Mons, European Capital of Culture 2015

Mons superstar! This small town in Hainaut, located about twenty kilometers from France, is at the heart of European news in 2015. No less than a thousand cultural and artistic activities will punctuate the year in Mons and in 17 towns in the region. Exhibitions, festivals, artistic tours and popular festivals… we all meet in Mons! 

A special Backpacker Mons, European Capital of Culture 2015

New! Le Routard publishes a special guide Mons, European Capital of Culture 2015!

It contains information on the event (exhibitions, events, activities, etc.) and the city of Mons, as well as on the Hainaut region (Charleroi, Binche, Tournai, etc.).

Take the opportunity to visit Mons, which has no less than 4 sites classified by Unesco. Don't miss her pretty Grand-Place (photo), its cobbled streets, its belfry, its Saint-Waudru collegiate church and the dynamic BAM Fine Arts Museum. Without forgetting to have a good evening in one of the restaurants and bars of this lively student town

A good year for Mons and its region

2015 will undoubtedly be a good year for Mons, designated European Capital of Culture. With a over a thousand cultural and artistic activities, this city of Hainaut of barely 100 inhabitants will be in the spotlight all year round. And all this, in the company of 17 partner cities, in Belgium and in the North of France, from Lille to Mechelen.

Mons, which plans to become a “Creative Valley” for new technologies, will be enriched with new places, including a Congress Centre brand new, one races designed by Santiago Calatrava and no less than 5 new museums.

Thus, the offer of the excellent Museum of Fine Arts (BAM) will be supplemented, from April 2015, by the extension of its museum pole, including:

- theArtothèque, bringing together the collections of the municipal heritage of Mons, opposite Saint-Waudru.
- Mons Memorial Museum, which traces the course of the two world conflicts, installed in the Machine-à-Eau site.
- Doudou museum, an interpretation center for the local ducasse festival, located in the old Mont-de-Piété.
- Mons Belfry Museum, the only one in Baroque style (17C), which reopens completely refurbished.
- Flint's, entirely dedicated to the Neolithic mines of Spiennes (classified by Unesco), with a 3D scenography.

Twelve months of festivities

Kick-off is given on January 24 2015 with a large opening party, whose thousands of participants will be transformed into mirror balls. This is just one of the surprises of this eminently festive evening, where the public will be able to discover installations in the very heart of the city, in particular a Phrase which runs along the walls and a forest of signed planks. Arne Quinze.

Major exhibitions, participatory projects, particularly in the field of new technologies (Café Europa), festive events, urban art exhibitions (installation by Arne Quinze, labyrinth of sunflowers on the Grand Place, etc.), festivals (Festival au carré, Via festival ...), concerts, theater, street parties, workshops, conferences and many other surprises are on the menu for this exceptional year.

The program is divided into four cycles: theglare (winter), with major exhibitions and the VIA Festival June), marked by the opening of new museums in September) with a host of outdoor activities in January), where the city's golden age will be combined with his future.

Highlights of the year

18 cities, 23 cultural institutions, thousands of artists, more than 100 major projects make up this year 2015, Mons European Capital of Culture.

To find you there, here are some highlights:

- Exhibition “Van Gogh at Borinage, the birth of an artist” at BAM (25 Jan.-17 May). It was in the Borinage, between 1878 and 1880, that Van Gogh discovered his vocation as a painter. This exhibition illustrates the Boran inspiration of his work in some sixty paintings.

- Café Europa (until Dec.): a 21st century café. revisited by new technologies, with a training center, and a wall of screens connected with 10 European cities.

- Ailleurs en folie (Jan. 24-Nov. 22): eight cities in the spotlight for 11 days, from Melbourne to Montreal.

- Mons Superstar exhibition! (Jan. 24-April 12): an interactive exhibition on the small and the great history of Mons.

- VIA Festival (March 13-25): festival dedicated to the meeting of the performing arts and new technologies.

- Le Grand Huit (April 27 - October 11): eight one-week events organized by residents of Mons and artists in residence in eight areas of Grand Mons.

- Festival des Arts au Carré XXL (June 28-July 11): a rich program focusing on the performing and creative arts. Guests: Arno, Wim Vandekeybus, Marco Martinelli… but also jam sessions, popular balls and exhibitions…

- Sun City (July 17-July 27): a labyrinth of sunflowers will be installed on the Grand Place.

- Crazy Sunday (Sept. 2): in the garden of the Belfry, a festive lunch on the grass concocted by a chef.

- “Verlaine, cell n ° 2” exhibition at the Anciens Abattoirs (Oct. 17-Jan. 24): Verlaine was imprisoned in Mons prison after having shot Rimbaud. There he composed some of the most beautiful verses of his creation. 

- Exhibition "The man, the dragon and death" at MAC's (Oct. 18-Jan. 17): the figure of St. George and the dragon in art

- Semaine Roland de Lassus (Oct. 4-11): a festival dedicated to this 16th century composer.

- My ideal (all year round): “political slogans and posters” workshops, slam workshops, conferences with activists, film debates, philosophical snacks… Young people are reinventing Mons and its future.

All the programming on the site

Essential ! The Routard Mons 2015, European Capital of Culture with all the information and tips to discover this festive year, then visit Mons and its region.

Mons 2015 official website

Mons Tourist Office

Go to Mons 

Mons is served by Thalys from Paris Gare du Nord, once a day directly (1 h 20) and several times via Brussels. About 1 hour by train from Lille.
By road, Mons is about 240 km from Paris and 80 km from Lille.

Find a hotel in Mons

Audio Video Mons, European Capital of Culture 2015
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