Britain will mark a number of major milestones this year, including 100 years since some women first got the vote, 100 years since Stonehenge became a national monument and 150 years since London received the first set of traffic lights in the world – installed to help control horse and carriages outside parliament.
But what about the major events being held around Europe to mark significant milestones? Here are a number of anniversaries happening in 2018.
Latvia, Czech Republic, Estonia and Lithuania Celebrate Their 100th Birthdays
In 2018, Latvia, the Czech Republic, Estonia and Lithuania will celebrate the centenary of their nations, having all gained independence following the collapse of both the Russian Empire and the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Events will be held across all four countries throughout the year, culminating with each nation’s official birthday (Lithuania – 16th February, Estonia - 24th February, Czech Republic – 24th October and Latvia – 18th November).
In the case of the latter, the birthday marks 100 years since the creation of Czechoslovakia, which was later separated into the Czech Republic and Slovakia in 1993. The fact that this happened 25 years ago is another reason for the country to celebrate. One of the key events happening is the opening of the National Technical Museum’s ‘Made in Czechoslovakia 1918 to 1992 – Industry which Conquered the World’ exhibition.
100 Years Since The End Of WWI
Many events have been held over the last few years to mark the centenary of the First World War, but 2018 will honour the official end of this historic conflict. As well as the poignant memorials and services taking place around the UK, this major event in world history will also be marked across the channel in France and Belgium.
On 8th August, the beautiful Amiens Cathedral will host a service to acknowledge the centenary of the Battle of Amiens – a decisive point in bringing the war to a close. Also, the Belgian town of Mons will honour the 11th November with a commemorative service at St Symphorien Cemetery. This is where the war officially began and is the final resting place for the first and last casualties.
100 Years Since The Death Of Gustav Klimt
2018 is also 100 years since Austrian artist Gustav Klimt died. Credited as one of the most prominent members of the Vienna Secession, a movement which opposed the growing conservatism of other art at the time, Klimt is responsible for one of the most famous paintings in Europe, ‘The Kiss’, which can be found in Vienna’s Belvedere Palace.
Throughout the year, many of Vienna’s famous galleries and museums will be presenting exhibitions relating to Klimt under the theme ‘Beauty and the Abyss’. These additions to the Belvedere Palace, Leopold Museum, Wien Museum, Austrian Museum of Applied Arts/Contemporary Art and more will also celebrate work by renowned architect Otto Wagner who died in 1918 as well.
Leipzig’s Musical Milestones
Leipzig will celebrate not one but two musical milestones in 2018. Not only is it the 325th anniversary of the Leipzig Opera, it is also 275 years since the formation of the Gewandhaus Orchestra. Now situated opposite each other in the city centre, these two institutions have played such an important part in establishing Leipzig as a centre for musical over the years.
The third-oldest opera house in Europe will host regular performances of ‘Der Ring des Nibelungen’ to celebrate this major milestone, along with a staging of 'Tannhäuser' created by the great-great-granddaughter of composer Richard Wagner. One of the best ways to enjoy both of these musical powerhouses is by following the Leipzig Music Trail, marked by metal logos carved into the pavement. The 5km route also takes you to former residences and workplaces of maestros like Mendelssohn and Bach.
200 Years Of ‘Silent Night’
One of the world’s favourite Christmas carols was originally written by Joseph Mohr as a poem in 1816, but a melody was added by Franz Xaver Gruber and the song was first sung in the German town of Oberndorf in Germany, 1818. Since that night, the words and tune have spread far and wide and it is now thought to be sung in 300 different languages every Christmas. It was also famously sung in German, French and English during the Christmas Day ceasefire of WWI.
On the 200-year anniversary, many of the towns around the city of Salzburg, which all influenced the creation of the carol, will hold special exhibitions detailing its history. We even have a special Silent Night anniversary trip which will take you to these ‘Silent Night towns’, the dedicated museums, and the chapel where it was first sung.
As you can see, 2018 is set to be a big year around Europe. If you would like to visit any of the destinations and attend the celebrations and commemorations taking place, our team can provide you with a tailor-made quote that is customised to your needs. Just call us on 0800 988 3369 for more information.