Construct Europe City Festival 2024

Spring 2024 will see Belgium hold the Presidency of the Council of the European Union, with celebrations to mark the event held in Mechelen on a grand scale. The ‘Construct Europe’ programme will be a community-centred celebration of all things cultural, with the theme of connection, collaboration and democratic dialogue. This is how we bring the EU closer to its citizens.

The programme will be launched in the New Year, with a grand opening event at the Grote Markt on 6 January. Information about the activities available in spring 2024 can be found below:

Free city walk: ‘Traces of Europe'

This free self-guided city walk will introduce you to European projects in the city, allow you to explore the history of the Great Council and much more. Thanks to Mechelen’s illustrious past under the rule of the Dukes of Burgundy and also as the centre of international law and humanism, the city still boasts many links to what we know today as Europe. From 6 January 2024, you can pick up the free map from Visit Mechelen or download the map here.

Guided walk 'Europe in Mechelen, Mechelen in Europe'

Find out why Mechelen became such an important city under the influence of Margaret of Austria. Discover the significance of the Great Council, and find out which rulers are on the medallions at the City Hall. On this walk, a guide will take you through the city of Mechelen, with an in-depth look at the European projects in the city and its many other links to Europe. Book your guided tour here.

‘Knights of the Golden Fleece: A Brilliant Myth Unravelled’

24.02.24 – 02.06.24

This expo in Museum Hof Van Busleyden allows you to relive the gathering of the knights in 1491, one of the biggest and most significant festivities in the history of Mechelen. Your introduction to the famous Burgundian knighthood is made through a unique set of 15th-century coats of arms, created especially for the Mechelen convocation. This is the first time that the 29 coats of arms have been visible at such close quarters since their restoration. More info at hofvanbusleyden.be.

'PlayZone Europe'

6.01.2024–31.05.2024

Find out more about Europe from the toys in the Mechelen Toy Museum. Take a tour through the games and toys originating from different European member states, from Denmark’s famous LEGO building bricks to the Rubick’s cube invented by Ernõ Rubik, a Hungarian architecture professor. Stories told by residents of Mechelen who migrated from another European country will bring alive the traditional games they brought with them from their homeland. Info and tickets at speelgoedmuseum.be.

We are Europe - Lieve Blancquaert

24.02.24 – 02.06.24 

Mechelen Cultural Centre 

During the spring of 2023, top photographer Lieve Blancquaert travelled throughout Europe. Her slow journey allowed for spontaneous encounters with Europeans from all over the world in as many as 27 member states. In addition to layered and disarming portraits, Lieve brought life stories that offer us greater insights into today’s Europe. Both big current themes and small personal stories are presented. Lieve has an eye for the challenges of the European Union, but also seeks what we as Europeans can be proud of. As in her previous series, the focus is on people. ‘We are Europe’ becomes an informative, adventurous, and emotional representation of a journey that starts and ends in Mechelen. 

Lunalia - The hearts of Europe

Europe has many hearts. At Lunalia, you can come and listen to these polyphonic hearts beating in the centre of Mechelen. Lunalia reflects on the many voices of Europe, with a focus on Central Europe and a special place in our hearts for the Czech music scene. Info and tickets at lunalia.be.

The full program and more info can be found at www.construct-europe.be