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European Capital of Culture 2024 - Ausseerland in the Salzkammergut region

Already since 1985 cities from different countries receive the title of the cultural capital for one year. For the year 2024 Austria places, beside Estonia and Norway, a city as a contender for the title.

The aim of the Capitals of Culture is to make the diversity of life in Europe visible, to promote mutual understanding and to set sustainable impulses for urban and regional development.

The Salzkammergut as Capital of Culture 2024

The title is also coveted within Austria. For 2024, Dornbirn, St. Pölten and the Salzkammergut competed against each other. On November 12, 2019, the Salzkammergut was finally chosen.

What makes the winner of the Capital of Culture region so successful? A total of 23 municipalities from three different provinces together form the Salzkammergut as the Capital of Culture for 2024.

In addition to Bad Ischl as the figurehead, these include the following communities: Altaussee, Altmünster, Bad Aussee, Bad Goisern, Bad Mitterndorf, Ebensee am Traunsee, Gmunden, Gosau, Grundlsee, Grünau im Almtal, Hallstatt, Kirchham, Laakirchen, Obertraun, Pettenbach im Almtal, Roitham am Traunfall, Scharnstein, St. Konrad, Steinbach am Attersee, Traunkirchen, Unterach am Attersee and Vorchdorf.

In close cooperation, the communities developed a cultural vision for the year 2030 "Culture makes the difference". The result: outdated buildings and event spaces are to be revitalized. The intention is to revive people's interest in culture with a varied cultural program and thus reach a broad target group.

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The path to be the Capital of Culture 2024

"The Capital of Culture is the award for what you want to become and not for what you are!" - with this quote Hannes Heide, Mayor of Bad Ischl, expresses his interest in the title.

In order to work sustainably on the further development of the participating communities and to ensure a successful outcome for the Salzkammergut application, regular workshops were held.

Already in the course of the application, the strengths and weaknesses as well as the opportunities and threats for the regions of the Ausseerland and also for the Salzkammergut were worked out in a first step. Based on this, the most important goals for the next 15 years were defined. In a further step a red line was worked out, which emphasizes the commonalities of the Ausseerland with the Salzkammergut and furthermore identifies the similarities and potentials:

The Salzkammergut at large represents summer retreat and especially tourism, tradition, and culture. Traditions in Salkammergut are lived in a modern environment as well. The communities convey enjoyment, life culture and are regarded as places of desire that simply have to be visited.

The Ausseerland communities are considered the essence of the Salzkammergut. Here you will find a symbiosis between culture, nature and joie-de-vivre in a small and refined style. The Ausseerland presents itself as a feel-good reserve, where tradition meets diversity. Lived tradition as well as the fresh wind of free artists provide variety. Young and old live in harmony with each other and exude contentment and joie de vivre.

The strategy of the 2024 Capital of Culture.

With a solid strategy at its foundation, the Salzkammergut won the title. Five priorities have been focused

  1. Strengthen existing cultural forms with a wide understanding of culture and include new culture forms. The spectrum is to be expanded from events with brass music to giant events with fireworks or “lederhosen”, which are traditional trousers made out of leather, to include all possible arts and cultures.
  2. To release the potential of culture for all. The understanding should develop in a direction, in which everyone can consume and use something from the wide range on offer.
  3. To make culture accessible and attractive to all. Cultural insitutions should come back to life. More commitment, dedication and the right dose of humor, can lead to more interest in culture.
  4. Find new solutions to old problems. Albert Einstein already recognized that it is pure madness to do the same thing over and over again and expect different results. By applying to be a Capital of Culture, different aspects will be looked at from different angles and approached in a new way. Keyword: hypertourism.
  5. Revitalization of unused spaces. The regions of the Salzkammergut are rich in imperial and industrial heritage. Many of the buildings that are unused and vacant today should drive rural development in terms of culture.

In short: The traditions of the regions of the Salzkammergut Capital of Culture want to be preserved by the communities. At the same time, they want to think outside the box and make room for new cultural influences. Challenges of the future are faced by the Capital of Culture courageously with open eyes and new creative approaches.

Strategy team from the Ausseerland-Salzkammergut region.

It is the individual communities that, with their commitment and with a common goal in mind, have achieved the title of Capital of Culture 2024.

The following specialists from Ausseerland are involved in the project:

On a cultural journey in the Ausseerland-Salzkammergut region

From long-established rituals to a fresh breeze from freelance artists: the regions in the Ausseerland region impress with a varied cultural program.