Town twinning is the concept of creating a partnership between cities. The main goal for the cities is to work together in cultural and economical sectors as well as to inform about city structure related issues. Most twin town arrangements are between cities in different countries that face similar social, economical and political situations or perhaps share historical links.
Neuss has created partnerships with six locations from five different countries. The first twin town relationship with Châlons-en-Champagne in France has been running since 1972. Pskow in Russia followed in 1990 as did Rijeka in Croatia. Saint Paul in the USA has been a twin town since 1999 and so have Nevşehir and Bolu in Turkey since late 2007 and early 2008 respectively.
Partnership with the Russian city Pskow is based on bilateral exchange of students and deals with the strengthening of cultural relations as well. The sister city relationship between Saint Paul and Neuss finds its roots in the European Economic and Monetary Union (EU). This partnership is considered to be the key to better understanding and working relationships with the European Union.
The Croatian city of Rijeka is on the Kvarner, a gulf in the Northern part of the Adriatic Sea. Apart from being a major tourist attraction, Rijeka is also a centre of administration, trade and exhibitions and the region’s commercial and cultural heart.
The city of Pskov with almost 200,000 inhabitants is located some 300 km south of St. Petersburg. Pskov is one of the oldest Russian towns. In ancient times, the city was a powerful border fortress. Today it is an important industrial city of the Russian Federation and one of the most popular tourist centres. One of its major landmarks is the Kreml (citadel) of Pskov, a former fortress and cathedral. Moreover, Pskov has numerous monuments and museums bearing witness to the extensive artistic activities of many centuries. The Pskov school of icon painting is famous far beyond the city borders.
The French sister city is situated in the heart of the French Champagne region. It has 60,000 inhabitants and is the capital of the region Champagne-Ardenne. With its framework houses and remarkable churches, the city offers a variety of attractive sights. The church Notre-Dame-en-Vaux is a noteworthy example of Romanesque and Gothic architecture.
Saint Paul is the capital of the U. S. state Minnesota, one of the Midwest states situated at the Canadian border. The city is adjacent to Minneapolis, with which it forms the “Twin Cities” on the Mississippi.
The capital of the Turkish province of the same name, Nevşehir has approximately 81.000 residents and is located in central Anatolia. Over one million tourists visit an array of sights and attractions in the region every year. These include mountainous landscapes, hollows and caves as well as mosques and castles.
Bolu, with some 105.000 inhabitants, is located just south of the main axis between Istanbul and Ankara. The region is covered in woodlands and is famous for its lakes.
The province, of which Bolu is the capital, is renowned for its excellent cuisine. Turkey’s most famous school for cooking is situated here, attracting students from the whole country. During the summer, thousands of spectators visit the annual culinary festival.