One thing's for certain: On Jan. 1, 2010, a German city will celebrate its first day as Europe's cultural capital. What's still unclear, however, is which town will be able to do so as 10 cities across the country are still in the running.
From Lübeck in the north to Karlsruhe in the south, from Görlitz in the east to Essen in the west, the contenders have lobbying hard to bring home the title. Whether it's prominent supporters such as Halle native and former German Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher promoting his city on posters across the country or Regensburg enlisting scandalous theater director Christoph Schlingensief to put on an (albeit unflattering) play about the Bavarian town, most have come up with ways to get some attention.
On March 10 and 11, a jury of experts will pick two cities and recommend them to Germany's upper house, the Bundesrat. The finalists will then be officially sent to Brussels by the foreign ministry in the fall.
To introduce you to some of Germany's finest, DW-WORLD has put together city portraits of all the contenders. Enjoy reading them and please let us know which city you'd pick!