when the Neolithic settlements were established. Plovdiv is said to be one of the oldest cities in the world. The city was originally a Thracian settlement, later being invaded by Greeks, Celts, Romans, Goths, Huns, Bulgarians, Slav-Vikings, Crusaders and Turks. On 4 Plovdiv was liberated from Ottoman rule by the Russian army. Plovdiv remained until July of the same year when it became the capital of the autonomous Ottoman region of Eastern Rumelia. In 1885, Plovdiv and Eastern Rumelia joined Bulgaria. It is situated on the two banks of the Maritsa River. The city has historically developed on seven syenite hills, some of which are 250 metres high. Because of these hills, it is often referred to as "The City of the Seven Hills". There are many remains preserved from antiquity such as the ancient Plovdiv Roman theatre, Roman odeon, Roman aqueduct, Roman Stadium, others. On 5 Plovdiv was selected as the Bulgarian host of the European Capital of Culture 2019. This happened with the help of the Municipal Foundation "Plovdiv 2019 ″ - a non-government organization, established by Plovdiv's City Council. The main objectives were to prepare Plovdiv's bid book for European Capital of Culture in 2019.Plovdiv – 1st row: Plovdiv on the banks of Maritsa 2nd: The old town and the Three Hills 3rd: Streets in Plovdiv 4th: City Hall • Plovdiv Roman theatre 5rd: Churches and the bath • Mosque • Fountain
31. Genoa – The urban area of Genoa, coinciding with its metropolitan city, has a population of 862,885. Over million people live in a wider metropolitan area that stretches all along the Riviera. Genoa is the largest seaport in Italy. Genoa has been nicknamed la Superba due to its glorious impressive landmarks. Part of the old town of Genoa was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2006. The city's cultural history in notably its art, music and cuisine allowed it to become the 2004 European Capital of Culture. Its solid financial sector dates back to the Middle Ages. The Genoa area has been inhabited since the fourth millennium B.C.. In the ancient times this area was inhabited by "Ligures", "Phoenicians", "Phocaeans", "Greeks", "Etruscans". The ancient Ligurian city was known as Stalia, so referred to by Pomponius Mela. Ligurian Stalia was overshadowed near modern Savona. Stalia had an alliance with Rome through a foedus aequum in the course of the Second Punic War. The Carthaginians accordingly destroyed it in 209 BC. The town was rebuilt and, after the Carthaginian Wars ended in 146 BC. it received municipal rights. The original thenceforth expanded towards the current areas of Santa Maria di Castello and the San Lorenzo promontory.Genoa – A collage of Genoa, clockwise from top left: Torre della Lanterna, Piazza de Ferrari, Galleria Mazzini, Brigata Liguria Street, view of San Teodoro from Port of Genoa
32. Lille – Lille is a city in northern France, in French Flanders. Near France's border with Belgium, it is the capital of the Hauts-de-France region and the prefecture of the Nord department. The legend of "Lydéric and Phinaert" puts the foundation of the city of Lille at 640. In the 8th century, the language of Old Low Franconian was spoken here, as attested by toponymic research. Lille's Dutch name is Rijsel, which comes from ijsel. The French equivalent has the same meaning: Lille comes from l'île. From 830 until around 910, the Vikings invaded Flanders. After the destruction caused by Norman and Magyar invasion, the eastern part of the region was ruled by local princes. The first mention of the town dates from 1066: apud Insulam. At the time, it was controlled by the County of Flanders, as were the regional cities. The County of Flanders thus extended to the left bank of the Scheldt, most prosperous regions of Europe. A local in this period was Évrard, who lived in the 9th century and participated in many of the day's political and military affairs. There was an important Battle of Lille in 1054. From the 12th century, the fame of the Lille fair began to grow. In 1144 Saint-Sauveur parish was formed, which would give its name to the modern-day Saint-Sauveur.Lille – Grand' place, Lille city centre.
33. Cork (city) – Cork is a city in Ireland, located in the South-West Region, in the province of Munster. It is the second largest city in the state and the third most populous on the island of Ireland. The greater Metropolitan Cork area has a population exceeding 300,000. In 2005, the city was selected as the European Capital of Culture. The city's cognomen of "the rebel city" originates during the English 15th century Wars of the Roses. Cork was originally a monastic settlement, reputedly founded by Saint Finbarr in the 6th century. Cork achieved an urban character at some point between 922 when Norseman settlers founded a trading port. It has been proposed that, like Dublin, Cork was an important centre in the global Scandinavian trade network. The city's charter was granted by Prince John, in 1185. Some wall sections and gates remain today. Neighbouring Hiberno-Norman lords extorted "Black Rent" from the citizens to keep them from attacking the city. Together, these baronies are located between the Barony of Barrymore to the south. The medieval population of Cork was about 2,100 people. It suffered a severe blow in 1349 when almost half the townspeople died of plague when the Black Death arrived in the town. The then mayor of several important citizens went with Warbeck to England but when the rebellion collapsed they were all captured and executed.Cork (city) – From top, left to right: City Hall, the English Market, Quadrangle in UCC, River Lee, Shandon Steeple.
34. Patras – It is Greece's third-largest city and the regional capital of Western Greece, in the northern Peloponnese, 215 km west of Athens. The city is built at the foothills of Mount Panachaikon, overlooking the Gulf of Patras. It has a population of 213,984. According to the results of 2011 census, the metropolitan area extends over an area of 738.87 km2. The Rio-Antirio bridge connects Patras' easternmost suburb of Rio to the town of Antirrio, connecting the Peloponnese peninsula with mainland Greece. It is also famous for supporting an cultural scene active mainly in the performing arts and modern urban literature. Patras was European Capital of Culture in 2006. A central feature of the urban geography of Patras is its division into lower sections. Patras is built on what was originally a bed of dried-up swamps. The largest river in the area is the Glafkos, flowing to the south of Patras. The water is also used as drinking water for the city. Other rivers are Haradros, the mountain torrent Diakoniaris. It has a Mediterranean climate. Patras features hot, dry summers, with spring and autumn being pleasant transitional seasons. Autumn in Patras, however, is wetter than spring.Patras – View of Patras from the fortress
35. Sibiu – It is a city in Transylvania, Romania, with a population of 147,245. Located some 215 km north-west of Bucharest, the city straddles the Cibin River, a tributary of the river Olt. Now the capital of 1849 -- 65 Sibiu was the capital of the Principality of Transylvania. Formerly the centre of the Transylvanian Saxons, the old city of Sibiu was ranked as "Europe's idyllic place to live" by Forbes in 2008. The city administers the Păltiniș resort. In the 14th century, Sibiu was already an important centre. In 1376, the craftsmen were divided in 19 guilds. It became the most important German city among the seven cities that gave Transylvania its German name Siebenbürgen. During the 19th centuries, the city became the second - and later the first-most important centre of Transylvanian Romanian ethnics. The Romanian-owned bank had its headquarters here, as did the ASTRA. Starting until after 1990, most of the city's ethnic Germans emigrated to Germany and Austria. Among the roughly 2,000 who have remained is Klaus Johannis, the current President of Romania. It is situated at 45.792784 ° N 24.152069 ° E / 45.792784; 24.152069. The eastern limits of Sibiu are formed by the Târnavelor Plateau, which descends to the Cibin Valley through Gușteriței Hill. The Cibin river well as some smaller streams runs through Sibiu.Sibiu – Sibiu Nagyszeben
36. Liverpool – Liverpool, in North West England, is a major city and metropolitan borough with an estimated population of 478,580 in 2015. Its surrounding areas form the fifth largest metropolitan area in the UK, with an estimated population of over 2.24 million in 2011. Liverpool historically lay in the south west of the county of Lancashire. It became a borough from 1880. In 1889 it became a county independent of Lancashire. Along with freight, raw materials such as coal and cotton, the city was also directly involved in Atlantic slave trade. It held the European Capital of Culture title together with Stavanger, Norway, in 2008. Several areas of Liverpool centre were granted World Heritage Site status by UNESCO in 2004. The Liverpool Maritime Mercantile City includes the Pier Head, William Brown Street. Tourism forms a significant part of the city's economy. Liverpool is also the home of Liverpool and Everton, matches between the two being known as the Merseyside derby. The world-famous Grand National race takes place annually at Aintree Racecourse on the outskirts of the city. The city is also home to the oldest Chinese community in Europe. Natives of Liverpool are referred to as Liverpudlians and colloquially as "Scousers", a form of stew. The word "Scouse" has also become synonymous with dialect.Liverpool – From top left: Pier Head and the Mersey Ferry; St George's Hall and the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool Catholic Cathedral; Liverpool Anglican Cathedral; Georgian architecture in Canning; Princes Dock
37. Stavanger – Stavanger /stəˈvæŋər/ is a city and municipality in Norway. The city is the administrative centre of Rogaland county. The municipality is the fourth most populous in Norway. Located on the Stavanger Peninsula in Southwest Norway, Stavanger counts its official founding year as 1125, the year the Stavanger Cathedral was completed. Stavanger's core is to a large degree 18th - and wooden houses that are protected and considered part of the city's cultural heritage. The city's rapid growth in the late 20th century was primarily a result of Norway's booming offshore oil industry. Today the city is widely referred to as the Oil Capital of Norway. The largest company in Norwegian energy company Statoil is headquartered in Stavanger. Educational institutions for higher education are located in Stavanger. The largest of these is the University of Stavanger. International military installations are located in Stavanger, among these is the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation's Joint Warfare Center. International establishments, especially local branches of foreign oil and gas companies, contribute further to a significant foreign population in the city. Immigrants make up 11.3% of Stavanger's population. Stavanger has since the early 2000s consistently had an rate significantly lower than the Norwegian and European average. In 2011, the rate was less than 2 %.Stavanger – Top: Breiavatnet, middle left top: View of Vagen, middle right up: Rica Hotel, middle left bottom: Gamle area, bottom: Monument to the Battle of Hafrsfjord, middle right bottom: Stavanger aerial photo bottom: Lille Stokkavann
38. Linz – Linz is the third-largest city of Austria and capital of the state of Upper Austria. It is located in the centre of Austria, approximately 30 kilometres south of the Czech border, on both sides of the River Danube. That of the Greater Linz conurbation is about 271,000. In 2009 Linz, together with the Lithuanian capital Vilnius, was chosen as the European Capital of Culture. Since 1 December 2014 Linz is a member of the UNESCO Creative Cities network as a City of Media Arts. Cities receive this title for involving society in these electronic art forms. Linz is well known for the Linzer torte, said to be the oldest cake in the world, with its first recipe dating from 1653. Linz is located in the centre of Europe, lying on the Paris -- Budapest west -- the Malmö -- Trieste north -- south axis. The Danube is the main tourism and connection that runs through the city. Approximately 29.27% of the city’s 96 km2 wide area are grassland. Further 17.95% are covered with forest. All the rest areas fall on water, land. Since January 2014 the city is divided into 16 statistical districts: Befor 2014 Linz was divided into 36 statistical quarters. The Linz was first recorded in AD 799. It lost its status after the death of the Emperor in 1493.Linz – View of Hauptplatz, Linz
39. Vilnius – Vilnius is the capital of Lithuania and its largest city, with a population of 542,664 as of 2015. Vilnius is the second largest city in the Baltic states. Vilnius is the seat of the main government institutions of Lithuania well as of the Vilnius District Municipality. In 2009, Vilnius was the European Capital of Culture, together with the Austrian city of Linz. The name of the city originates from the Vilnia River. The city has also been known throughout its history: Vilna was common in English. The most notable non-Lithuanian names for the city include: Polish: Belarusian: Вiльня, German: Wilna, Latvian: Viļņa, Russian: Вильнюс, Yiddish: ווילנע, Czech: Vilnius. An older Russian name was Вильна/Вильно, although Вильнюс is now used. The Vilna is still used in Finnish, Portuguese, Spanish, Hebrew. Wilna is still used in German, along with Vilnius. The neighborhoods of Vilnius also have names in other languages, which represent the languages spoken by ethnic groups in the area. Historian Romas Batūra identifies the city with one of the castles of Mindaugas, crowned in 1253 as King of Lithuania. The first Franciscan Catholic church was built. According to legend, Gediminas dreamt of an wolf howling on a hilltop and consulted a pagan priest for its interpretation. The duchy had been subject to intrusions by the Teutonic Knights.Vilnius – Top: Vilnius Old Town Middle left: Vilnius Cathedral Middle right: St. Anne's Church The 3rd row: Vilnius business district (Šnipiškės) The 4th row: Presidential Palace.
40. Ruhr.2010 – Ruhr.2010 – Kulturhauptstadt Europas was the name of the campaign in Germany's Ruhr region that earned it recognition as a European Capital of Culture in 2010. This was the first time a region was considered, as Essen represented all 53 towns in the application. Cultural capitals were in the same year the Hungarian Pécs and Istanbul in Turkey, where similar campaigns were held. The Ruhr.2010 campaign included the participation of all cities in the Ruhr area. Ein Schulprojekt der Kulturhauptstadt Europas Ruhr.2010. Essen: Edition Rainruhr 2011. ISBN 978-3-941676-07-7 RUHR.2010 GmbH:.2010: Buch zwei. Klartext Verlag, 2010, ISBN 978-3-8375-0316-6 Achim Nöllenheidt: RuhrKompakt: Der Kulturhauptstadt-Erlebnisführer. Klartext Verlag, 2009, ISBN 978-3-8375-0251-0 Gudrun Norbisrath, Achim Nöllenheidt: Kultur an der Ruhr. Entdeckungsreise in die Kulturhauptstadt. ISBN 978-3-8375-0266-4 Regionalverband Ruhr: Unter freiem Himmel / Under the Open Sky. Birkhäuser Verlag, 2010, ISBN 978-3-0346-0266-2 Regionalverband Ruhr: Feldstudien/ Field studies. Birkhäuser Verlag, 2010, ISBN 978-3-0346-0260-0 Gregor Gumpert, Ewald Tucai: Ruhr.Buch: das Ruhrgebiet literarisch. Dt. Taschenbuch-Verl. 2009, ISBN 978-3-423-13826-0 Official websiteRuhr.2010 – Essen representing the Ruhr as Ruhr.2010
41. Istanbul – Istanbul, historically known as Constantinople and Byzantium, is the most populous city in Turkey and the country's economic, cultural, historic center. Istanbul is a transcontinental city in Eurasia, straddling the Bosphorus strait between the Sea of the Black Sea. Its historical center lies on the European side and about a third of its population lives on the Asian side. The city is the administrative center of the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, both hosting a population of around million residents. Istanbul is ranks as the world's 7th-largest city proper and the largest European city. Founded under the name of Byzantion around 660 BCE, the city developed to become one of the most significant in history. Overlooked during the interwar period, the city has since regained much of its prominence. Arts, music, cultural festivals were established at the end of the 20th century and continue to be hosted by the city today. Infrastructure improvements have produced a complex network. Considered a global city, Istanbul has one of the fastest-growing metropolitan economies in the world. It hosts media outlets and accounts for more than a quarter of the country's gross domestic product. Hoping to capitalize on its rapid expansion, Istanbul has bid for the Summer Olympics five times in twenty years. The known name of the city is Byzantium, the name given to it at its foundation by Megarean colonists around 660 BCE. The name is thought to be derived from Byzas. Greek tradition refers to a legendary king of that name as the leader of the Greek colonists.Istanbul – Clockwise from top: View of Golden Horn between Galata and Seraglio Point including the historic areas; Maiden's Tower; a nostalgic tram on İstiklal Avenue; Levent business district with Dolmabahçe Palace; Ortaköy Mosque in front of the Bosphorus Bridge; and Hagia Sophia.
42. Turku – Turku is a city on the southwest coast of Finland at the mouth of the Aura River, in the region of Southwest Finland. It quickly became the most important city in a status it retained for hundreds of years. Because of its long history, it has extensively influenced Finnish history. Along with Tallinn, the city of Estonia, Turku was designated the European Capital of Culture for 2011. In 1996, it was declared the official Christmas City of Finland. As of September 2014, the population of Turku was 183,811, making it the sixth largest city in Finland. The city is officially bilingual as 5.2 percent of its population identify Swedish as a mother-tongue. The Finnish name Turku originates from tǔrgǔ, meaning "market place". The turku still means "market place" in some idioms in Finnish. The Swedish word for "place" is torg, was probably borrowed from Old East Slavic, was present already in Old Swedish. The Swedish Åbo may be a simple combination of å and bo. As this pattern does not appear in any Swedish place names in Finland, etymologists believe there could be a different explanation. There is however an legal term called" åborätt", which gave citizens the inheritable right to live at land owned by the crown. In Finnish, the genitive of Turku is Turun, meaning "of Turku". The Finnish names of institutes of Turku often begin with this word, as in Turun yliopisto for the University of Turku.Turku – Top row: Aerial view of Turku from atop Turku Cathedral 2nd row: Statue of Per Brahe, Turku Castle, Turku Cathedral 3rd row: Turku Medieval Market, The Christmas Peace Balcony of Turku, Twilight on the Aura River Bottom row: Summer along the Aura River, view of Yliopistonkatu pedestrian area
43. Tallinn – Tallinn is the capital and largest city of Estonia. From the 13th century until 1918, the city was known as Reval. Tallinn occupies an area of 159.2 km2 and has a population of 443,894. Approximately 32% of Estonia's total population lives in Tallinn. The earliest human settlements are over 5,000 years old, making one of the oldest capital cities of Northern Europe. Tallinn's Old Town is one of the best preserved medieval cities in Europe and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Tallinn is the major political, educational center of Estonia. Providing to the global cybersecurity it is the home to the NATO Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence. It is ranked as a global city and has been listed among the top 10 digital cities in the world. The city was a European Capital of Culture for 2011, along with Turku in Finland. It has been suggested that Quwri may have denoted a predecessor of the modern city. The earliest names of Tallinn include Kolyvan, which may have come from the mythical hero Kalev. It has been also suggested that the Estonian linda is similar to the Votic word lidna, meaning a castle or town. According to this suggestion, nisa would have the meaning ` niemi', producing the Finnish name for the city. Another ancient historical name for Tallinn in Finnish is Rääveli.Tallinn – A collage of Tallinn showing a view from the sea, the Old Town and a night view of the downtown
44. Maribor – Maribor is the second-largest city in Slovenia with about 96,000 inhabitants in 2015. It is also the largest city of the seat of the City Municipality of Maribor. Maribor is a compound of Middle High German march ` march' + burc ` fortress'. In modern times, the town's German name was Marburg an der Drau. The Slovene Maribor is an artificial Slovenized creation, coined by Stanko Vraz in 1836. Vraz created the name by analogy with the name Brandenburg. Locally, the town is known as Marprk or Marprog. In addition to its German names, the city is also known as Marburgum in Latin and Marburgo in Italian. In 1164, a castle known as Castrum Marchburch was documented in the March of Drava. The castle was originally built on Piramida Hill, located just above the city. Maribor received town privileges in 1254. It began to grow rapidly over King Otakar II of Bohemia in 1278. Maribor withstood sieges in 1532 and 1683. Thus, it was mainly known by its Austrian name Marburg an der Drau. The surrounding area however was populated entirely by Slovenes, although many Austrian Germans lived in smaller towns like Ptuj.Maribor – Maribor's Old Town along the Drava River
45. Marseille – Marseille, also known as Marseilles in English, is a city in France. Marseille is now the largest port for commerce, freight and cruise ships. The city was European Capital of Culture, together with Košice, Slovakia, in 2013. It will be the European Capital of Sport in 2017. The city is home to part of one of the largest metropolitan conurbations in France, the Metropolis of Aix-Marseille-Provence. Marseille is the second largest city after Paris and Lyon. Further east still are the Sainte-Baume, the French Riviera. Beyond the low Garlaban and Etoile mountain ranges, is the 1,011 m Mont Sainte Victoire. The airport lies on the Étang de Berre. The city's main thoroughfare stretches eastward to the Réformés quarter. Two large forts flank Fort Saint-Jean on the north. The commercial centre of the city intersects with the Canebière at rue St Ferréol and the Centre Bourse. To the south west are the hills of the 7th arrondissement, dominated by the basilica of Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde. The station -- Gare de Marseille Saint-Charles -- is north of the Centre Bourse in the 1st arrondissement; it is linked by the Boulevard d'Athènes to the Canebière. Marseille warm to hot, mostly dry summers.Marseille – Clockwise from top: Notre-Dame de la Garde • Old Port • La Joliette with CMA CGM Tower • Calanque of Sugiton
46. Riga – Riga is the capital and the largest city of Latvia. With 696,593 inhabitants, Riga is the largest city of the Baltic states and home to one third of Latvia's population. The city lies at the mouth of the Daugava. Riga's territory lies between one and ten metres above sea level, on a flat and sandy plain. Riga is a former Hanseatic League member. Riga's historical centre is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, noted for 19th century wooden architecture. Riga was the European Capital of Culture along with Umeå in Sweden. Riga hosted the 2006 NATO Summit, the 2006 IIHF Men's World Ice Hockey Championships. It is home to the European Union's office of European Regulators for Electronic Communications. Riga is served by the largest airport in the Baltic states. Riga is a member of Eurocities, Union of Capitals of the European Union. Another theory could be that Riga was named after Riege, a tributary of the Daugava. The Daugava has been a trade route since antiquity, part of the Vikings' Dvina-Dnieper navigation route to Byzantium. It was settled by an ancient Finnic tribe. Riga began to develop during the early Middle Ages.Riga – From top, left to right: the Freedom Monument, the Riga City Council building, the House of the Blackheads, Līvu Square, and the Latvian National Opera
47. Mons – Mons is a Belgian city and municipality, the capital of the province of Hainaut. Together with the Czech city of Plzeň, Mons was the European Capital of Culture in 2015. When Julius Caesar arrived in the 1st century BC, the region was settled by the Nervii, a Belgian tribe. Soon after, daughter of one of Clotaire II's intendants, came to the oratory and was proclaimed a saint upon her death in 688. She was canonized in 1039. Like its neighbour to the north-west, Mons was made a fortified city by Count Baldwin IV of Hainaut in the 12th century. The population grew quickly, several commercial buildings were erected near the Grand' Place. The 12th century also saw the appearance of the first town halls. The city had 4,700 inhabitants by the end of the 13th century. Mons grew to 8,900 inhabitants by the end of the 15th century. In the 1450s, Matheus de Layens restored the town hall. In 1515, Charles V took an oath as Count of Hainaut. On 8 April 1691, after a nine-month siege, Louis XIV’s army stormed the city, which again suffered heavy casualties. From 1697 to 1701, Mons was alternately Austrian. After being from 1701 to 1709, the Dutch army gained the upper hand in the Battle of Malplaquet.Mons – Mons Bergen (Dutch)
48. Aarhus – Aarhus is the second-largest city in Denmark and the seat of Aarhus municipality. The urban area contains 264,716 inhabitants and the municipal population is 330,639. Aarhus is the central city in the East Jutland metropolitan area, which had a total population of million in 2016. Growth stagnated in the 17th century as the city suffered blockades and bombardments during the Swedish Wars. In the 19th century it avoided destruction. As the industrial revolution took hold, the city grew to become the second-largest by the 20th century. Today Aarhus is in Jutland. The city ranks as number 234 among world cities. It is also a top 100 city in the world. Aarhus is the industrial port of the country in terms of container handling and an important trade hub in Kattegat. Danish companies have based their headquarters here and people commute for work and leisure from a wide area in Region Midtjylland. Aarhus is notable for its musical history. In the 1950s many jazz clubs sprang up around the city, fuelled by the young population. By the 1960s, the scene diversified into rock and other genres. In the 1980s, Aarhus became the centre for Denmark's rock music fostering many iconic bands such as TV-2 and Gnags.Aarhus – From top and left to right: Aarhus skyline, Aarhus City Hall, Isbjerget, Park Allé
49. Paphos – Paphos /ˈpæfɒs/ is a coastal city in the southwest of Cyprus and the capital of Paphos District. In antiquity, two locations were called Paphos: New Paphos. New Paphos, lies on the Mediterranean coast, about 50 km west of Limassol, which has an A6 highway connection. Paphos International Airport is the country's second-largest airport. Paul the Apostle visited the town during the first AD. The town of Paphos is included in the official UNESCO list of natural treasures of the world's heritage. It enjoys a subtropical-Mediterranean climate, with the mildest temperatures on the island. It has been selected as a European Capital of Culture for 2017, along with Aarhus. The author of Bibliotheke, the Hellenistic encyclopedia of myth long attributed to Apollodorus, gives the genealogy. Pygmalion was so devoted to the cult of Aphrodite that he kept it on his couch. The living Galatea bore Pygmalion a son, Paphos, a daughter, Metharme. According to another legend preserved by Strabo, whose text, however, varies, Paphos was founded by the Amazons. Archaeologists report that the site of Old or Upper Paphos has been inhabited since the Neolithic period. Paphos was a centre of the cult of Aphrodite and of pre-Hellenic fertility deities. Aphrodite's mythical birthplace was on this island, where her temple was erected in the 12th century BC.Paphos – Paphos Πάφος (Greek) Baf (Turkish)
50. Valletta – Valletta is the capital city of Malta, colloquially known as Il-Belt in Maltese. The historical city has a population of 6,444, while the metropolitan area around it has a population of 393,938. Valletta is the second capital of the European Union after Nicosia. Valletta contains buildings from the 16th century onwards, built during the rule of the Order of St. John also known as Knights Hospitaller. The City of Valletta was officially recognised as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1980. The official name given by the Order of Saint John was Humilissima Civitas Valletta—The Most Humble City of Valletta, or Città Umilissima in Italian. The building of a city on the Sciberras Peninsula, originally called Xaghriet Mewwija, had been proposed by the Order of Saint John as early as 1524. Back then, the only building on the peninsula was a small watchtower dedicated to Erasmus of Formia, built in 1488. In 1552, the watchtower was demolished and the larger Fort Saint Elmo was built in its place. In the Great Siege of 1565, Fort Saint Elmo fell to the Ottomans, but the Order eventually won the siege with the help of Spanish reinforcements. The city took his name and was called La Valletta. Pope Pius V sent Francesco Laparelli, to design the new city, while Philip II of Spain sent monetary aid. The foundation stone of the city was laid by Grand Master de Valette on 28 March 1566. He placed the first stone in what later became Our Lady of Victories Church. De Valette died from a stroke on 21 August 1568 at age 74 and never saw the completion of his city.Valletta – From top: Skyline, Saluting Battery, Lower Barrakka Gardens, St. John's Co-Cathedral and the city walls
51. Leeuwarden – Leeuwarden is a city and municipality with a population of 108,249 in Friesland in the Netherlands. It is the provincial seat of the States of Friesland. The oldest remains of houses in the city date back to the 2nd AD. Leeuwarden has been permanently inhabited since the 10th century. It was granted city privileges in 1435. The city was liberated by The Royal Canadian Dragoons in 1945. It is the economic hub of the province of Friesland, situated in a water-rich environment, with lakes, villages and recreational areas. Leeuwarden has a historic centre, many listed buildings, a large shopping centre with squares and restaurants. Leeuwarden has been awarded European Capital of Culture 2018. Historical event is the Elfstedentocht, an ice skating-tour of eleven cities in Friesland, starting and finishing in Leeuwarden. Besides the city of Leeuwarden, population centres in the municipality with a population of 1,000 or more are Wirdum. The municipality is governed by a coalition of the Labour Party, Christian Democratic Appeal, PAL-GroenLinks. There is much uncertainty about the origin of the city's name. Archivist Wopke Eekhoff summed up a total of over 200 different spelling variants, of which Leeuwarden, Liwwadden, Ljouwert are still in use. The second syllable is easily explained: Frisian/Dutch for an artificial dwelling hill, is a designation of terps, reflecting the historical situation.Leeuwarden – Former weigh house in Leeuwarden
52. Matera – Matera is a city and a province in the region of Basilicata, in Southern Italy. It is the capital of the capital of Basilicata from 1663 to 1806. The town lies in a small canyon carved out by the Gravina. Known as "la Città Sotterranea", Matera is well known for being one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world. Its historical center called "Sassi", along with the Park of the Rupestrian Churches, is considered a World Heritage Site since 1993. On October 2014, Matera was declared Italian host of European Capital of Culture for 2019. The area of what is now Matera has been settled since the Palaeolithic. The city was allegedly founded by the Romans with the name of Matheola after the consul Lucius Caecilius Metellus. In AD 664 Matera became part of the Duchy of Benevento. In the 8th centuries the nearby grottos were colonized by both Benedictine and Basilian monastic institutions. The 10th centuries were characterized by the struggle between the Byzantines and the German emperors, including Louis II, who partially destroyed the city. After the settlement of the Normans in Apulia, Matera was ruled by William Iron-Arm from 1043. In 1514, however, the population killed Count Giovanni Carlo Tramontano. In the 17th century Matera then became part of the Terre d'Otranto di Puglia. Later it was capital of a position it retained until 1806, when Joseph Bonaparte reassigned it to Potenza.Matera – Panorama of Matera
53. Rijeka – Rijeka is the principal seaport and the third-largest city in Croatia. It has a population of 128,624 inhabitants. The metropolitan area, which includes adjacent municipalities, has a population of more than 240,000. In 2016, Rijeka was selected as the European Capital of Culture alongside Galway, Ireland. According to the 2011 census data, the overwhelming majority of its citizens are presently Croats, along with small numbers of Bosniaks, Italians and Serbs. Rijeka is the main city of Primorje-Gorski Kotar County. The city's economy largely depends on shipbuilding and transport. Historically Fiumano served as a franca for the many ethnicities inhabiting the multicultural port-town. Historically, Rijeka was also called Tharsatica, Vitopolis, or Flumen in Latin. The city is called Rijeka in Croatian, Reka or Rika in other Croatian dialects. It is called Fiume in Italian. All these names mean river in their respective languages. Meanwhile, Hungarian has adopted the Italian name while in German the city has been called Sankt Veit am Flaum or Pflaum. The City of Rijeka lies in the Vinodol micro-region of the Croatian coast. Two important transport routes start in Rijeka due to its location.Rijeka
54. Galway – Galway is a city in the West of Ireland in the province of Connacht. Galway City Council is the local authority for the city. Galway is surrounded by County Galway. It is the fourth most populous urban area in the sixth most populous city in the island of Ireland. According to the 2016 Irish Census, Galway city has a population of 79,504; however, the rural agglomeration is far bigger. Galway will be European Capital of Culture in 2020, alongside Rijeka, Croatia. The city's name is from the Gaillimh that formed the western boundary of the earliest settlement, called Dún Bhun na Gaillimhe. The Gaillimh means "stony" as in "stony river". Historically, the name was Anglicised as Galliv, closer to the Irish pronunciation as is the city's name in Latin, Galvia. In common with many cities, Galway has its own myth with Galway named after Gaillimh daughter of Breasail, who drowned in the river. The city also bears the nickname "The City of the Tribes" because "fourteen tribes" of merchant families led the city in its Hiberno-Norman period. The term tribes was often a derogatory one in Cromwellian times. The merchants would have loyal to the King. They later adopted the term in defiance of the town's Cromwellian occupier. Residents of the city refer to a lesser extent, ` Tribesmen'.Galway – The walled city in 1651 (North is to the left). The River Corrib is in the foreground, crossed by what is now "O’Briens Bridge", leading to Mainguard Street.
55. Elefsina – Eleusis is a town and municipality in West Attica, Greece. It is situated about 18 kilometres northwest from the centre of Athens. It is located at the northernmost end of the Saronic Gulf. North of Eleusis are Mandra and Magoula, while Aspropyrgos is to the northeast. Eleusis is the seat of administration of West Attica regional unit. It is the birthplace of Aeschylus. On 11 November 2016 Eleusis was named the European Capital of Culture for 2021. These Mysteries revolved around a belief that there was a hope for life after death for those who were initiated. The central myth of the Mysteries was Demeter's quest for her lost daughter, abducted by Hades. Demeter raised Demophoon, anointing him with ambrosia, until Metaneira found out and insulted her. Demeter, in all her glory, instructed Meteneira to build a temple to her. The city has become a suburb of Athens, to which it is linked by the Motorway 6 and Greek National Road 8. Eleusis is nowadays the place where the majority of crude oil in Greece is imported and refined. The largest refinery is located on the west side of town. There is a military airport a few kilometers east of Eleusis.Elefsina – View over the excavation site towards Eleusis and the Saronic Gulf.
56. Novi Sad – Novi Sad is the second largest city in Serbia, the capital of the province of Vojvodina and the administrative seat of the South Bačka District. According to the 2011 census, the city has a population of 250,439, while the urban area of Novi Sad has 277,522 inhabitants. The population of the administrative area of the city stands at 341,625 people. Novi Sad was founded in 1694, when Serb merchants formed a colony from the Petrovaradin fortress, a Habsburg strategic military post. It was subsequently restored. Novi Sad is an industrial and financial center of the Serbian economy, will be the European Capital of Culture in 2021. The name Novi Sad means "New Plant" in Serbian. Its Latin name, stemming from establishment of city rights, is "Neoplanta". Historically, it was also called "Neusatz" in German. In its wider meaning, the name Grad Novi Sad refers to the "City of Novi Sad", one of the administrative units of Serbia. Human dwelling on the territory of present-day Novi Sad has been traced as back as the Stone Age. Several necropoleis were unearthed during the construction of a new boulevard in Avijaticarsko Naselje, were dated to 5000 BC. A settlement was located in the territory of present-day Petrovaradin. In antiquity, the region was inhabited by Illyrian, Thracian and Celtic tribes, especially by the Scordisci. Celts founded the first fortress on the right bank of the Danube.Novi Sad