Contact: Städtepartnerschaftsverein Pirna e.V. (Pirna Twinning Association)
With a population of 7,000, Baienfurt is a municipality in the district of Ravensburg in Baden-Württemberg (Upper Swabia). The name of the village is derived from the ford (German: Furt) crossing the Wolfegger Ach river, a shallow point where people, animals and vehicles could cross the river. Baienfurt’s economic and cultural development from the original farming village to the village as it is today took about 140 years. Its coat of arms still features a fuller’s teasel, symbolising the cultivation of teasel by the village farmers. Since 1873, the village development is closely linked with the manufacture of paper. The Baienfurt paper factory used to be Baienfurt’s main source of income until its closure in 2008. With its modern tower added in 1953, the Expressionist-style Marienkirche (Church of St Mary) is one of the village’s striking buildings. Others include the modern village centre with town hall and community hall and the historic Speidlerhaus. After more than 20 years of close friendship between Baienfurt and Pirna’s district of Graupa, the Pirna-Baienfurt Twinning Charter was finally signed in 2010.
2009. Pirna’s former chief mayor, Mr Ulbig, takes part in Europe’s biggest equestrian procession, the Weingarten Blutritt (Procession of the Holy Blood)
2010. Signing of the Pirna-Baienfurt Twinning Charter, thus cementing the close friendship between Baienfurt and Graupa which began long before 2010
Remscheid is one of the largest cities in the Bergisches Land region. In reference to its important role in trade and industry, it is also known as the “seaside town in the mountains”. This nickname was coined towards the end of the 19th century, when the local iron and tool manufacturing industries established global trade relations which are still in existence today. The first settlers in this region were recorded in the 12th century. Despite the rough highland terrain, they chose this location due to its abundance of natural resources. Because of its trade and industry structure, Remscheid is considered the last industrial city in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia. Nevertheless, nearly one third of the city is green space, a total of 4,500 hectares of which is designated as a landscape conservation area. In addition, there are 23 nature reserves covering a total area of 715 hectares. In August 1808, Napoleon I, Emperor of the French, raised the then small community with its numerous hamlets to town status. Located about 40 km North East of Cologne, the independent city reached city status in 1929 and has a current population of over 110,000. Pirna and Remscheid have been twin towns since 1990. Two of Remscheid’s numerous places of interest are the German Tool Museum and the birthplace of Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen. Nearby places to visit are Schloss Burg, the ancestral home of the Count of Berg, the Eschbachtalsperre dam (the first drinking water reservoir in Germany, built in 1891) and the Müngsten Bridge (the highest steel railroad bridge in Germany, spanning the valley of the Wupper river 107 m high).
1990. Signing of the Pirna-Remscheid Twinning Charter
1990 – 1995. Pirna receives administrative assistance from Remscheid; apprentices from Pirna are trained in Remscheid
1991. Foundation of the Twinning Committee Remscheid-Pirna e. V.
2014. 25. VfL Pirna-Copitz football club celebrate their 25th attendance of the annual football tournament organised by SG Hackenberg-Remscheid football Club
Bolesławiec (formerly Bunzlau) has been twinned with Pirna since 1980. Founded in 1201, Bolesławiec is located in the North East of the Lower Silesian Voivodeship, near the Bóbr river, a tributary of the Oder river originating at the nearby Rýchory mountains. Visitors to this district capital will be amazed by the market square which was rebuilt in keeping with its historic past, healing the heavy scars of three wars. Nearby mineral deposits of clay, kaolin and glass sand as well as Bolesławiec’s position on an old trade route to Poland, Bohemia and Germany gave rise to a flourish of crafts and trade in the town as early as in the Middle Ages. From the 15th century onwards, pottery grew into a particularly prospering industry and still plays an important role in the town’s economy. Some of the cultural expressions of the long-standing pottery tradition are the Ceramics Museum and the widely known annual Ceramics Festival which takes place in August, and which is regularly attended by representatives from Pirna.
1980. Signing of the Pirna-Bolesławiec Friendship Charter
1998. Renewal of the Pirna-Bolesławiec twinning partnership and signing of the Twinning Charter
2000. A delegation of Pirna citizens and representatives of the city administration visit Bolesławiec to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the town twinning
2001. A delegation from Pirna takes part in the 750 year anniversary celebrations in Bolesławiec
2010. To commemorate the 30th anniversary of the twinning, the town of Bolesławiec presents itself at an exhibition in Pirna
Děčín, a district capital and industrial town in the Northern Czech Republic with a population of about 50,000, has been twinned with Pirna since 1975. Both cities have a lot in common, such as the century-old shipping traffic along the Elbe river and the cross-border tourism at the Elbe Sandstone Mountains, an area shared by both countries. The Elbe Valley Railway, which runs from Dresden via Pirna to Děčín, is one of the main transport routes between the Czech Republic and Germany. Děčín consists of two towns, one on either side of the Elbe river: Podmokly and Děčín. The younger part of Podmokly (German: Bodenbach) gained its town status in 1901 thanks to the Dresden-Prague railway line and the ensuing industrial settlements. Děčín (German: Tetschen), on the right bank, was founded several centuries earlier, in the 2nd half of the 13th century. The origin of the settlement was a castle built by the royal dynasty of the Přemyslids. Built on top of a cliff overlooking the Elbe river and rebuilt into a Renaissance palace in the 16th century, the castle is still the town’s most striking landmark. With its rich cultural heritage, Děčín grew into an industrial town and administrative seat. The surrounding landscape, shaped by the sandstone of the Bohemian Switzerland, offers countless opportunities for days out. Two of the numerous places worth visiting are the zoo situated upon “The Shepherds’ cliff” and the forest park on top of the table hill.
1975. Beginning of the twinning friendship
1991. First annual fundraising event to help raise money for the Děčín zoo and, concurrently, the first annual get-together of the “adoptive parents” (donors)
1998. Signing of the Twinning Charter; Foundation of the Friedrich-Schiller-Gymnasium Pirna, the first German-Czech secondary school in Saxony with a binational boarding school
2009. Signing of the Twinning Charter between Pirna’s Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi Oberschule (secondary school) and Děčín’s ZŠ ŽELENICE school
2013. An art exhibition of contemporary sculptures is held as part of the “First Sculptures Summer 2013” in Pirna and Děčín, bringing together students from both towns
Longuyon, a French village with a population of about 6,000, has been twinned with Pirna since 1980. The Chiers river, a tributary of the Meuse river, runs through the village, which lies on the Belgium-Luxembourg border in the Meurthe-et-Moselle department in the Lorraine region. Small and medium businesses like earthenware manufactories dominate the village’s economic structure. Longuyon’s tourist attractions include a 13th century church (St Agatha) and an original Native American totem pole – a gift to the village from Canadian military forces who were stationed there until 1967. The nearby fortifications of the Maginot Line are reminders of one of the most gruesome eras in history. Representatives from Pirna regularly take part in the “Fête Patronale de Sainte-Agathe” in Longuyon, a festival in honour of Saint Agatha. Since the very start, Longuyon has been part of the annual “Markt der Kulturen” culture festival in Pirna with representatives from the French village presenting regional products in their own market stall.
1980. Signing of the Pirna-Longuyon Friendship Charter
1989. A youth delegation from Longuyon visit Pirna for the French national holiday celebrations of Bastille Day
1992. Representatives from Longuyon exhibit at the Pirna trade show
1998. Signing of the Pirna-Longuyon Twinning Charter
2012. A delegation of representatives from Longuyon and Pirna visit the German Bundestag (the German Federal Parliament)
Twinned with Pirna since 1961, Varkaus is located about 300 km North East of Helsinki in the Northern Savonia region in central Finland. This small yet very modern town with a population of around 23,000 gained its town status as late as 1962. The large area of surrounding forests gave rise to Varkaus’s wood-processing industry. Other noteworthy lines of business include power generation and inland water transport. Varkaus is surrounded by a vast area of scenic lakes and rivers – Lake Saimaa covers an area of 4,370 km² – with countless canals and bridges. The town’s Canal Museum is dedicated to the history of canal building. Varkaus offers an excellent choice of sports and exercise activities. In the summer, the lakes provide endless opportunities for boat trips, water sports and fishing. During the colder season, Varkaus becomes a winter sports paradise. There are also plenty of diverse cultural offers, such as shows and events at the concert hall and the Varkaus Theater, founded in 1913, or various exhibitions on show at the town’s museums and the Väinölä Art Centre.
1961. Beginning of the twinning friendship
1998. Signing of the Pirna-Varkaus Twinning Charter
2003. Thanks to financial support from the town of Varkaus and the Finnish-German Association, ten teenagers from the Pirna area who volunteered for relief work during the flood disaster are awarded a holiday to Finland
2011. Commemorative event celebrating the 50 year anniversary of the twinning relationship between both towns
City friendship witz Reutlingen/Germany
Even tough no official twinning charter has been signed, the friendship connecting both towns is evident in many ways. With a population of about 110,000, Reutlingen is situated in the German state of Baden-Württemberg at the foot of the Achalm mountain, which belongs to the low mountain range of the Swabian Jura – hence its nickname “the gate to the Swabian Jura”. Reutlingen was first mentioned in records in 1089/1090. The historic city centre is dominated by half-timbered houses dating back to Medieval times, such as the Spendhaus or the Königsbronn Abbey, now a museum of local history. Gothic church architecture and modern urban buildings complete the picture. With a number of diverse buildings that include the Marienkirche (Church of St Mary), built between 1247 and 1343 and considered one of the most stunning historical buildings in the Württemberg region, the world’s narrowest street (as listed in the Guinness Book of World Records since 2007) or the ultra-modern town hall – visitors are sure to fall in love with the city’s quirky but charming mix of architectural styles. Shopping becomes an experience at the picturesque pedestrian area where side roads leading to the old town squares open the view to numerous ornate fountains. Friedrich List is a famous son of the city. The well-known economist was born in Reutlingen in 1789. Today, Reutlingen is a modern economic hub.
City Friendship Milestones
1990. Beginning of the twinning friendship
Since 1990. Reutlingen enables school choirs from Pirna to take part in the “Schülerbegegnung Musik & Kunst” music and art project organised by the states of Saxony and Baden-Württemberg, bringing together school choirs from both regions
1990 – 1995. Pirna receives administrative assistance from Reutlingen
2010 – 2011. The Reutlingen museum of local history hosts “abc des Ostens” (“abc of the East”), a touring exhibition by the Eisenhüttenstadt-based Documentation Centre of Everyday Culture of the GDR, to mark the 20th anniversary of both the city friendship and the German reunification