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Spanish city reinvents itself
as Capital of Culture 百科知识
August 02, 2016
Spanish city reinvents itself as Capital of Culture
08-02-2016 18:10 BJT
Once a city that suffered constant terror attacks, San Sebastian in Spain is now a must-see destination. The city is experiencing a revival as Europe's Capital of Culture 2016.
Basque separatist group ETA ended a 50-year campaign of violence in October 2011 and San Sebastian has never looked back.
Turquoise sea surrounds a near perfect circular cove. 'Ongi etorri!' That's welcome in Basque to San Sebastian.
This year San Sebastian is a European Capital of Culture, a title it shares with the Polish city of Wroclav.
Mayor Eneko Goia says the city's bid for City of Culture status was unconventional, focusing on bringing art and culture to the street and the people.
"In our bid to get the European Capital of Culture, the city of San Sebastian wanted to focus on the creative process," said Eneko Goia, San Sebastian Mayor.
"It was more a conceptual idea than a physical one. It went beyond building infrastructures. We were thinking, above all, in how to make use of culture to learn to live better together."
The Basque seaside city was once a famous summer destination for Spain's royals, and stayed on the culture map for its annual international film and jazz festivals.
San Sebastian's Old Town, is now at the heart of the city's revival, where bars offer colourful snacks piled high on plates.
San Sebastian's food experience starts early in the day with coffee and pastry for breakfast, before the mountain of pintxos begin appearing.
Everywhere: stuffed red peppers, marinated seafood, fried fish, slabs of omelette, Spain's renowned "jamon Serrano" pinned to a slice of bread with a cocktail stick.
They are eaten with a glass of wine or beer on a movable feast around town. Parties of friends grow throughout the afternoon as they move from bar to bar.
"Our way to socialize is just to meet up, to gather in street, in the bars," said Carlos Garrancho, co-owner of Bar Aralar.
"Related to this is the pintxos tradition that started a long time ago has, little by little, consolidated itself and now it has became something recognised by the the entire world."
Local officials say that 2015 was a record year for visitors, with numbers up by 12% on the previous year.
British and French tourists were regular visitors, helped by good road and ferry connections, but have lots of company from all over Europe and also overseas.
Now locals and tourists line up to taste the traditionally made ice cream and sit down in the square listening to an open air concert. San Sebastian has reclaimed itself as a city with a great culture to offer, and with great food. A city of well being.
CCTV / CNTV
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