The two European Capitals of Culture for 2011 are Turku in Finland and Tallinn in Estonia. Each city launches an intensive year-long program of international cultural events.

This choice triggered a journey by car to these still little known cities and provided the possibility to see the other Baltic and Scandinavian countries as well and visit friends in Poland. In the summer of 2011 the following trip was undertaken:

Bergen op Zoom - Göttingen – Duderstadt - Leipzig – Görlitz

Zgorzelec - Brzeg– Lewin Brieszki -Katowice – Chorzów – Bytom – Repty – Gliwice – Skawina – Krakau – Nowa Huta – Wieliczka – Kazimierz – Podgorze – Sandomierz – Zamość – Lublin – Bielsk Podlaski – Białystok – Suwałki – Budzisko

Kaunas – Vilnius – Geographical Centre Europa – Utena – Svédasai – Panevežys – Šiauliai – Kryžiu kalnas

Eleja – Jelgava – Riga – Ventspils – Kolka Gars – Roja – Riga - Valka

Tartu – Alatskivi - Kallaste – Kauksi – Alajoe – Sillamäe – Narva – Tallinn

Helsinki – Turku – Naantali – Rauma – Tampere – Vaasa – Replot – Svedjehamn – Stundars

Umeå – Umedalen – Dorotea (the most northern tip of the journey) – Stromsund – Östersund

Duved – Dandvika – Trondheim – Berkåk – Lomm – Jotumheinen Nasjionalpark - Hella – Vangsnes – Opperland – Voss – Evanger – Bergen – Bruravik – Eidfjord – Geilo – Oslo – Frederikstad

Göteborg – Varberg – Kärradal - Malmö – Carlsgaard

Kopenhagen – Svendborg – Faaborg – Bøjden – Fynshav

Flensburg – Rendsburg – Hamburg – Bergen op Zoom


The European Capital of Culture is an initiative of the European Commission. Each year, cities chosen as European Capitals of Culture provide living proof of the richness and diversity of European cultures. Started in 1985, the initiative has become one of the most prestigious and high-profile cultural events in Europe.




The physician and poet Georg Christoph Lichtenberg in Göttingen.




The Literatu Gatve, with hundreds of artistic contributions, in Vilnius, Lithuania.




The poet Adam Mickiewisz in Vilnius.




The monument for Pushkin in Vilnius.




The constitution of the Republic of Uzupis in the Republic of Lithuania.




In Vilnius.




Remembering Jurgio Mačiūno (1931-1978) and Fluxus in Vilnius.





Kryžių Kalnas / Cross Hill, 10 km north of Šiauliai. Photo: Siti Wahyuningsih.


The geograpical centre of Europe, 25 km north of Vilnius. Latitude 54º 54º, Longitude 25º 19º.
Photo: Albert Hagenaars.






View on the centre of Riga and Daugava River from St Peter’s Lutheran Church. Photo: Siti Wahyuningsih.


Riga. Photo: Siti Wahyuningsih.


Brīvības Bulvāris / Freedom Monument (1935), Riga.
Photo: Siti Wahyuningsih.


Poet Lūcija Garūta (1902-1977), by Gunā Zvaigznite. Established 1969. Torna iela, Riga.
Photo: © Albert Hagenaars.


Poet Andrej Upitis (1877-1970), Kronvalda Park, Riga.
Photo: Albert Hagenaars.


Old Tallinn and the ferry harbor, seen from St Olaf’s Church. Photo: Albert Hagenaars.


In the cellar of restaurant African Kitchen in downtown Tallinn. Photo: Siti Wahyuningsih.


Museum of Occupation & Fight for Freedom, Tallinn. Siti Wahyuningsih.



Ivangorod, Russia. August 2011. Photo: Sergej Bazow.




Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) and colleague Eduard Vilde (1865-1933), Vallikraavi tn 4, Tartu. Statue by Tiiu Kirsipuu (1999). Photo: © Albert Hagenaars, August 2011.  





Poet Kristjan Jaak Peterson (1801-1822). Statue by Jaak. Soans and A. Murdmaa, erected on Toome Hill, Tartu in 1983. Photo: © Albert Hagenaars. August 2011.





Poet Juhan Liiv(1864-1913) in Alatskivi. Photo: © Albert Hagenaars, August 2011.  





Author and poet Anton Hansen Tammsaare (1878-1940). This statue by Jaak Soans and R. Luup was established in Tammsaare Park, Tallinn, in 1978. Photo: © Albert Hagenaars, August 2011.





Linnahall (the former V.I. Lenin Palace of Culture and Sport), Mere Puiestee 20, Tallinn. Designed by Raine Karp and Riina Alrtmäe. Although this complex was built in 1980, it is already in ruins, partly due to its Sovjet background. Photo: © Albert Hagenaars, August 2011.  





Opperland Stavkyrkje in Vangsnes at sunset, Norway. Photo: Albert Hagenaars, August 2011





Former Hansa business district Bryggen in Bergen. Photo: Siti Wahyuningsih, August 2011.





Author Amalie Skram, This statue by Maja Refsum, located Klosterhaugen in Bergen, was established in 1949. Photo: © Albert Hagenaars, August 2011.





‘Monolith’ (1929-1943) by Ludwig Vigeland (1869-1943) and three other sculptors in Frogner Park, Oslo. Various interpretations of this 46 feet high monument have been suggested like: man’s resurrection; the struggle for existence; man's yearning for spiritual spheres Photo: © Albert Hagenaars, August 2011.





Rådhusplassen, Oslo. Photo: © Siti Wahyuningsih, August 2011.





Malmö’s skyscraper ‘HSB Turning Torso’ (2001-2005) by Santiago Calatrava, Europe’s second tallest apartment building (190 m). Photo: © Albert Hagenaars, August 2011.






Some striking architecture in the Bismarckstrasse, Rendsburg. Photo: Sitiwahyuningsih, August 2011.  





Innenalster, Hamburg. Photo: Albert Hagenaars, August 2011.





Heinrich Heine, copy (1981) by Bert Gerresheim of the original statue destroyed by the nazi’s in 1933. Location: Rathausplatz, Hamburg. Photo: © Albert Hagenaars, August 2011.