From 19 to 23 May Smiltene’s municipality delegation visited it’s twin city Villih in Germany. It’s aim was to celebrate the 25th annivarsary of the twinnig of Smiltene and Villih, to share experience and strenghten cooperation between municipalities.
The 25th anniversary of the twinning of the Smiltene and Villih was celebrated in 20th May in Neersen castle. Representatives of the municipality of Villih, members of the German-Latvian club “KUDL”, amateur art groups and other interested people gathered at the festive event. The celebration was also honored by precence of The Ambassador of Latvia to Germany Inga Skujiņa. The local and international significance of the twinning of Smiltene and Villih, the long-term and fruitful co-operation in various fields, as well as the close connection between the inhabitants of the two cities were repeatedly emphasized in the speeches. Villih’s partners especially appreciated and felt honored that the three mayors of Smiltene, who had led the municipality during these 25 years of twinning, visited the celebration.
During the visit, the delegation visited the municipality of Villich, that is located in Nersen castle, to learn about its structure and organization. They met with its leader Christian Pakusch, to discuss existing cooperation and outline its development prospects. Villih Industrial Park, that is one of the largest in Germany and makes Villih city a strong business location throughout the region, was also visited.
In 2018 Smiltene Secondary School signed a cooperation agreement with Lise-Meitner Gymnasium in Villih, and a municipal delegation also visited it. Representatives of the school presented its work and learning environment. At the end of the visit the student choir and solists gave a touching and personal concert for the guests, which was their second public performance after the pandemic.
The delegation also had the opportunity to see two important social projects. One of them is the “Child’s Dream” association, which unites people with special needs, gives them the opportunity to develope their skills and earn and gain social independence by selling their products in “Aunt Emma’s shop”. The second is a support center for young parents who prepare volunteer nannies, provides babysitting services and also includes a commission shop.
To get acquainted with Villih’s cultural and tourist values, the municipal delegation visited the Anrata Prison Museum, the medieval festival at the Dorenburg Open-Air Museum, and the festive parade of the famous Schützenfest festival.
There was also a visit to the German-Latvian club “KUDL” and meetings with its members, who are the main founders and maintainers Smiltene and Villih friendship, especially Wolfgang and Agnes Brock and Hildegard Herber – Spahn.
At the end of the visit the municipal delegation visited the Landtag of North Rhine-Westphalia in Düsseldorf and met with its current president André Kuper.
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