The hilltop city of Mons was founded in 7th Century and features a stunning cathedral, a Baroque belfry and a vibrant main square. This main square of Mons in July 2015 will be covered in 8 000 sunflowers in tribute to Vincent Van Gogh.

The owner of the Marcasse mine has plans to install letterboxes such as the above throughout the mine filled with copies of Van Gogh's letters. This will mark how Van Gogh once made the descent 700 metres underground in the mine.

A mural can be seen on the wall of the mine which depicts Van Gogh as both a painter and a pastor. The artist's contract with the church was terminated after six months which lead him to make the decision to move to art. One of his first drawings featured local coal miners.

"Van Gogh in the Borinage: The Birth of an Artist" will be one of the major exhibitions in Mons during 2015. It includes 70 paintings from international collections, including drawings and seven original letters from Van Gogh. It will run from January 25th to May 17th at the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Mons.

The exhibitions curator Sjraar Van Heugten said: "Van Gogh set out with ideas that he remained true to for the rest of his career."

"It shows a remarkable mind-set and determination, and we see themes in his career that last from the first days to the very last."

Van Gogh is not the only artist's work which will be taking over the city, artists from around the globe have been invited to make an impression on the city. For example River of Books, an installation by Spanish artist Alicia Martin features an avalanche of books beautifully cascading from the windows of the University of Mons. The piece raises the concept of knowledge in the digital age.

Plzen,Czech Republic has also been named the Capital of Culture for 2015.