Valenciennes
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Twin City: Valenciennes

The picture shows the town hall of the City Valenciennes.

The town hall of the City Valenciennes.

Location:
In the Nord Départment of the northern French region Pas de Paris where the rivers Schelde and Rhonelle meet.
Population:41,000 citizens
Distance:
250 km
Mayor:
Laurent Degallaix

Only a few years after the end of the Second World War, where Germans and Frenchmen had been enemies, Düren's citizens and the citizens of the northern French city Valenciennes reached out for each others hands in reconciliation. On the initiative of the deputy mayor of Valenciennes and the teacher Fernand Nicaise, both town councils decided on the twinning in the spring of 1959. In the first year, not only meetings occurred between the two cities, but 138 students from Valencienne were welcomed into Düren's families. Düren's mayor at the time, Mayor Spies, spoke out the motto on the occasion of the founding:

"We want to start with the youth and want to remember that they are the key for a united Europe."

The picture shows sculptures in front of the museum in Valenciennes.

The picture shows sculptures in front of the museum in Valenciennes.

In the more than 45 years of the partnership, many various schools, clubs, occupational groups (e.g. firefighters since 1960), senior citizens groups, organizations (e.g. hospital, City Bank) and other groups of Düren have established contacts with their corresponding partners in Valenciennes. These contacts were strengthened by regular visits and letters and many times also continued on a personal level. In 2005, there had been 25 official meetings. The path from international understanding and reconciliation to friendship was successfully achieved. Learning the language was a welcomed side effect of it.

The distance is not too far: in 2 ½ hours you can reach Valenciennes by car from Düren on the Autobahn Aachen-Paris. It is situated right behind the Belgian-French border after only 250 km distance.

Valenciennes, a city with approximately 41,000 citizens, offers visitors a significant Art Museum, a theater, university, and a library where you can find the oldest handwritten literary document in French, around 880 AD, and many other texts.

Supported by funds of the European Union, the city is going through a lot of changes, including structural and civil engineering measures as well as the construction of a tram.

www.ville-valenciennes.fr

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Contact

Mr. Knodel
Dürener Kulturbetrieb
Haus der Stadt
Stefan-Schwer-Straße 4 - 6
52349 Düren

Phone: +49 2421 25-1346
Fax: +49 2421 25-180-1375

Contact form

City Map

Ina Schoeller
President of the Twinning Committee
Stürtzstraße 25
52349 Düren

The graphic shows the logo of the City Valenciennes.