About Esztergom’s sister towns in brief:
The two towns signed the contract in 1992. The town of Bamberg is primarily concerned with providing possibilities for language learning for students pursuing professional carreers. The official contract between the Otto-Friedrich University and the Vitéz János Roman Catholic Teacher Trainer Collage was signed in April 1997. Apart from mutual cooperation between the two towns, every year one student has the opportunity to attend the summer course of the University of Bamberg. Bamberg’s Town Hall invites four students every year for a ‘bureaucracy administrative training’ that provides useful knowledge and experience as well as great opportunities for language learning.
Art groups from Bamberg such as St Otto Youth Orchestra are always welcome in Esztergom. Bands and choirs from Esztergom have given great performances in our fellow town in Germany.
Official contact was initiated in 1992. Felowship associations play a significant role in the complex contact between the two towns. These associations organize and coordinate cooperation between civil organizations, schools, sports groups, artists and choirs. Continuous contact has developed among several secondary schools, with regular visits. Apart from student relationships, and chances for practicing the language, this mutual contact provides useful and important insight into the French educational system and provides a chance to compare it with the Hungarian practice. Among the concerned organizations, mention must be made of the mutual friendship of the cyclists and rugby teams.
You can visit the town at www.villedecambrai.com
Esztergom has had a new fellow town since October 2004. That was when the mayors of the two towns signed the foundation documents in Canterbury. The two towns has long been in contact with each other, the connection can be traced back as far as the 12th century. Both towns have been archbishopric centers, thus thanks to their priests, a close bound developed between the two towns. The founders of the cooperation were Thomas Becket and Lukacs Bánfy archbishops.
Sint Thomas Becket was the archbishop of Canterbury in the 12th century. He died martyrdom in 1170. His personal friend and university fellow was Lukács Bánfy, archbishop of Esztergom, who spoke up for the autonomy of the church against King Béla III. He was not killed, but Henry, the English King had Thomas Becket killed.
Archbishop Job, who followed Lukacs Bánfy founded a provostry on the hill to commemorate Thomas Becket. Following his canonization in the centuries to come, our town has always looked upon Thomas Becket with utmost admiration and respect. The church on the top of the Saint Thomas Hill guards the town, while the marthyr protects Europe from the capital of the Saint King.
At the end of 2002, according to Bishop László Kis-Rigó’s initiation, arrangements were made to deepen the relationship between the two towns.
You can visit the town at www.canterbury.co.uk
Official partnership was initiated in 1992. Besides official level, civil organizations also did their best to deepen the contact of the two towns. Besides presenting the values of Enhingen, our mutual aim is to become partners in the business sphere as well; this is why the business forum was formed. Enhingen helps Esztergom through charity organizations. An important factor in the towns’ relation is the role of friend associations. Thanks to them, Esztergom residents could attend several concerts, art performances. The civic guards and band of Enhingen create an unforgettable atmosphere at special events of our town.
You can visit the town at www.ehingen.de
Espoo was Esztergom’s first sister town. The contract was signed in 1974, when this was about the only way to relate to a foreign country. Despite the great physical distance, exchange bands and choirs visit each other regularly. It is now a tradition that one student from Espoo can take part at the Dunakanyar Nyári Egyetem és Nemzetközi Gitárfesztivál (Summer University and International Guitar Festival) as the town’s guest. At the same time, a local resident has a chance of attending a Finnish language course in Espoo.
The Finnish Fellowship Society was founded more than two decades ago. Its primary objective is to deepen cooperation between the two towns, and widen the youth’s knowledge of Finland. They regularly organize ‘Finnish Weeks’ in primary and secondary schools in Esztergom.
You can visit the town at www.espoo.fi
The Polish-Hungarian friendship has but a long tradition in Esztergom. The contract was signed in 1994, but before that many events had justified this tradition. These events include the restoration of the statue of Jan Sobieski and the solemn ceremony every year to commemorate him. Esztergom regularly accommodates participants of the Sobienski River Trip – that is supported by the local government. The connection could be made more close-knit, which would have been achieved by a religious tourist application that was to bind the towns via the life of Saint Adalbert. All contacts with Poland are maintained by the Hungarian-Polish Friend Association and the Polish Minorrity Government.
You can visit the town at www.gniezno.home.pl
Sister town contract was signed with the German town of Maintal in 1993. Deep and regular contact mainly developed in the fireld of music. The Liszt Ferenc Youth Choir and the Monteverdi Choir are welcome in in Maintal and Esztergom is also happy to invite choirs from Maintal. A significant contact has developed between the Erich Kästner Schule and the József Attila Primary School; their students participate in several art projects. The fact that in both towns there are several friends’ societies shows the maintenance and flourishing of the contact. Our friends from Maintal regularly take part in organizing the Saint Stephen Celebrations, their meal and drink specialties are well-known. The Fire Brigade of Esztergom also gained considerable experiences from the contact.
You can visit the town at www.maintal.de
The official contract between the two towns was signed in 2002 by the mayors. Though Mariazell is a small Styrian town, its significance highly exceeds its expansion, since this is one of the most important pilgrim centres in Middle-Europe. There is proof, that the two towns were related during the rule of Nagy Lajos. He was claimed to have given a spectacular devotional picture to the church in Mariazell after a victorious battle with the Turkish.The picture is still kept in that church. From the 14th century on, we know of several pilgrimages, often led by bishops from Esztergom. György Szelepcsényi was buried in the Saint László chapel of the church in Mariazell (1666-1685). Later, Cardinal József Mindszenty, a bishop of Esztergom was also buried there, symbolically into Hungarian soil. Thus during the times of oppression, Mariazell became a symbol of freedom, and a national shrine for Hungarians abroad.
You can visit the town at www.mariazell.at
The contract of fellowship was signed in 1991. However, the two towns have long been bound by numerous bonds. In 2001, the formal opening of the reconstructed Maria Valeria Bridge only affirmed the significance of the contact. There is continuous contact among the mayors and town council members of the towns, and residents visit the others’ shops on a daily basis. Art, cultural, and educational institutions and organizations also maintain contact with each other. One of the many significant organizations is the Piktor International Youth Art and Home Camp, which welcomes students from Slovakia as well.
You can visit the town at www.sturovo.sk