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12th April 2013

Lynchburg Virginia’s Sister Cities

Some things you may already know about Lynchburg, Virginia: it was first settled in 1757 and was named after its founder John Lynch.  Lynch started a ferry service and was responsible for the first bridge across the river, replacing his ferry service. Lynchburg served as the capitol of Virginia for five days in 1865 and was the site of the Battle of Lynchburg during the Civil War. The town of Lynchburg was officially established by charted in 1786. Today Lynchburg is known as an independent city and has over 77,000 residents, And now for something you may not have known about our great city, it has two sister cities: Rueil-Malmaison, France and Glauchau, Germany.

Rueil-Malmaison was the first to be established as a sister city. The connection was made in 1996 due to the strong business ties Lynchburg has to France. Although a Rueil-Malmaison was considering a number of cities to sister with, they were convinced to choose Lynchburg after a visiting delegation was impressed with the hospitality of the Lynchburg people. Glauchau officially became Lynchburg’s second sister city in April 2007 after a few years of delegation visits between the cities. A sister city is officially established when a formal agreement is signed by top elected officials from each of the cities.

The sister city program was established in 1956 by President Eisenhower, envisioned to be a means to create bonds between people from different cultures around the world. So far Lynchburg and its sister cities have fostered student exchanges, family and individual visits, and organizational visits such as with police and fire departments. The next student exchange is happening this June. Seven Lynchburg kids will be traveling to Glauchau with one chaperone for two weeks. The students will be staying with local families there and are planning on seeing a few concerts and to do some sightseeing. The next exchange will be in October, when nineteen members of Glauchau’s Church Choir of St. Georgen Church will be visiting Lynchburg.

Although they are sister cities, they do not have much in common. Rueil-Malmaison is a commune located just twelve miles west of Paris. Napoleon lived in the city with his first wife before their divorce. Glauchau has been in existence since the late 12th century. It is considered a medium-sized town with approximately 2,000 residents.

Even with two sister cities, Lynchburg is still looking for additional cities to partner with. Keep an eye out this fall for the Glauchau visitors, maybe they will even come down to the The Stoney Badger for some true American food and entertainment!