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Perpignan

Hannover's Twin City in the South of France

Perpignan is the capital of the region of Pyrenees-Orientales in Roussillon, with about 120,000 inhabitants. Over the length of 100 km, the south of Roussillon borders Spain and, in the north, is surrounded by the eastern Pyrenees and the Corbières Perpignan. The city lies about 35 km from the Spanish border and about 20 minutes away from the Mediterranean Sea, with 40 km of sandy beaches and 20 km of cliff coast. Thanks to its Mediterranean climate, its old town, the many sights to see, and the bar district in the southeast of the old town, Perpignan is, in terms of tourism, one of the most popular cities in France. Economic fields of interest are agriculture, viticulture - wine-growing, the fruit and vegetable processing industry, shoe manufacturing, paper production, and art handicrafts. With its airport and well-developed transport and road network, Perpignan has become a hub for connections between France and Spain. The churches, castles and art treasures of the region document the thousand-year-long Catalan influences. The Gothic cathedral of Saint Jean, the Catalan folk festival and the classic festival in remembrance of Pablo Casals are particularly worth seeing.

How it began: The partnership between Hanover and Perpignan

One year before the outbreak of the Second World War, an unforgettable rugby game took place in Perpignan, where the teams of Hanover and Perpignan were facing each other.  A friendship between the two cities developed and led to the sealing of the city twinning in June 1960. The primary background for a twinning arrangement was the Franco-German reconciliation. Since then, the relationship towards Perpignan has been filled with life and renewed content by many people. The sports exchanges, many citizen travels, a cooperation with the adult education center and the German-French Society, and the cultural exchange, they all provide the basis for a close cooperation. Music, art, and photography especially provide common ground for the partnership. A good example of this is the regular cooperation between the Lumix-Photo-Festival for young photojournalism in Hannover and the International Festival of Photojournalism 'Visa pour l'Image "in Perpignan.

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