The old Town Hall of Gdansk  

GDANSK - The 15th World Congress of the World Carillon Federation will be held in Gdansk, Poland. The congress starts officially on Sunday July 16, 2006 and ends on Thursday July 20, 2006. The Congress Centre will be set up in the magnificent old town hall in the heart of the city. This is also the location where the lectures and general assemblies will be held. All congress locations in the old city centre are within walking distance.

At the moment there are two carillons in Poland, both situated in Gdansk. The larger one, in the tower of St. Catherine's Church, is a four-octave instrument of 49 bells. The second carillon, with three octaves and 37 bells, is located in the Gdansk Town Hall. Both carillons replace historical instruments that were destroyed during World War II. During the congress a travelling carillon will also be available.

Gdansk is a harbour city with more than half a million inhabitants. The average temperature in July is 20 °C (68 °F), but very often reaches 25 °C (78 °F). The weather is changeable, sometimes rainy, but mostly sunny. The characteristic silhouette of the city is dominated by numerous towers, among them the tower of the famous basilica of St. Mary.

The city has a stirring history. The shelling of the Westerplatte peninsula on September 1, 1939 initiated World War II. Five years later the old city centre was almost completely destroyed. Anybody who would like to know more about the city can find a lot of information on [].

The programme will include daily carillon recitals by carillonneurs representing the WCF member organizations. Furthermore the organization has invited several prominent carillonneurs as guest recitalist.

A folkloristic evening in a famous historical fortress and a day trip to the Malbork castle constitute the cultural activities of the programme. Moreover, a tour to the historic town quarter of Oliwa and to the neighbouring City of Sopot - a well known maritime spa, with the longest wooden pier in Europe - are planned. The overall congress programme is now available on the website [] of the Polish Carillon Society.

The programme already mentions the lectures of Dr. D. Szlagowska about "Music in old Gdansk" and Dr. D. Popings about "Carillon music in old Gdansk". In addition the organization invites everybody to come up with proposals for a lecture. The condition stipulated is that subjects must have a relation with the congress theme: The carillon - a historic instrument for the future.

Proposals should be submitted before January 31, 2006, by presenting a summary of about 1000 words and a specification of the required audio-visual equipment. Lectures should last no longer than 45 minutes. A scientific committee will make a choice from the material that was received. Lecturers will not be paid, but are exempt from paying the congress fee.

Gdansk has direct flight connections with Warsaw, Frankfurt, Hamburg, København, London and Dortmund. The road distance from Berlin to Gdansk is 496 km, from Amsterdam 1172 km. Ferry or railway connections from København and Stockholm may also be used.

It is possible to register for the congress by completing the registration form on the website []. Persons registering before March 31, 2006 pay a congress fee of € 150 per person and € 100 for family members. Children under 18 years pay € 50. Students pay € 100. The amount to be paid by interested persons who are not members of a WCF member organization is € 200. After said date fees are higher.

The congress fee provides access to all lectures, recitals, the final symphonic concert, sponsored meals and congress trips. The congress photo and post-congress book are also included.

There are various hotels available in the City Centre, which delegates book at their own expense: Holiday Inn (****), Mercure-Hevelius (***) and Dom Muzyka (**). All hotels provide guarded car parks. It is intended that everyone makes his own hotel reservation through aforementioned website of the Polish Carillon Society. Only those who book a room using this website qualify for the special reduced prices. So do not make direct reservations at the said hotels. The currency in Poland is Zloty (1 euro is about 4 Zloty).