23.09.2017, Saint-Petersburg: this annual event is a joint initiative of the State Hermitage and the Delegation of the European Union in the Russian Federation, which was realised in close cooperation with the general consulates and cultural institutions of the EU member states. The festival was timed with the European Language Day, the Year of Ecology in Russia and the 300th anniversary of Peter I’s Second Great European Journey in 1716-1717.
The festival allowed visitors to plunge into the diverse world of national customs of European countries and their history, without leaving the boundaries of St. Petersburg. 18 participating countries prepared a lot of fascinating creative classes for the guests: more than 10 master classes, lectures and meetings, 14 language lessons, 11 exhibitions, 7 film screenings, musical performances, quizzes with prizes and even a «green» subbotnik.
A 300-year-old journey was made possible by the interactive zone «Europe through the eyes of Peter the Great» prepared by the State Hermitage Volunteer Service. Visitors took part in numerous games, quizzes, competitions, master classes, theatrical performances and court dances of the 18th century. In a special photo zone the guests could photograph themselves with a model of the Great Coronation Carriage of Peter I.
The Norwegian film-disaster «Wave» about the confrontation of a man and a tsunami opened the film screening. The Swedish documentary «Bicycles against cars» continued the environmental theme, telling about the amazing changes that can bring a bicycle to our life. In addition, the program of the film sessions included animated shorts from the Visegrad Four, family films for everyone and a film about the zoo of Prague and about hip-hop.
The guests of the festival participated in master classes of Cypriot vases, Finnish lacework and coloring of Latvian national patterns, they mastered the basics of Estonian crafts, visited the German online university, got acquainted with Swedish and Dutch literature, played Maliban (Pall Mall) and showed their imagination in the LEGO master class.
The musical program of the festival consisted of old and modern music, folk and classical works. The aria from the opera «Hypermnestra» of Charles-Hubert Gervais, which was presented to Peter I in the Palais Royal, was performed by the ensemble of ancient music «Soloists of Catherine the Great» under the guidance of Andrei Reshetin.
The festival was held under the auspices of the VI St. Petersburg International Cultural Forum.