Vladimir - the cultural capital of the 2018 Football World Cup

From the idea to the presentation of the project «Vladimir – the cultural capital of the 2018 Football World Cup»

For the first time, the idea that Vladimir can become the center of the cultural program of the 2018 FIFA World Cup was suggested by Vitaly Mutko, the Deputy Chairman of the Government of the Russian Federation on Sports, Tourism and Youth Policy, the President of the Russian Football Union. He voiced this idea in his speech on plenary session of the V Vladimir Economic Forum, dedicated to the development of tourism. V. Mutko stressed that FIFA-2018 creates unique opportunities for the development of the tourism industry in Russia and the opening of the world not only for the two Russian capitals, but also other cities with a rich tourist potential, including Vladimir.

Source photo: https://forum.avo.ru/ru/photo-2017

This idea was warmly supported by the Governor of the Vladimir region S.Yu. Orlova, and she became the direct inspirer of the project "Vladimir – the cultural capital of the 2018 Football World Cup." Vladimir land has a rich historical heritage and unique architectural monuments, eight of which are protected by UNESCO. Vladimir and Suzdal are included in the legendary tourist route "Golden Ring", the 50th anniversary of which is celebrated in 2017. Besides, Vladimir is at the intersection of the main transport arteries connecting the cities in which there will be held football matches of the 2018 World Cup. According to S.Yu. Orlova, all these circumstances create the prerequisites for the implementation of the project, which should present Russia as an open, hospitable "hostess" of the world football championship – a country of great culture, great traditions and great sporting achievements.  

The presentation of the project "Vladimir – the cultural capital of the 2018 Football World Cup" was held on August 4, 2017 in Veliky Novgorod within the framework of the exhibition of cultural and tourist potential of the Vladimir region. On August 1, this project was also presented in Germany (Rostock) – the country that is the current world champion in football since 2014. It was here that the Federal Agency for Tourism of Russia presented the tourist potential of the host cities of the 2018 World Cup, including Vladimir, as the cultural capital of FIFA-2018. The task of the project is not only to attract fans to Russia, but also to increase tourist flows, to show the tourist and cultural opportunities of our country.

Source photohttp://vladimirtravel.ru/obzori/vladimir-kulturnaya-stolitsa-chempionata-mira-po-futbolu-2018/

What will attract tourists to Vladimir – the cultural capital of the 2018 Football World Cup 

The project "Vladimir – the cultural capital of the 2018 Football World Cup" is based on a unique cultural and historical heritage, legendary sports achievements, great tourist potential of the Vladimir land. During the World Football Championship – from June 14 to July 15, 2018permanent interactive, entertainment and sports grounds, decorated with the symbols of the FIFA- 2018, will be organized in Vladimir.  For example, in November 2017, the construction of a new sports park was completed on Streletskaya street. There are areas for mini-football, basketball, gorodki, table tennis and simulators. During the 2018 FIFA World Cup this sports park will be used for collective viewing of football matches.

Under the auspices of the tourism committee of the administration of the Vladimir region, a single Event calendar "Sport, spirits, music" was developed, combining vivid sporting events, original holidays, large musical festivals in the historic cities of the Vladimir region – Vladimir, Suzdal, Gorokhovets, Alexandrov and Murom.

Sport is life

Of course, sporting events are one of the leading directions of the project "Vladimir – the cultural capital of the 2018 Football World Cup". On the first day of the World Cup 2018, there will be the Sports festival in honor of the 2018 FIFA World Cup opening ceremony (Vladimir, June 14). Russian cities hosting the championship will be represented there, massive football tournaments, master classes, various football competitions and quizzes will be held.

During the 2018 World Cup  there will be a number of international and Russian sports championships and festivals in the Vladimir region. For example, Vladimir will host the 5th World Championship and the 3d Primacy of the World in Greco-Roman and freestyle wrestling among the deaf (Vladimir, June 11-19). They are expected to attend more than 250 athletes from 20 countries. The International Team Tournament on Boxing will also be timed to the 2018 FIFA (Vladimir, Kovrov, Murom, June 29-July 1) and will bring together teams from Germany, the Czech Republic, Belarus and other countries, as well as the strongest boxers of the Vladimir region. To the sports competitions will join unusual contests – the 35th European and the 7th Russian Open Plowing Championship, a platform for which will be the Suzdal fields. Delegations from 11 European countries intend to come to Suzdal for the main agrarian event of the year (Suzdal district, June 23-24).

For venturesome spectators who love extreme sports, the Off-road vehicle Festival "Melenkovsky Proryv" is being prepared (Melenki district, June 15-17). Active people of mature age are invited to participate in the "50 + Football" –Healthy Lifestyle Festival, which will be held in all the towns of the Vladimir region on June 18-23. The Festival of folk traditions, national sports and martial arts "Competition of Heroes" will be dedicated to Russian folk sports games and amusements (wrestling on belts, lapta, gorodki, etc.), as well as modern martial arts (sambo, hand-to-hand fighting, extreme power and others), in which the strongest athletes of the country will take part (Vladimir, June 23-24).

For the 2018 FIFA World Cup will be timed the already traditional cycling festival for the whole family "Bicycle racing Summer"- "Veloleto" (Suzdal, July 7-8). Within the framework of the celebration of the Day of Family, Love and Fidelity, there will be the Interregional Family Chess  Event (Murom, July 7-8) – a fast chess tournament between family teams of two people (spouses, parents with the child, brothers and sisters, grandparents and grandchildren).

The most important participants in the events of the 2018 World Cup, of course, will be fans. The fan-club of the of Russian national team "Russia unites" will hold a big All-Russian festival among football fans in the Vladimir region. Within the framework of this festival two tournaments are planned: the World Cup among fans (32 teams from the countries participating in the World Cup 2018) and the Tournament of the Regions of Russia (teams from 85 regions with the participation of about 3,000 people). In addition, the All-Russia Festival "Up and Running" (TRP) will be held among football fans (Vladimir, June 26-28).  It is designed to popularize the implementation of TRP standards by representatives of various groups of the population of the country.

The sports part of the events within the framework of the project "Vladimir – the cultural capital of the 2018 Football World Cup" will be completed with the   Sports Day and the Gala concert in honor of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Closing Ceremony (Vladimir, July 15).

Holidays, which are always with us

Fans and tourists who come to the Vladimir region during the 2018 FIFA World Cup will be pleasantly surprised: cognitive excursions, acquaintance with unique architectural monuments, they can combine with visiting of original holidays that somehow reflect the traditions and specifics of the region, are connected with its history, famous people, legends and even brands of the Vladimir land. Summer in the Vladimir region is rich in events. And this means that the tourists and guests of the 2018 World Cup will get positive emotions and vivid impressions. 

The Historical Festival "Vivat, Russia!" on the territory of the historical and natural landscape "German Mountains" will transfer guests in 1689, when the young Tsar Peter I conducted the teachings of his comic troops near the Alexander’s Sloboda (Alexandrov, 12 June). On the birthday of the Russian writer, our countryman Vladimir Soloukhin, the Literary and Musical Festival "Singer of the Vladimir country roads" is held in his small homeland (Sobinka district, Alepino village, June 14). Fans of the classic can attend the events of the musical and literary XXVII Tsvetaeva’s Festival, that became a notable event in the cultural life of Alexandrov, which was associated with the names of famous Russian poetesses Marina and Anastasia Tsvetaevs (Alexandrov, June 18-24).

Traditional crafts and coloring of ancient Russian cities will come to life in the eventual Samovar Festival in the merchant Gorokhovets (Gorokhovets, June 16), in the folk festival "Egory’s Dew Day" (Yuryev-Polsky, June 16), in stylized and sporty Bast shoes Day  (Suzdal, June 16), as well as in the carpentry festival - the Feast of the Ax in Suzdal, which has a rich handicraft history (Suzdal, June 27-30). The Festival of the shepherd's horn "How well the horn plays" will remind viewers about the work of the famous Vladimir horn players, who became a kind of visiting card of the Vladimir region (Kameshkovo district, Mishnevo village, June 30). Those wishing to plunge into the beauty and mystery of the Slavic traditions and rituals are invited to the Feast of Ivan Kupala in Suzdal the cryptic (Suzdal, July 7).

Such well-known events as the Chocolate Festival in Pokrov, where the chocolate factory produces almost a third of all Russian chocolate (Pokrov, July 1), the Cherry Feast Day in the Patriarchal Garden, reviving interest in the famous Vladimir cherry (Vladimir, July 15), will be dedicated to distinguished gastronomic brands of the Vladimir land.

The All-Russian Day of Family, Love and Fidelity, which is held in ancient Murom in memory of the holy married couple of Pyotr and Fevronia (Murom, July 7), and the original and full of life International Cucumber Day, which is traditionally held in the Suzdal Museum of Wooden Architecture and Peasant Life (Suzdal, July 14) – became real tourist brands of the Vladimir region, well recognized in Russia.

Flows music, music, music...

The cultural capital of the 2018 FIFA World Cup will please music lovers with a variety in genres music festivals. A concert of stars of classical music and young talented performers, pupils of the Summer Creative School "New Names" in Suzdal, will be held under the motto "Denis Matsuev invites ..." (Suzdal, June 28-30).  It will be possible to make a trip on historical and picturesque places of the Vladimir land together with the "Musical expedition" Festival, that has already gained popularity in the region and deserved love of spectators (Vladimir and Vladimir region, June 11-17).

Fans of motorsport and good blues music will be able to combine excursions around ancient Suzdal with a visit to the International Blues-Bike Festival, which became one of the recognized centers of Russian customizing (Suzdal, June 29-July 1). Admirers of folk music are sure to enjoy the Interregional Folk Festival "The Fern", where they can immerse themselves in the atmosphere of music, traditions and creativity in a picturesque natural setting (Alexandrov district, Legkovo village by the side of the Seraya river, July 7). For those who like bard songs, there will be a wonderful opportunity to get acquainted with the ancient merchant Gorokhovets and its natural and archeological monument "Lysaya Gora" ("Bald Mountain"), where the Bard Song Festival "Top of Summer" will be held, known not only in the Vladimir region but also outside (Gorokhovets, by the side of the Klyazma river near the archeological monument "Lysaya Gora", July 13-15).


Along with the Event calendar, during the FIFA-2018 special routes for football fans and tourists are being developed in the Vladimir region, including new tourist products of the "Gastronomic Map" and agro-tourism objects. Those wishing to try real farm products and relax in the countryside are invited to the Farmer Festival "Vladimir Dawn. Milk Day" (Petushki district, Krutovo village, Agrocultural tourist complex "Bogdarnya", July 6-7). In June-July, the following cultural and gastronomic tours are offered to the guests of the World Cup 2018: "Forgotten items of the Russian table" in the cities of Alexandrov, Kirzhach, Zarechye village with the Dumnovs’ manor, Petrushino agro-estate, Suzdal and Vladimir; "Cucumber mood" in the town of Yuryev-Polsky, the "Egorov" apiary, Suzdal, the farm " Poultry yard ", the city of Gus-Khrustalny; "Two days with farmers of the Vladimir land" on the farm and gastronomy "Volny Vygul" ("Free-range"), the cities of Vladimir, Kovrov, "Ostrov" farm, the memorial house-museum of N.E. Zhukovsky. In addition, in June-July, a cognitive tour "Glass and flames" is planned  through the cities of Gorokhovets, Vladimir, Gus-Khrustalnoy, Ivanishchi village of the Gus-Khrustalny district.

Within the framework of the project "The Gastronomic Map of the Vladimir Region", the Vladimir Culinary Association will develop a special "Football menu" for guests and fans of the 2018 World Cupto show the region's originality through gastronomy and regional cuisine. In the period until the summer of 2018, the best restaurants in Vladimir, Suzdal and other cities of the region will hold presentations of their branded "football" dishes. Guests of the 2018 World Cup will also be offered a  Murom kalach in the form of a soccer ball, a Sobinka cake and a Pokrov gingerbread with the image of the coat of arms lion that holds a soccer-ball in the paws, various themed drinks of honey, cherry and cucumber ...

Source photohttps://zebra-tv.ru/novosti/jizn/perekus-dlya-bolelshchikov/

Within the framework of the project "Vladimir – the cultural capital of the 2018 Football World Cup", a number of events have already been implemented to attract the attention of Vladimir residents and guests to sports and near-sport issues. For example, on the City Day (August 26, 2017) there passed a friendly match between the team of Vladimir city (with the participation of city officials) and stars of Russian football (George Yartsev, Oleg Romantsev, Yury Gavrilov and others) at the "Lybed" Stadium. In the days of the V International Film Festival of Family and Children's Films "Vladimir Cherry" (October 12-14, 2017), a retrospective of films about football was held in the Cinema Center. The XXIII Animated Cinema Open Festival – Suzdalfest – invited children under 14 to the creative contest "Cartoon-football player" with the task to come up with a cartoon character, somehow connected with football. 

Source photohttps://zebra-tv.ru/novosti/chetvertaya-rubrika/futbolnye-bliny/

Even the Shrovetide festivities in 2018 were not without a football theme. Almost at all the festival venues they played football on the snow. In the contest for the best Shrovetide doll "Maslenitsa hospitable", traditionally held on the Victory Square, only Shrovetide figures, decorated with football attributes, participated. The "50 Plus" Forum, which was held in Vladimir on March 6-8, 2018, dedicated a special stand  to the project "Vladimir – the cultural capital of the 2018 Football  World Cup".  At the opening ceremony of the forum the governor of the Vladimir region was presented with a crystal key – a symbol of hospitality of the "Cultural Capital".

Source photohttps://zebra-tv.ru/novosti/chetvertaya-rubrika/klyuch-ot-futbolnoy-stolitsy/

One of the most significant events ahead of the 2018 FIFA World Cup was the WELCOME FOODBALL CUP International Gastronomic Festival, which was held on April 28, 2018 in Vladimir at the "Lybed" Stadium. It was attended by the chefs of 11 cities-organizers of the World Cup 2018, of the World Association of Chefs WACS, as well as the chef of the project "Gastronomic map of the Vladimir region".

The project "Vladimir - the cultural capital of the 2018 Football World Cup" inspires the organizers to search for new tourism opportunities for the region and innovative forms of working with the guests of the region. In addition, it has a huge potential, aimed at creating a positive image of Russia in the world, promoting its traditions and cultural heritage, historical attractions, sporting achievements, openness and friendliness of its people.


The closer to the World Cup 2018, the more its symbols appear in the design of the city space of Vladimir. In late May, at the entrances to the city from Moscow and Yuryev-Polsky, there appeared installations with a football theme. In some areas of Vladimir (on Lenin Avenue in front of the hotel "Zarya", in the "Dobroe" near the children's hospital), the thematic flower beds with the image of a soccer-ball are broken. In the near future, "football" flower-gardens will appear in other places (turn from Lenin Avenue to Upper Dubrova Street, on Gagarin Street, at the entrance to the city from the side of Nizhny Novgorod), favorably adorning the city. Flags with the symbols of the 2018 World Cup will be hung on all central highways of Vladimir. Special photo areas with the Vladimir lion in a football uniform will be equipped – on the Victory Square, Spassky Hill, "Lipki" Park and Georgievskaya Street. "Cultural capital of the 2018 Football World Cup" will appear before the residents and guests of Vladimir in its best, elegant appearance. 

Author: V. Korolkova
Date: 31.05.2018