Essen's twin cities

The Ruhr metropolis of Essen maintains good contacts with its chosen relatives in England, France, Finland, Russia and Israel.

For once, the focus is not on the highly official political and economic connections. Rather the city partnerships serve to connect groups of people all throughout Europe, and to open the world in particular to young people. Of course no one minds the odd bilateral business agreement here and there, but the main idea is for Markus and Michelle, John and Hanne, Tatjana and Thomas to have the opportunity to get to know each other.


In the year 1949, communication between the former military enemies was not an easy matter. It was achieved by a certain Mr Nicholson, training officer of the former British military government in Düsseldorf.

This man rose above and beyond the call of duty. He sought tirelessly for new ways of understanding each other, to give the up and coming generation in particular a new image of the former enemy country.

He suggested to the Essen Jugendamt (Youth Office) that they should establish a friendship with an English city.


After the capital, Helsinki, Tampere is the second cultural and industrial centre of the country in the far north. The city is the beating heart of the Pirkanmaa economic area, where around 400,000 people live, working particularly in the textiles, rubber, footwear and paper manufacturing, and mechanical engineering industries.


This Alpine city came to world fame in 1968 when it hosted the Winter Olympics. Essen made its first contact with Grenoble six years later, which meant overcoming certain misgivings. Grenoble had after all been a key centre for the French Resistance during the Nazi occupation, and reservations about Germany were deep-rooted. Despite this, or perhaps indeed because of it, both sides made a special effort to apply fresh soil to the scorched earth, giving the seedlings of understanding time to flourish.

Tel Aviv - Yafo

German-Israeli relationships are still overshadowed by the barbarism of the Nazi Reich. It was certainly no coincidence that Essen was the fourth German city to enter into an official connection with an Israeli municipality.

The Jewish Cultural Community Essen and the Society for Christian-Jewish Cooperation are committed to the partnership between Essen and an Israeli city.

Nischni Nowgorod

The Russian metropolis demands a lot of technical knowledge and imagination. For the city of 1.5 million on the confluence of the Volga and Oka rivers, signing the partnership contract with Essen in 1991 was not least a way out of the state of isolation it had been in for decades.


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