Twin Cities Antwerp – Rostock | Lyon – Leipzig | Annecy – Bayreuth | Plzen – Regensburg
Since 1963, the last Sunday in April has been World Town Twinning Day – an initiative of the “World Association of Town Twinning”. In our exhibitions on German-French town twinning in Leipzig and Hamburg/Marseille in 2018, we already addressed this form of town twinning. Our linearised representations of streets and cityscapes show how the building traditions and architectural heritage of cities interact with each other and which characteristics shape the respective partners’ cityscapes. For today’s Twin Towns Day, we have selected a selection of international town twinning projects from our archives and juxtaposed them pictorially.
Town twinning between two towns or municipalities serves the purpose of (mostly international) cultural and economic exchange. In addition, they are often used as a platform to transmit social discussions or to support democratisation processes. Partnerships often come about when private contacts already exist between citizens, local politicians or schools and a municipality abroad and these are then intensified. In some cases, contacts are also arranged through supra-local organisations and supported by the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR).
Plzen | Regensburg
Since 1993, there has been a partnership between the Bavarian and Czech cities, which are only 155 km apart on both sides of the German-Czech border. Our Plzen (Pilsen) panorama shows the Great Synagogue of Plzen, the second largest in Europe, and its urban integration along the Sady Pětatřicátníků. In the Regensburg/Ratisbon panorama we look at Goliath Street with its medieval patrician castles and the historic mural on the Goliath House.
Lyon | Leipzig
The twinning between the then second largest city in the GDR and the southern French metropolis was established in 1981. The two cities are just under 850 km apart. Our architectural panoramas show two of the inner-city shopping streets with their historic buildings. Above, Rue Victor Hugo in Lyon and below, Nikolaistrasse with its old fur trader buildings in Leipzig. Our archive contains numerous other streets from Lyon and Leipzig.
During our USA exhibition project with the Goethe-Institut “Germany Street Fronts”, another Leipzig partnership took centre stage. The exhibition made a guest appearance in Houston and was supported there by the city partnership associations in Leipzig and Houston and deepened with a handover of our streetline prints to the city.
Annecy | Bayreuth
In the early phase of town twinning, the idea of international understanding and reconciliation between nations was in the foreground. It was in this spirit that the partnership between Annecy in France and Bayreuth in Franconia was established as early as 1966. The two cities are separated by 600 km in distance. The panorama of Annecy shows the Palais de l’Isle, a prison island in the Thiou River, which dominates the old town. In the panorama of the festival city of Bayreuth, we look at the Opernstrasse with the Margravial Opera House, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Antwerp | Rostock
The partnership between the two port cities of Antwerp in Belgium and Rostock in Germany (then the GDR) was established as early as 1963. Rostock maintains a total of 14 city partnerships in 13 countries – all of them port cities. Consequently, the focus is on the maritime economy and the location by the sea. Our panoramas show the urban form of both city centres and are particularly similar in the silhouette of typical gabled houses. The Antwerp panorama shows the Grote Markt with its guild houses, the Rostock panorama the central shopping street Kröpeliner Straße.