The city of Poznań is situated in western Poland on the left bank of the river Wartha, about 300 km to the east of Berlin. With 551,627 inhabitants (as of 2010), Poznań is the fifth largest city in Poland and the historic capital of the province of Wielkopolska (Greater Poland) and the same-named voivodeship. Today Poznań is an important center for education, culture, trade and industry. This university city is also the largest traffic hub between Berlin and Warsaw. Poznań is a candidate to become the European Capital of Culture in 2016.
How it began: The partnership between Hanover and Poznań
The partnership had its official start on October 29, 1979. At about the same time the German-Polish Society “Deutsch-Polnische Gesellschaft e. V.” was founded in Hanover. The arrangement of the city twinning was due to the pursuit of cooperation at the municipal level and the desire to normalize the relations between the two states. Since 1979, the political events have greatly influenced this partnership. Until 1989, great administrative barriers had to be broken down with great effort in order to cross the state borders. These circumstances made any encounters very special.
In the spirit of optimism in the early 1990s, new contacts were developed, especially between choirs and within the framework of youth cultural exchanges. Due to the financial crisis of public authorities, the exchange becomes more difficult in the years that follow and is grounded in a more European context. In 2007, the cities of Poznań, Rennes (partner city of Poznań) and Hanover founded a European forum. This forum meets annually to discuss relevant European issues and to foster cultural exchange.