Sister Cities

 

Winterthur, Switzerland

Winterthur is a small industrial city that has been revitalizing old industrial areas to serve new purposes since the 1990s. It’s abundance of greenery offers opportunities for relaxation and bicycles are very popular here. Winterthur boasts very sophisticated bicycle routes.

In the center there are many well-preserved buildings from the 16th to 18 century.

There are 17 museums, and the extensive art collection of Oskar Reinhart and the technology park Technorama are internationally acclaimed.

CITY LEADERSHIP

President (Mayor): Michael KÜNZLE

City Council: President and 6 councilors

City council: 60 representatives, 12 political parties, the majority is held by the Swiss People's Party (SVP) with 13 seats, while the Social Democratic Party (SP) has 9 seats.

HISTORY

Winterthur is a small industrial city. It was built and inhabited as early as 1150, but it wasn’t until 1264 that it gained city status from Rudolf von Habsburg. In 1467 the town was annexed by Zurich and not independent until after Napoleon in 1798. Since then, Winterthur has developed rapidly, mainly through banking, railways and the growth and expansion of corporations.

In the 1990s one of the largest employers was the Sulzer company which complex was converted into today‘s Technopark. In the center is preserved Kyburg castle, chateau Hegi and many buildings from the 16th to 18 century.

GEOGRAPHY AND DEMOGRAPHY

LOCATION: CANTON ZÜRICH
The city is located in the German-speaking part of Switzerland, on the northwest edge of the Zurich Highlands. Rail and road connections are excellent: It’s only a 20-minute train ride from Zurich, where airport connections are possible. The rivers Eulach and Töss flow through the city .

SIZE: 68 km2

POPULATION: more than 100,000 – 6th largest city in Switzerland

CLIMATE: Altitude ranges from 393 to 687 meters a.s.l.

ECONOMY

4,300 companies are located in the city, employing 50,000.

This former center of industrial engineering is slowly becoming more of a service-oriented city, but one that sees its future in research and environmentally friendly products.

Research institutes, Technopark represented by 25 companies, Clusters Mechatronik is considering expansion, IT, biotechnology and medical technology

EDUCATION

  • University of Applied Sciences: architecture, art, business, technical studies
  • International School Winterthur (courses in English)

CULTURE AND TOURISM

The city is home to seventeen museums, and the art collection of Oskar Reinhart and Technology Park Technorama have achieved international fame.

There are about six theaters- including one puppet theater, eight cultural centers, of which the best- known is the multicultural center Alte Kaserne, as well as a regional and city library.

SPORT

Handball, curling, active youth hockey: Moskito team (possible replacements)

ATTRACTIONS

In 2004, Dr. Phil. Martin Haas, longtime president of Winterthur, was awarded the Seal of the City of Pilsen.

TRADITIONAL SISTER CITY EVENTS

Spring:
- Afro-Pfingsten – festival, including concerts, movies, art, workshops, markets, culinary and literary events, etc.
- WOGA:  housing and gardening exposition

Summer:
- Kyburgiáda - concerts in the castle Kyburg
- Festival of Music

Autumn:
- International Festival of Music
- Theatre Ball
- International Film Festival

CITY PARTNERS OF WINTERTHUR

  • La Chaux-de-Fonds
  • Yverdon
  • Hall (Tyrol)
  • Pilsen

HISTORY OF RELATIONS PLZEŇ – WINTERTHUR

The sisiter cities contract  was signed in March 1994, but as early as 1991 the "Declaration on the mutual willingness to cooperate“ was signed.

After the year 1989 and visits by the President  to several larger cities in the former Czechoslovakia, Winterthur chose Pilsen chose as a partner city. The then president was a historian and was impressed by what he saw in Plzen. An integral part of the decision for the partnership was the obvious common features of both cities (at the time, both cities were home to major industrial complexes, had common interests, and offered concurring opinions to the then representatives of both cities). The President of Winterthur offered the city of Pilsen assistance during the post-revolution period, in the early days of the formation of the new city government. During this period,Winterthur made a significant contribution, namely by offering professional assistance in setting up the basic structure of the city government. Over the years, active cooperation has increased between experts from various departments of the municipalities, such as funding and budget, education, as well as the social and labor offices. One of the themes of bilateral technical discussions was issues concerning drug prevention and city police. There were mutual official visits by representatives of both cities, and cooperation increased, namely in the area of culture: art exhibitions, concerts, almost annual performance by the DJKT Opera, which has become a tradition in Winterthur, and continued cooperation with the Pilsen Conservatory.

USEFUL LINKS

 

Published: 2017-11-30, Martin Pecuch