Cirencester has a long tradition of twinning and friendship with the towns of Itzehoe, near Hamburg, Germany and St-Genis-Laval, a suburb of Lyon, France. Throughout the year various exchange visits take place and from time to time formal anniversary celebrations and civic receptions are held.
An open invitation has been received by Cirencester Town Council from the German twin town of Itzehoe inviting townspeople to join in their celebrations for the 25th anniversary of the twinning between La Couronne in France and the 775th anniversary of the German town.
All the citizens of Cirencester and its surroundings, who would like to take part in the four main events (22/5, 24/5 + 25/5 and 1/6) are cordially invited to attend.
Twinning organizer Renate Wilms-Marzisch says that in the course of the twinning with Cirencester more than one thousand young people from Itzehoe have been hosted by families in Cirencester, many of them came on the school exchange with Kingshill School, others did the work experience with Cirencester College, and others came with open groups in the summer.
“We would like to give back something of the enormous hospitality that we received all through the years by all the host families of the Cirencester area. That is why we do hope that a lot of people from Cirencester and its surroundings will have time to come, we would be very, very happy to welcome them in Itzehoe” she says.
It is hoped that the guests from all Itzehoe’s twin towns will arrive on Tuesday 21st May.
On Wednesday 22nd May at 5 p.m. the official celebration of the 25th anniversary of the twinning between La Couronne in France and Itzehoe will take place in the town hall. On Thursday guests are invited to go to the Baltic Sea near Kiel, visit the government buildings of the Schleswig-Holstein government and later to have a look at the Kiel Canal near Rendsburg where all the ships passing by are saluted with music.
On Friday 24th May there will be a guided visit of the district and at 5 p.m. the official ceremony to celebrate the 775th anniversary of the town of Itzehoe will be held in the theatre.
On Saturday 25th May guests are invited to see some places of Schleswig-Holstein's west coast, in the evening at 8 p.m. there will be a big twinning party with a very varied and entertaining programme.
On Sunday all are invited to take part in an ecumenical service in the St. Laurent's church at 10 a.m.. A farewell party is planned for Sunday evening, dependent on how long guests will stay. The town and the twinning committee are planning to house all our guests privately but they can arrange hotel accommodation if preferred. Throughout the week all meals will be offered to guests by the town and the twinning committee. They will also try to arrange to meet all guests arriving by plane at Hamburg or Lübeck airport.
The Itzehoe "Weinfest" takes place one week after these events, i.e. on Friday 31st May and on Saturday 1st June. The more important day will be the Saturday when there will be a big procession through the town, in which the various associations and clubs will show themselves and some aspects of the history of Itzehoe on large decorated waggons. At 5 o'clock the "Weinfest" will begin and finish at midnight.
The organisers would like to know if the people from Cirencester would like to have a stall at the "Weinfest" as they used to do in former times and sell wine together with the Partnerschaftsverein) or sell some English specialities like little English cookies, bits of Cheddar cheese, etc.
A regular newsletter is published with the latest twinning news; which is available now to download via the link below and if you would like to receive future editions please e-mail Jane Miller at
'Friends of Twinning':
Would you like to take part in an exchange visit?
Would you be able to provide meals and accommodation for exchange students/visitors?
Would you be able to help organize an exchange visit?
Would you able to volunteer to help out during a formal visit/civic reception?