Articles  >  Imagine  >  Cities of the world, unite!

Cities of the world, unite!

Author: 21.10.2015 | history, do you know
For more than 50 years a World Day of Twin Cities falls on the last Sunday of April. The beginning of the World War II is considered to be a starting point of town-twinning. Enthusiasts from Coventry – a major industrial centre of England which survived intense bombing by the Nazis – sent to the Soviet Stalingrad, the city of the same level of industrial development and population, letter supporting confrontation to Hitler. In return they got a warm and appreciative response.

Warmed up by struggle against the common enemy, rapprochement of the USSR and UK residents accelerated after the terrible battle of Stalingrad. Since then, the museum of the hero city on the Volga River hosts sword and tablecloth – gifts from Coventry representatives, who also sent considerable financial aid. Delegations from twin towns actively visit each other even today, sharing managerial experience and cultural heritage.


Experience of Volgograd and Coventry set a classic example for other cities connected by links of brotherhood. Nevertheless, the tradition origins from the year of 836, when inhabitants of Paderborn (Germany) and Le Mans (France) decided to get closer despite the distance. Middle Ages experience was incarnated after a millennium: in 1905 the small towns Keighley (England) and Poix-du-Nord (France) became true pioneers in twinning, which gained popularity later on in XX century.

Due to political factors such as demonstration of international unity, the phenomenon of twin cities became quite obvious after world wars. The cities twinned not for the sake of good manners, but guided by the existing bonds or similar status. There were exchanges of delegations between pretentious capitals of states having sea ports, hardworking industrial centres, noble university communities. And if in the Soviet Union the question of who shall be a friend was answered on the highest level, in Western countries it was bottom-up initiative.

So, Chicago twinned with Warsaw since a numerous Polish diaspora settled there. Other American city, Portland, found a kindred spirit in Bologna possessing similar educational and cultural traditions and even the same approach to meals. 

Bologna - Portland

British Nottingham and German Karlsruhe twinned by common concern of building tram tracks. Spanish and American cities with the same name Toledo have been friends since 1931. Relationship may strengthen within the same country: couples Hanover – Leipzig and Hamburg – Dresden still remembered Iron Curtain divided Germany.

There are also quite amusing cases of fraternization. So, the Scottish village of Dull in partnership with the American town of Boring are looking for way to use their disadvantageous titles for tourism development. And the residents of Wincanton (England), Gennes (France) and Lana (Germany) have acquired as friend a fictional village of Ankh-Morpork, a central point of events described in The Discworld series by fantasy author Terry Pratchett. It seems that the Brits benefited the most from the virtual fellowship. At their request, the compatriot writer personally compiled a list of 14 names for the streets connected with the events of his novel. Two of them – Peach Pie Street and Treacle Mine Road – have been approved and now adorn the signs Wincanton. Besides, according to the Mayor of the city, three families have moved there because of friendship with the cult of Ankh-Morpork.

So, the unity of citizens is not only useful, but also brings a good mood. However, not many can maintain a really fruitful relationship. Those cities which in Soviet times acquired twins, now do not know how not to lose face in front of an international delegation as government funding is not always provided for such purposes. Whereas in the USA, EU, China there were established special government organizations to support this tradition.

The idea of twin cities some kind of losing romance in practical modernity. Often, a twin is being looked for under criterion foreigners will help us. Though saying that Friend in need is a friend indeed is still valid for such situations. Often some cities repudiated any connections with their twins due to estrangement in relations between governments. However, there are examples to the contrary, when cities in case of disaster support each other with humanitarian aid in contravention of any political tensions.

As for partnership in our country, it demonstrates little difference from its international counterparts. Most capitals, as befits its status, contains friend list of Kyiv. Other Ukrainian millionaire cities are satisfied with shorter, but still significant lists of twins. Noteworthy is also the story of Chyhyryn which twinned with Sevastopol , but ... Californian. Rovenky town of Luhansk region could not miss the chance to strengthen relations with Rovenky situated across the border – in Russian territory. Poltava got as a twin nothing less than Nice!

Nice -Poltava

And well-known to all arriving and departing passengers Boryspil plans to legalize kinship with Nablus in Palestine. And if in some cases the relationship between cities can be explained, or at least some speculation can be dragged in, here we leave this puzzle in the care of the most inquisitive readers...

Photo from open sources

It will be interesting:
Everyone needs money. Currency of the world
They are referred to differently in every other place but are loved, probably, in the same way everywhere. Sure enough, we talk about money or more precisely their “second names” because alongside official ones currencies have common nicknames which is not so well known, but clearly deserves attention!
Forgotten art: Chinese ceremony in South Korea
After the walking along the boisterous streets of Seoul one wants to take it easy in a café drinking a cup of flavored tea, however, it never happens like that. Good teahouses are found out only near Buddhist monasteries or at the bohemian pedestrian street Insadon. Chinese ceremony in Korea that is incomparable with the rough schedule of offices and remaining the joy of wise people and privilege of the masters.
Rice fields: Grains of unbelievable beauty
- Do you want to try some rice? - such a question is greeted by guests in China. And if the owners are also farmers, they can invite you on an unusual excursion and show you the masterpiece of natural art. The grass which we often eat without thinking about its aesthetics, at the time of growing resembles a blanket woven from multi-colored rags ...
Antique guide: European flea markets
Despite a wide-spread belief, European flea markets have little in common with both second-hand and ordinary trade rows on traditional merchandise markets. These places per se are unique due to a one-of-a-kind reflection of the country’s spirit and what at first glance seems like plain goods may tell you about its past and help feel a spirit of an era.
"So sorry for the bird!". Feathered Mauritius symbol
Figurines of dodo bird “invaded” all souvenir shops of Mauritius and its image even managed to become a national symbol complementing to the country’s emblem. But the most grievous thing of all is that all this glory came to Raphus cucullatus after it was completely extinct from the face of Earth – and it took it less then a hundred years…
Pablo Picasso: Poet for his era
About Picasso as a distinctive artist, graphic artist and sculptor, we know to some extent everything. Meanwhile, his other incarnations are pushed into the background. Ilya Ehrenburgh once very concisely described Pablo Picasso’s relations with his era: “20th century found in him its own dynamite expert, its own philosopher and its own poet”.
Switzerland: Banks, Chocolate And Army
It is an open secret that this world is full of paradoxes. Outlook, in its turn, tries to figure them out therefore today we’ll tell about armed forces of the world’s most militarized state that, however, hasn’t been at war with anyone for over two centuries. Our feature is about the army of Switzerland.
Where stars are “set glowing”
There’s hardly anything that compares to bright-starred sky and silence. It is the stars that OUTLOOK want to tell you about or more precisely about the places with the best view on them. In Europe it is recommended to go stargazing not to some place but to… Slovenia. Point is, this small country is one of the cleanest in the world and consequently isn’t that polluted with smog.
VIDEO: Majestic heritage of Uzbekistan
Thanks to the Embassy of Uzbekistan in Ukraine and personally Ambassador extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Alisher Abdualiev OUTLOOK was lucky enough to visit this hospitable country. And today we will tell about a unique place - the Mausoleum of the prominent military leader and political figure of Amir Temur.
Don’t break the tongue: The hardest languages in the world
It is said, the easier it is, the better we feel, however, is it always like that? We know that not all the nations follow this principle. Outlook has found out the strangest, toughest and hard in articulation international languages and would like to share it with the readers.
Sculpture of the Vatican: history and philosophy
"A small territory with a great mission" is the motto under which on February 11, 1929 Lateran Treaty between the Kingdom of Italy and the Holy See recognized Vatican as a sovereign territory. It was an agreement which opened doors for curious patrons who for centuries had been trading gossip about "What is kept inside Vatican castles?". Evil tongues grumbled that the walled enclave protected magic books of how to seize the world, the castle’s cellars hide torture chambers for sinners, and after liturgies alchemists are busy inventing the Philosopher's Stone. But when museums welcomed visitors, both guests and the Romans gasped with delight. Collectors estimated that the cost of all the works of art featured by almost the smallest country in the world, is 150 times more than the world's GDP.
Underground Brilliance of the Empire: Budapest Metro
After having spent merely an hour for a flight from Kiev, I suddenly realized I reached the city where continental Europe’s oldest subway is situated. And things that Budapest underground is famous for are not limited to this. OUTLOOK sets on a trip around metropolitan of one of the world’s most beautiful cities. Want to go down?
Critical temperature: don’t let yourself dry out
In the nooks of Earth we want to talk about people live according to very specific rules of nature. Here rains don’t start out of the blue and frosts don’t come unexpectedly. It’s much more serious. Should a good wind once bring you there, you’ll be prepared and may have a grateful memory of OUTLOOK.
VIDEO: the mystery in the South of France - Chauvet cave
Today, OUTLOOK will give you a tour at the place where it is impossible to get an ordinary person!
A word spoken is past recalling
Words we vocalize every day seem ordinary and familiar to us. We even get the feeling that, for instance, the word “chauffeur” existed forever. There is only this slight nuance: cars themselves re a little over hundred years old… Hence, things aren’t that simple when it comes to our day-to-day vocabulary. Well then, why not recollect interesting stories of other words origin?
Peacekeeping Is Power: United Nations Day
United Nations Organization was created in order to cease global violence, protect human rights and eradicate poverty. On October, 24, 1945 founding states ratified the treaty on creation of global body that acquired the name the UN.
Pompeii: Life under ashes
Human history remembers Dresden, Hiroshima, Nagasaki. The list goes on and it includes Pompeii where residents turned into stoned monuments against their will. Located near modern Naples, the city with views of Mount Vesuvius was one of the most developed cities not only in the Roman Empire, but also in Europe. Once thriving community it flourished in many spheres: painting...
Le Grand Louvre
First exhibition of paintings in the world’s most visited museum the Louvre was opened on 1793. But its building was well-known far beyond France, though the edifice was not used with such lofty cultural purposes.
Fantasy story about a boy Bastian, who stole a book with an amulet on its cover, and the adventures of a brave Atreyu - The NeverEnding Story - is undoubtedly an iconic movie. This film classic was created in 1984, before computer graphics, virtual studios and wonders drawn up on the screen. And a few people know what a reverse side of the film is...
Hanging Out In Pakistan
OUTLOOK studied the brightest Pakistani holidays, because the saying goes for a reason: people live same way they hang out. An amazing game of history. Pakistan appeared on political map relatively short time ago yet one doesn’t have the heart to call it ‘young’ for it is inhabited with heirs of one of the most ancient civilization.
Outlook facebook page