Witnessing its cosmopolitan vocation and its interest in the multiplicity of cultures and traditions, Este is twinned with cities in Europe and beyond. Every year, the city of Este organises the Festa Europea: a traditional event that celebrates the friendship and collaboration we have with our twin cities.
In the framework of the Festa Europea, the traditional moment when the citizens of Este meet with those of the European Twin Cities of Leek (Great Britain), Pertuis (France), Bad Windsheim (Germany), Tapolca (Hungary), Fiume/Rijeka (Croatia), to which are added those of the cities of Fredericksburg in the United States and Bethlehem in Palestine. In 2017 it carried out the project United in diversity, financed by the Europe for Citizens Programme and selected together with the best Italian projects.
From 28 September to 1 October 2018, European citizens will carry out the new project co-financed by the European Union “UNITED 2018”, addressing the priorities set out by the EU:
1. Dialogue on the future of Europe and on Euro-scepticism
2. European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018
UNITED 2018 intends upon contributing to the understanding between the citizens of the twin cities of the history and diversity of the Union and it will tackle the feeling of detachment that is experienced by the citizens toward the institutions, committing themselves to reaffirming the values of Europe which have been reaffirmed in the course of the celebrations for the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome.
The city of Bad Windsheim is located in the region of Middle Franconia in Bavaria and has about 12,000 inhabitants. The spa town of Bad Windsheim provides residents and visitors with a high quality of life. Therapeutic mineral water sources guarantee a variety of infrastructure in the health sector: particularly worthy of note in this respect are the different thermal clinics and the Franken-Therme, with the only salt lake in Europe. The 750 square metres of salt lake, having a completely saturated saline solution, offer an extraordinary swimming experience. The 26.9% salt content enables the human body to have incredible buoyancy, so that it seems to be literally floating on the surface of the water. Right next to the Franken-Therme is the great Phoenix Park, dedicated to campers and ranked as the largest in Bavaria, which invites one to take a little break from our frenetic world in an exceptional atmosphere.
The historic centre, with a variety of attractive streets and squares, draws one in for a stroll among the many buildings in authentic Fràncone style, for some shopping and enjoyment of the local cuisine. In the Fränkischen Freilandmuseum, people can immerse themselves in the history of our ancestors and learn from the past. Right next to the Freilandmuseum is the European School Camp, without barriers, opened as a meeting place for all ages and for all classes of students, with a particular attention toward Europe, inclusion, age, the homeland and culture. Here, European guests are always particularly welcome!
A large annual programme of events, from the holiday markets to the famous Festival of the Old Town of Kiliani, from the Patron Saint day to the Christmas market, completes the offer for residents and guests. Bad Windsheim lets one perfectly combine a holiday with activities that have beneficial health effects.
Leek is the main city of the Staffordshire Moorlands and it rises at the southwestern border of the Peak District National Park. It is known as “The Queen of the Moorlands”. The town is mentioned in the Doomsday Book (the oldest public register of England, and probably the most significant statistical document in European history) from which it appears that its market was already active as many as 800 years ago. During the 18th and 19th centuries the town became a hub of the textile industry and of silk production. It still today preserves some of the large industrial mills built in that period. Today, the town of Leek is becoming more and more a tourist destination for its productive structure based on craftsmanship, as well as its proximity to the beautiful surrounding countryside. The geographical position of Leek is strategic for reaching some of the most fascinating historical centres of England: just a few hours by train from London, one can make day trips to visit the cities of Chester, York, Stoke on Trent, Manchester, Liverpool and Birmingham. Leek has been twinned with Este since 2002.
Pertuis, city twinned with Este since 2001, is located in the south of France, in the Department of Vaucluse (84), in the region of Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur (PACA). It is part of the metropolis of Aix-Marseille-Provence. It lies about twenty kilometres to the north of Aix-en-Provence. Thanks to its geographical position, Pertuis or “pertus” in Latin, which means “gap” in the sense of a “passage”, has always been a place of passage between the sea and the mountains. To the north rises the mountains of the Lubéron whose natural park the city of Pertuis belongs to. Lubéron is very much alive, where everything evokes the connection of man to his land: dry-stone walls, impressive fortifications, hilltop villages that are home to castles and churches, some of them very famous: Lourmarin, Gordes, Manosque, Roussillon.
To the south flows the Durance, river that has its spring source near the hill of Monginevro and therefore close to the Italian border: true backbone of Provence, it provides 75% of the water supply to the PACA region. It is said that Pertuis has its “feet in the Durance and its head in the Lubéron’’. The mild climate and the crystal clear air allow one to admire nature that is rich and varied: the violet-blue streaks of the lavender, the green of the woods with delicate nuances, the bright ochre of the riverbank, the austere whiteness of the limestone hills.
Fiume/Rijeka has Croatia’s largest port, is the third largest Croatian city and is a university centre and administrative centre of the county of Primorje and Gorski Kotar. With its surroundings, it has almost 200,000 inhabitants.
The history of Fiume/Rijeka has always been known for its unity with water: the city takes its name (Rijeka) from the river that flows through the city - Rječina. Always an important industrial centre, the city has many points of interest in this regard, such as the torpedo boat launch station, the section of the factory in which this vessel was invented, with the world’s first torpedo boat designed and produced here in 1860. However, there is not the industrial heritage alone: in recent years, the city has been oriented toward services and tourism, continuing its pioneering attitude also in the area of medicine. Fiume/Rijeka is a member of the European Healthy Cities Network, thus favouring direct communication with the World Health Organization and the promotion of innovation and change in health policies at the local level. Fiume/Rijeka was named the 2020 European Capital of Culture: a prestigious recognition and harbinger of further development, of new visibility on the European front, of greater social cohesion and a new wealth of diversity. The International Carnival of Fiume/Rijeka is renown in Europe and throughout the world.
The city of Tapolca is situated 12 kilometres from Lake Balaton, the largest water basin of Eastern Europe. Already in the Neolithic period a colony was founded on the territory of the sources of warm water, hence the name “Tapolca”. The word “Topulcha”, of Slavic origin, in Hungarian means “hévíz”, translated as “hot water”. The town, with its twenty thousand inhabitants, has been of regional importance already since the 18th century. The local economy is based primarily on the production of local wines, produced according to traditional methods and exported throughout Europe. The physiognomy of the town is reflected in the signs of its intense commercial life. Tapolca and its surroundings have had an appeal to whoever has been fortunate enough to visit.
In addition, a twinning of a symbolic and spiritual nature, but also an institutional one, was signed with Bethlehem, Palestine.
A friendship pact was signed with Fredericksburg, VA - United States
Bethlehem is one of the main cities of Palestine, situated in its northern area. It is located 10 km to the south of the old city of Jerusalem. Bethlehem was originally referred to as the house of Eli Lahama, where Lahama was the name of the god of fertility and of the harvest recognised by the Canaanites. Then the name of the city became Beit Ham, later changed to Ephrata, an Aramaic word meaning fertility. In Hebrew, Bethlehem means the house of bread: all of these meanings relate, in every language, to fertility and to its good soil. Situated at 772 metres above the level of the Mediterranean Sea, it currently has 35,000 inhabitants. Recognised historically as the birthplace of Jesus Christ, Bethlehem is the home of unique religious sites, in particular the Church of the Nativity, the Milk Grotto and many others.
Fredericksburg is a small, lively city of 25,000 inhabitants founded in 1728 located between Washington DC and Richmond, VA: every year thousands of tourists come to visit it both for its colonial heritage and for the many historical sites of the Civil War. George Washington, James Monroe, John Paul Jones, Abraham Lincoln and Robert E. Lee are only some of the giants of American history linked to Fredericksburg. Maintaining the right mix between conservation of the past and valorisation of the present, Fredericksburg is often classified at the national level as one of the “best places to live” in the United States of America.