PTUJ 2025

The bid book of Ptuj 2025

We are pleased to announce, that our program for ECoC 2025, we prepare together with you, was shortlisted for the final selection by the Panel of Experts.

Kindly invited to scroll trough the bid book of Ptuj 2025 here!


The city of Ptuj is a European
Capital of Culture 2025 candidate.


We are focused on empowering and raising the competences of people and organizations, identifying and integrating potentials, developing a common urban space, regional and European context.


Ptuj connects a remarkable historical heritage with vibrant contemporary creativity, thus providing a comprehensive platform for the design and implementation of a diverse development programme as the basis for the preparation process of the European Capital of Culture. Creators, producers and residents of the city and region come together in a common design to create community approaches, ready for new innovative and creative challenges.


Ptuj 2025 is not a project of overlooked opportunities and exclusion, it is cohesive and sustainable development-oriented, focused on raising the quality of life in the city, and its surroundings, crossing many areas of social activities and providing opportunities for inclusion for all generations who are ready to think about their future in Ptuj.


We will build the European Capital of Culture Ptuj 2025 together!




Rediscovering places and connections – Connecting Ptuj to the region, Ptuj and European Context


When we think of historical heritage in Slovenia, we cannot help but think of Ptuj. Doyen among Slovenian cities with a venerable history, treasury of the millennia, landmark city of many transformations, a distinctly European, open city full of stories of newcomers who have always been closely connected with the city’s regional hinterland, from Haloze, the hills of Slovenske gorice, Prlekija, the hills of Jeruzalemske gorice and the plains of Ptujsko polje and Dravsko polje. The key to a new understanding of the city and its developmental breakthrough lies not only in the archaeological frontiers of Roman Poetovio or in the remains of Ptuj’s medieval city walls, not only in the shocking stories from the many outstanding inhabitants of the city in recent centuries, but also in the long tradition of connection between city and region, and in connecting opportunities that arise when opening up a city to a region and vice versa.



The cultural heritage of Ptuj in harmony with contemporariness


In 2019, Ptuj celebrated 1,950 years since the city was first mentioned in written records. Ptuj is well aware of its exceptional historical heritage, both tangible and intangible. In what way this fact shapes the life of its inhabitants, especially its creators? What opportunities arise from the rich cultural heritage, what specific realities and commitments? The Ptuj candidacy for the ECOC investigates the history of the city and the region as a positive driving force. We need to feel and investigate our past to create opportunities for our tomorrow as durable and thoughtfully as possible.



People, community – we are all Ptuj and we make our future decisions together


Empowerment, inclusion, listening to the opinions of others, tolerance and openness, and, above all, respect for professionalism and internationalization are the central cornerstones of our candidacy. We strive to make changes that will present opportunities for as many participating inhabitants of the city and the region as possible, for anyone who, with their knowledge and creativity, recognizes the candidacy as the leverage to realize our shared dreams and desires. With a special focus on vulnerable groups, young people and creative individuals, we want a city and a region where future generations will live quality, socially aware and active lives.



In the application process, Ptuj was supported, and joined by, 20 municipalities of the region, that in many years of joint and integrated preparations recognize a fundamental development opportunity in many areas, numerous opportunities for upgrading what already exists, and, in particular, for establishing something new.


2020 – 2019

  1. Pre-selection meeting

    February 26th, 2020

    The pre-selection meeting on the Ministry of Culture, where the delegation of Ptuj ECoC 2025 will present the bid book to the panel. The panel shall assess each candidate city on the basis of its application and hearing against the objectives of the European Capital of Culture action and the criteria.

    After this meeting, the panel will agree on a shortlist of candidate cities which shall be invited to revise and complete their application during the final selection stage. It shall issue a pre-selection report containing a general assessment of all the applications, the short-list of candidate cities which are to be considered further as well as recommendations to these cities.

  2. Public debate: Education as a Development Opportunity for the City of Ptuj and the Region

    February 3rd, 2020

    On Monday, February 3, 2020, a public debate entitled Education as a Development Opportunity for the City of Ptuj and the Region was held in Ptuj, organized by the ECoC Project Office in cooperation with the Municipality of Ptuj and the Public University of Ptuj. Invited speakers raised many questions, including whether Ptuj could become the educational center of the region. The participants noted that Ptuj faces a lack of certain professions in culture and tourism sector. The city should strive for young people to be able to study in a hometown after their high school education ends, which requires quality higher and university education programs.

  3. The City Council of the Municipality of Ptuj approved the Local Program for Culture for the period 2020-2023

    January 27th, 2020

    The strategy of Local Program for Culture of Municipality of Ptuj is designed as a systematically planned measure to stimulate and mobilize potentials of the environment, including political and decision-making,

    empower stakeholders and activate the city to prepare for ECoC Ptuj 2025, and direct the joint efforts of the local community for the development of culture, also with culture-related fields, as well as for raising the quality of living in the city and other positive social movements.

    For more click HERE

  4. Submission of the bid book Ptuj 2025 – City of timeless transformations

    December 31st, 2019

    At the end of the year, we submitted a bid book for the ECOC 2025 at the Ministry of Culture. Our candidacy is based on the basic starting points of the strategy – culture as a factor of urban regeneration, strengthening of international cultural relations and internationalization of culture, long -term planning of the development of the cultural sector as well as the city and establishing a network of partnerships with the region involved.

  5. Discussion: Youth for the ECOC – ECOC for the youth

    October 18th, 2019

    The Ptuj ECOC  2025 Office, in cooperation with the Centre of free-time activities Ptuj (Center interesnih dejavnosti Ptuj), the Ptuj Student’s Club (Klub ptujskih študentov) and the Društvo CET Platforma Society invite you to a discussion entitled Youth for the ECOC – ECOC for youth, which will take place at 6 pm on Friday, October 18th, 2019 at the Old Glass Workshop in Ptuj. The conference will be attended by representatives of youth and non-governmental organizations, public and private institutions working with young people as well as young people from Ptuj and the surrounding area who are (co)creating the Ptuj cultural scene. Participants will try to find answers to the question of what kind of opportunities the Ptuj candidacy for ECOC 2025 is opening for young people and what are the expectations of young people.

  6. Invitation to the Creative Tourism Discussion – ECOC as an opportunity

    September 19th, 2019

    As part of the preparations for candidature, we will hold a Creative Tourism Discussion – ECOC as an opportunity at Hotel Mitra on September 19th, 2019 at 6 pm. Co-organizers of the discussion are the Ptuj Tourism Institute, the TuRA Ptuj Institute, the Društvo CET Platforma Society and the Društvo Hiša! Society. During the discussion, we will touch on the concept of creative tourism and its relation to boutique and responsible tourism. We will learn about the good practices in the field of creative tourism and try to find answers to the potential that creative tourism represents for the city of Ptuj in light of its candidacy for the European Capital of Culture 2025. At the same time, the discussion will be the inaugural event of the 1st Stories of Ptuj Festival.

  7. The fourth open brainstorming session

    July 11th, 2019

    We developed and upgraded the idea “Roman path” together with the custodian of the idea, archaeologist Aleksandra. We also got acquainted with the application form for a project proposal (bid-book) for the European Capital of Culture Ptuj 2025 candidacy and its highlights and practised filling out the form with the contents of the workshop.

  8. Presentation of candidacy at the Project Management for NGOs workshop

    June 20th, 2019

    Representatives of the ECOC team presented the candidature for the ECOC, its highlights and the form for project proposals at the Project Management for NGOs workshop organized by the Regional hub of NGOs of the Podravje region.

  9. June 18th and 19th, 2019 - Cycling trip through municipalities

    June 18th, 2019

    In June, as part of the preparation for the city’s Ptuj ECOC 2025 candidacy, we visited some neighbouring municipalities which supported the application and are ready to participate in the project. We visited the municipalities with bicycles, which are available to Ptuj citizens and visitors by an automated bike rental system, which is part of the sustainable mobility project Pecikl.

  10. Discussion: City with/for nature

    June 13th, 2019

    Environmental issues and the issues regarding our understanding and management of nature are crucial to our time, and as such, are at the very heart of the conceptual design of the Ptuj ECOC 2025 candidacy, where culture is understood in the broadest sense, as a culture of how we live and who we are. The city of Ptuj is aware of the importance of green systems and biodiversity and wants to contribute its share to improving them. In co-organization with ZRS Bistra Ptuj and the E-institute, the Municipality of Ptuj organized a workshop with the aim of co-designing green city systems in such a way that the systems will be established as natural habitats and, in addition to improving well-being, health and climatic conditions in the city, they will also ensure the conservation of biodiversity.

  11. May 26th – 28th 2019 - Visiting Novi Sad 2021

    May 26th, 2019

    Representatives of Ptuj 2025 and the Ptuj cultural scene visited Novi Sad to experience the vibrant pulse of a city preparing for its manifestation as the European Capital of Culture. At the meetings with the Novi Sad 2021 team and representatives of cultural institutions, they exchanged experiences, received plenty of good advice, developed ideas and outlined future cooperation. They also visited the Cultural Centre “Svilara”, which was created as a product of a decentralization strategy for cultural content within the ECOC in one of Novi Sad’s neighbourhoods, as well as a state-of-the-art centre, State of Art, whose beating heart is multimedia artist Zoran Tairović.

  12. The third open brainstorming session

    May 22nd, 2019

    We upgraded great ideas that solidified at the first and second meetings at the Fuerstova hiša and talked about new ideas. At the third meeting, we touched on the question of WHAT, and within our projects discussed the content width. Using the random incentives method, we created a range of ideas, worked out individual activities and considered the added value. The content we acquired was easily integrated into the Business Model Canvas that we learned of during the previous workshop.

  13. Discussion: Interpretation of Heritage through Creative Practices

    May 21st, 2019

    The discussion entitled “Interpretation of Heritage through Creative Practices” took place on May 21st at 6 pm in the Refectory of the Dominican Monastery of Ptuj. Representatives of key institutions dealing with the city’s tangible and intangible heritage emphasized that, through the European Capital of Culture 2025 (ECOC 2025) candidacy, we want to substantiate the basic premises of Ptuj’s cultural identity. A city that has undergone dramatic social changes in the last century and has lost much of its identity through these changes, needs to give new meaning to its denizens. The purpose of the application for the ECOC 2025 is to contribute to the design of Ptuj as a city that will be the pride of its inhabitants, and at the same time, be the desired destination of foreign cultural tourists.

  14. The second open brainstorming session

    May 6th, 2019

    At the second open brainstorming session, participants upgraded ideas that were stipulated in the first meeting and learned about the Golden Circle and Business Model Canvas tools and tested them in practice, developing and upgrading ideas. The tools are especially important for understanding the different angles of an idea, and they are also oriented so that an idea can be easily but effectively translated into action and brought to life.

  15. The first open brainstorming session

    April 24th, 2019

    On the premises of Fuerstova hiša, the Ptuj 2025 team organized the first open brainstorming session with the help of the Fuerstova hiša Association. Together with participants from NGOs (in the fields of culture, tourism, ecology, work with young people and people with disabilities) and the self-employed who work in culture, the workshop compiled a list of key actors in the city and Ptuj hinterlands, defined key themes, challenges, opportunities and needs of the city. They highlighted a set of activities that would interest and activate different groups of Ptuj residents and involve the city’s districts and created working groups.

  16. Presentation of candidacy at an NGO workshop

    April 18th, 2019

    Representatives of the ECOC team presented a candidature for the ECOC at the workshop From Idea to Project – Workshop for successful application for a call, organized by the Regional hub of NGOs of the Podravje region.

  17. Introductory meeting on Ptuj's candidacy for the ECOC 2025

    April 12th, 2019

    The municipality of Ptuj held an introductory meeting on preparations for the European Capital of Culture (ECOC) candidacy. Representatives of public institutions, non-governmental organizations, societies, civil initiatives and other organizations active in the field of culture, art, education, ecology, tourism, sports, youth policy were invited to the discussion as well as individual artists and other cultural creators who could make a significant contribution to the success of the project. Following an introductory greeting by the Mayor of Ptuj, Nuška Gajšek, the ECOC 2025 project was presented by Aleš Šteger, Head of Ptuj ECOC 2025 candidacy, Martina Magdič, Chief Coordinator of Ptuj ECOC 2025 candidacy, and Mitja Čander, Principal Strategic Advisor of Ptuj ECOC 2025.

  18. Presentation of candidacy at a meeting of non-governmental organisations in Municipality of Ptuj

    March 28th, 2019

    Representatives of the ECOC team presented the candidacy for ECOC Ptuj 2025 at a meeting of non-governmental organisations in the Municipality of Ptuj, organised by the Regional hub of NGOs for the Podravje region.

  19. The Municipal Council of the Municipality of Ptuj has decided on candidacy

    March 25th, 2019

    With the decision of the City Council, no. 410-257/2018, the Municipality of Ptuj decided to run for the title of European Capital of Culture 2025.

  20. Call for candidate cities issued

    February 22nd, 2019

    The Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia issued a call for candidate cities for the EU project European Capital of Culture.

  21. The Board of Mayors of the Spodnje Podravje region supported Ptuj decision to become an ECOC 2025 candidate

    February 12th, 2019

    At the meeting of Mayors of the Spodnje Podravje region, the Municipality of Ptuj announced its intention to apply for the title of European Capital of Culture 2025. The Board of Mayors of the Spodnje Podravje region unanimously supported this decision.


Ekipa ekspertov Ptuj EPK 2025 ter mreža tujih in domačih svetovalcev
Svétniški svet kandidature Ptuj EPK 2025
Programski svet kandidature Ptuj EPK 2025
Regionalni svet Ptuj EPK 2025
Akademija mesta Ptuj


Aleš Šteger, vodja kandidature Ptuj EPK 2025
Mitja Čander, glavni strateški svetovalec kandidature Ptuj EPK 2025
Aleš Novak, svetovalec in pripravljalec strateških dokumentov
Martina Magdič, glavna koordinatorka kandidature Ptuj EPK 2025

Svetovalci kandidature Ptuj EPK 2025:
Peter Srpčič, svetovalec za področje gledališča
Štefan Čelan, svetovalec za področje nesnovne kulturne dediščine in univerze
Branka Bezeljak, svetovalka za področje alternativne ustvarjalnosti
Tatjana Vaupotič Zemljič, svetovalka za področje šolstva
Dušan Fišer, svetovalec za področje vizualne umetnosti
Mladen Delin, svetovalec za področje glasbe
Peter Vesenjak, svetovalec za področje turizma
Aleksander Lorenčič, svetovalec za področje kulturne dediščine
Andrej Klasinc, svetovalec za področje kulturnega turizma
Katja Zupanič, svetovalka na področju pisne kulturne dediščine