Nestled on the border with Italy, Nova Gorica is a picturesque Slovenian town. What makes it unique is its central square, shared with the Italian town of Gorizia, which serves as a testament to their shared past. The reason why it is being put into the spotlight is the fact that in 2025, Nova Gorica will shine as the European Capital of Culture. Alongside Gorizia, they will reveal a vibrant tapestry of culture and heritage that brings people together, crossing borders, and fostering unity. Their story blends memories of the past with dreams for the future, all under the slogan: “GO! BORDERLESS.” With an impactful cultural strategy that promises to enhance the quality of life for residents across the entire border region in the years to come, they will celebrate unity and the enduring power of collaboration.
The center of happening will be at Trg Evrope (The European Square), the shared square of both Gorizias, a symbol of harmonious coexistence since 2004, when Slovenia joined the EU. Here, a number of carefully planned activities will breathe new life into urban spaces, unearthing the rich shared heritage of this cross-border region and nurturing a wellspring of knowledge that fuels cultural creations transcending borders. Over 600 cultural events will occur, and more than 60 pioneering projects will be launched.
One of the projects under GO! 2025 is the so-called “Shining Invisible City (Sijoče nevidno mesto in Slovenian)” organized by MoTA – Museum of Transitional Art. This project delves into what Nova Gorica might have been if its original design by renowned Slovenian architect Ravnikar had not been altered due to the political and ideological changes of World War II. They aim to bring this unrealized vision to life by showcasing it through an exhibition and an on-site intervention. This effort will shed light on the hidden aspects of the city’s history that continue to influence life in the real city.
More about Nova Gorica
Nova Gorica is known for its unique history, cultural diversity, and stunning natural surroundings. The town’s history is closely tied to the aftermath of World War II. After the war, the original town of Gorizia, which had a predominantly Italian-speaking population, was divided between Italy and Yugoslavia. The Yugoslav part of the town became Nova Gorica (meaning “New Gorizia” in Slovenian), while the Italian part retained the name Gorizia. This division led to the establishment of two separate towns with distinct cultures and languages, but they have since developed close ties and cooperation.
The city is known for its vibrant cultural scene. It is home to various theatres, museums, and galleries, which host various cultural events and exhibitions. In addition, the city is also a hub for education in the region, with the University of Nova Gorica, which contributes to the town’s intellectual and cultural vibrancy.
Its location in the Vipava Valley makes it a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts and wine lovers. Visitors can explore the surrounding hills, go hiking or cycling, and enjoy wine tastings in the nearby Goriška Brda wine region. Additionally, the Soča Valley, famous for its emerald green Soča River and water sports, is not far away. This is also the reason why the scope of the European Capital of Culture extends far beyond their city limits.
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