Donostia / San Sebastian

The Pearl of the Cantabrian Sea

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Donostia - San Sebastián is the administrative capital of Gipuzkoa, one of the three territories that make up the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country. It's located in the northeast of the Iberian Peninsula, 30 kilometres from the border with France. In fact, the Donostia - Bayonne cross-border axis has an important role in social, economic and tourist development in the southeast of the European Union (EU).

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With the motto “Cultura para convivir” [Culture to coexist], the city of Donostia-San Sebastián showed off the cultural city status of the European continent in 2016. A whole year full of activities focused on showing that culture builds bridges to make living with each other easier, to help us get close to each other, to get to know each other, to walk in each other’s shoes.


A year to celebrate

The day of San Sebastián (January 20) was the starting signal of an exciting year for this city, territory and its people.

This very special year began with a five-day celebration. 120 hours to enjoy and make culture coexist is the leitmotiv of 2016. The big day was on Saturday 23 when a spectacular city party took place. The person in charge of designing this event was Hansel Cereza, who promised a collective experience where the city would be the centre of activity and where the values which shape the city would become visible.


Creativity and wild participation

The cultural program scheduled for the entire year had endless events and initiatives, many of which are still being held year after year since they have been part of the "donostiarra" tradition for years. Other than the International Film Festival, the Musical Fortnight or the Jazzaldia, to name a few that already happen every year, all kinds of interesting calls of different nature joined the 2016 celebration, like music, folklore, art, open technologies, movies, theatre or gastronomy.

Temporary light systems were installed, like the ones in the Winter Solstice Call. There was a lab about digital culture and technology under the “do it yourself” philosophy, like Hirikilabs. Also, performances on public space like “Fuentes” [Fountains], where all the “retired” public fountains were installed on the same park in order to show the constant changes that the cities go through and how they change our everyday lives even though we might not notice. It was a never-ending number of wild cultural activities open to every visitor.


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