BONN. Bonn and its districts encourage encounters between citizens of different cities, including Oxford in the UK. The partnership with Potsdam was concluded before the fall of the Berlin Wall.
The city of Bonn and its four districts have been cultivating partnerships and friendships with various cities and districts around the world for many decades. One of the oldest links between a German city and a foreign city is between Bonn and Oxford. People from Bonn and Oxford made their first contacts as early as 1947.
The former electoral residence of Bonn and Potsdam, once the most important Prussian seat of power, have been linked by a German-German city partnership since 1988. The former Lord Mayor of Bonn, Hans Daniels, and his counterpart in Potsdam, Wilfried Seidel, negotiated the contract in the former East Germany under difficult conditions and sealed it in Bonn in March 1989. The Berlin Wall fell seven months later and since then the two partnership associations, the Bonn Club in Potsdam and the Potsdam Club in Bonn, have nurtured and maintained the partnership and organise regular meetings.
There is also a friendship between the cities of Bonn and Tel Aviv, although this is not very active. Most recently, an environmental expert from the Israeli port city was a guest at the Climate Conference in Bonn in 2017. So-called project friendships also link Bonn with Chengdu (China), Buchara (Uzbekistan), Cape Coast (Ghana), La Paz (Bolivia), Minsk (Belarus) and Ulan Bator (Mongolia).
Student exchange programmes play major role in partnership with Oxford
As well as Oxford, Bonn also maintains a partnership with Budafok, a district of Budapest, and Opole. The partnership with the venerable English university city of Oxford is essentially supported by the Oxford Club Bonn. According to the city of Bonn, thousands of Bonn residents have established numerous personal contacts with citizens of the British Isles since 1947. The student exchange programmes play a major role in the partnership.
Bad Godesberg has five partnerships and friendships with foreign cities. The oldest partnership dates back to 1957 and links the spa town with the small town of Saint-Cloud, west of Paris. There are further partnerships with Frascati (Italy), Windsor and Maidenhead (UK), Kortrijk (Belgium) and Yalova (Turkey).
Beuel and Hardtberg are Francophiles. Beuel and Mirecourt are celebrating their 50th “wedding anniversary” this year. Two Washer Princesses have previously come from the French twin town. The Duisdorf –Villemomble twinning, which the mayor of Villemomble at the time, Robert Calméjane and the mayor of the former district of Duisdorf, Heinz Knoche, agreed to in order to “make friends out of former wartime enemies”, has existed for 52 years.
(Original text: Lisa Inhoffen. Translation: kc)