Let's Travel Radio's April Showcase/EU's Capital Cities of Culture, 2014
The EU ( European Union ) has designated Riga, LATVIA and Umea, SWEDEN, as the two Capital Cities of Culture in Europe for 2014.
Each city is known for its contributions to the Arts, Music & Dance, annual Summer Festivals, historic Sites ( UNESCO ), Customs & Traditions, unique landscapes, and Cuisine. Riga, with a population of over 700,000, is the largest city in the Baltic States, and holds the largest
international airport in the region. It is a member of Eurocities ( UBC ) and
the Union of European Capitals ( UCEU ). Founded in 1201, it’s a world heritage site and is especially known for its Art Nouveau
Architecture of 19th Century wooden structures( 1857-1914 ),with more than 800 buildings still standing, and representing the largest collection of its type in the world. It also has a National Opera Company, 1918, a National Theater, 1919, the Russian National Theater, 1883, and the new Riga Theater, 1992. The 2014 World Choir Games ( Choir Olympics) will be held here. The city also boasts the Riga Castle, the Freedom Monument, the Latvian Museum, the Academy of Art, and the Riga Bourse. At 1209,’ Riga’s TV-Radio tower is the tallest in the Baltic States. Richard Wagner is its most famous citizen.
Umea, SWEDEN, on the other hand with a population of more than 80,000, and located on the Gulf of Bothnia , is the largest city in northern Sweden. It’s especially known for its annual Spring Festival which this year falls on the 24th of April and runs for four consecutive days non-stop. It attracts a diverse audience from many parts of Scandinavia. The city is also known for its university, the University of Umea, a progressive institution that has won attention from educators from all over Europe. Known as the METAL town of Sweden, it also boasts a younger population at an average of 38 years. Finnish Air flies to both Riga and Umea.
Reporting, Michael Zufolo for LET’S TRAVEL! Radio.