Twinning with Hannover and Bordeaux

Today’s blog is by Ann Kennard, Chair
of the Bristol-Hannover Council

As a global city, Bristol is made up of diverse communities with links to many countries around the world. This includes our seven twin cities. We are incredibly proud of our twinning links and just how long these relationships have been in place, especially with Bordeaux and Hannover.

Bristol’s twinning with both Hannover and Bordeaux were set up in the bleak post-war year of 1947 and have stood the test of time as we celebrate 75 years of friendship – one of the longest twinning relationships in the country.

A range of public events, exchanges, citizen visits, and official delegations will be taking place to commemorate this special anniversary.

The twinning has created a sense of peace and reconciliation and helped to build a stronger Europe.  By doing this, it has also helped us to expand our international relations and solidarity not only within Europe but the whole world.

Over the last 75 years, we have seen friendships develop through generations of the same families, reflecting the close relationships we have with our twin cities. These strongly established relationships regularly see our cities coming together to share knowledge and best practice and helps each of us develop to reach our goals.

We have seen the cultural, educational and commercial sectors benefit greatly, having a positive impact on our Bristol residents and partners in our twin cities.

Place de la Bourse (stock exchange) in Bordeaux. A photo shows a curved palace,with a reflecting pool in front.
Place de la Bourse, Bordeaux


We have been able to provide those in the arts with extensive opportunities to get involved in Bristol’s arts sphere. This has included jazz musicians from Bordeaux playing at our jazz and blues festival; hosting the Bristol School of Artists in their Fine Arts Museum with around 100,000 visitors from Bordeaux and the Aquitaine region; and Bordeaux University trainee teachers working in our primary schools each year.


Hundreds of young people from Hannover take part in youth exchanges with Bristol each year. This includes taking part in activities such as street art and watersports or issues like as Youth Democracy. We have offered workshops for young Hannover dancers led by Bristol RISE Youth Dance team and rowing, football, and badminton teams regularly exchange with Bristol counterparts and compete here.

Hannover's New City Hall, pictured in parkland with a lake in the foreground.
New City Hall of Hannover

During the 75th anniversary year, highlights include:

  • Artists from Hannover and Bordeaux taking part in Upfest
  • A Hannover junior football club visiting the city on tour and playing Ashton FC
  • The launch of the Bordeaux Learning Pack for all primary schools in the city and Bordeaux trainee teachers working in some of our local primaries delivering French
  • A youth exchange with Young Bristol taking a group to Hannover
  • The Mayor of Hannover visiting Bristol to collaborate on shared urban challenges and visit the Harbour Festival

You can find out more about the 75th anniversary and the celebrations on the Visit West website.

For more information on all seven of Bristol’s twin city relationships, visit the Bristol City Council website.