Do you know Kaunas? Lithuania’s second largest city is often overshadowed by the capital, Vilnius. The Capital of Culture year should change that forever.


With an outdoor show, Lithuania’s second largest city, Kaunas, kicked off its 2022 European Capital of Culture program on Saturday evening.

The main attraction was an elaborate multimedia light show with video projections on the facade of the Zalgiris Arena, accompanied by music and dancing. In addition, many concerts, exhibitions and other events took place in the city of 300,000 inhabitants.

Opening speech in front of thousands of spectators

“Kaunas is culture! said Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda in his opening speech to several thousand spectators. EU Council President Charles Michel said in a video speech: “Today Kaunas is more than ever the beating heart of Europe.”

The motto of the year of the European Capital of Culture in Kaunas is “From the ephemeral to the contemporary”. In total, more than 40 festivals, 60 exhibitions and more than 250 performing arts events and concerts are to take place.

Also Novi Sad and Esch

Besides Kaunas, Novi Sad in Serbia and Esch in Luxembourg will also be European Capitals of Culture in 2022. The year of the Capital of Culture officially opened in Novi Sad on 13 January. In Esch, the grand opening party is scheduled for February 26. (dpa)