Abingdon’s Twin Towns
Abingdon-on-Thames has close links, built up over many years, with its four twin towns:
- Argentan, France
- Lucca, Italy
- Schongau, Germany
- Sint-Niklaas, Belgium
There are also close connections with Colmar in France which is twinned with the Vale of White Horse District Council. As Abingdon, Lucca, Schongau, Sint-Niklaas and Colmar are twinned with each other, we form part a unique five-star twinning arrangement.
There are some civic visits and a very active programme of talks and visits organised through the Twin Towns Society. Leaflets are available from the information Centre which also has guides to the towns and guides to our town in several European languages.
Argentan was Abingdon’s first twin town in 1956. Located in Southern Normandy, Argentan is comparable in size to Abingdon, lying in beautiful countryside, amongst stud farms and the Route du Fromage. The town hosts the annual Quasimodo Agricultural Fair the weekend after Easter, a colourful event at which Abingdon is always represented.
In 1967, Sint-Niklaas became Abingdon’s second twin town. At that time, the town, situated in the heart of Flemish Belgium between Antwerp and Ghent, was small but set to grow very quickly. Sint-Niklaas now boasts the largest Market Square in Europe where each September the end of the Nazi occupation is remembered and celebrated in an international hot air balloon festival. Sint-Niklaas was already twinned with the towns of Colmar, Lucca and Schongau so, keen to promote twinning links with European countries at this time, Abingdon soon became twinned with Schongau (1970) and Lucca (1972).
Schongau is situated in Bavaria and is a delightful walled old town with an important paper industry. Close by are King Ludwig’s castle at Neuschwanstein and Oberammergau, famous for its Passion Plays.
Situated in Tuscany, Lucca is another beautiful walled town and the birthplace of Puccini, among others. It is famous for its olive oil and has an extensive printing industry, and therefore a shared interest in paper products with Schongau.
As Abingdon was already twinned with a French town, Colmar twinned with the wider Vale of White Horse District Council. Colmar is the capital of the Alsace wine-producing region and is close to the river Rhine and the Vosges Mountains. The old town is particularly beautiful with its cobbled streets and many half-timbered buildings of the 16th and 17th centuries.
If you have any enquiries regarding twinning please call the Town Council on 01235 522642 or e-mail email@example.com
You can find a link to the Abingdon and District Twin Towns Society website here.