Orleans and its twin cities
ORLeANS AND ITS TWIN CITIES
ORLeANS’ FRIENDSHIP CITIES
Orleans has twinned with 12 towns and cities over the years. These international bonds of friendship are primarily designed to involve residents and foster exchanges between different cultures.
Twin cities have established a relationship with Orleans based on various areas of activity, laying the foundations for close cross-border cooperation.
NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA
Twinned since early 2018, Orleans and New Orleans have many things in common, not least a name shared for 300 years: they are each set on the banks of major rivers, the Loire and Mississippi respectively, and each hold a celebration in honour of Joan of Arc, 29 April to 8 May in Orleans, France, and on 6 January across the pond.
Signed in 1973, this twinning agreement cemented a long friendship that began just after the Second World War when Allied forces from Wichita befriended residents of the city. As a testament to its attachment to Orleans, Wichita donated the tourist train in Parc Pasteur and the statue of the Native American in the area of La Source. Visitors to Wichita encounter a mix of the traditional and the modern, and they can see there some of the last Prairie style houses designed by celebrated architect Frank Lloyd Wright or visit several museums devoted to aviation.
When Yangzhou, a Chinese city in central Jiangsu Province, was twinned with Orleans in 2018, it sealed a partnership established in 2015 and ushered in various activities, including opening a China office at Orléans Val de Loire Tourisme; publishing a new guide for welcoming Chinese tourists to France; training Chinese students in tourism and cuisine; holding Chinese New Year celebrations in Orleans, and organising school exchanges with Jean-Rostand and André-Chêne secondary schools.
The first links between Orleans and Utsunomiya were forged in the mid-1980s during an exploratory trade visit. The rapprochement was made official in 1989. An attractive site for tourism, Utsunomiya is known as a pleasant destination. Hachimanyama Park with its 700 cherry trees and 2,300 azaleas perfectly reflects the rest of the city as a blend of the old and new.
The twinning agreement signed in 1959 followed the signing of the Treaty of Rome, a founding document of the European Union. Close to the Adriatic and surrounded by vast fields of vines and orange trees, Treviso boasts an exceptional setting. Its close proximity to Venice and the equally famous Strada Terraglio make it a popular spot for tourists.
Dundee was the first city to be twinned with Orleans, in 1946. Relations between Orleans and Scotland however go much further back than that! In fact, Scottish archers helped Joan of Arc liberate Orleans in 1429. The Scottish city lies close to the North Sea. Overlooked by the Law and Balgay Hill which afford sweeping views of the surrounding countryside, Dundee is a favourite destination for nature lovers.
The two cities are celebrating 40 years of friendship! The twinning agreement signed between Münster and Orleans was part of the reconciliation process between France and Germany after the Second World War. Münster, known for its houses built above arcades, has preserved its Medieval grandeur. Its old town is replete with historic landmarks, including St. Paul Cathedral, the Prinzipalmarkt, the town hall, the castle and the Erbdrostenhof, the finest palace in the city.
Orleans signed a twinning pact with Kristiansand in May 1973. On the shores of the Norwegian Sea, the city counts tourism amongst its main economic activities. With its jagged coastline dotted with islands and clement climate, Kristiansand is the number one holiday and leisure destination in Norway.
The friendship charter signed in 1975 soon led to a twinning agreement in 1978. This solid foundation developed into numerous social and cultural forms of cooperation. Anyone who visits Tarragona cannot leave without visiting the early Christian cemetery, the cathedral, Roman ruins, fascinating provincial museum and, just 10 km outside the city, Universal's Port Aventura, Spain’s biggest theme park.
In 1989, the first relations with Lugoj were intended to support and promote democracy in this new city, and they resulted in a friendship pact between the city and Orleans. It was officially ratified in 1994. At the crossroads of major trade routes linking the capital Bucharest and Timisoara, Lugoj enjoys a mild climate and nearby tourist attractions such as the seaside resort of Buzias, Lake Surduc and Romanesti cave and monastery.
The historic links between the two cities culminated in a twinning agreement signed on 14 March 1992. Wawel royal castle, the old fortifications, the Jewish quarter and the many churches dotted around Kraków are evidence of its rich history and glorious past. Four metres below the paving of the ‘Rynek’, the city’s main square, Medieval life has been recreated in the underground multimedia museum equipped with latest-generation technology.
OTHER CITIES IN FRANCE
The historic capital of Haute-Auvergne was twinned with the capital of Centre-Val de Loire in 1986. Anyone who visits Saint-Flour is powerless to resist the magical wonder of this place that is a blend of Medieval and Renaissance styles. With its towering cathedral made of black lava stone, Romanesque churches and maze of cobbled lanes, every nook of this village is simply bursting with charm.
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