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Twin towns - Aachen

Aachen, Germany is twinned with Halifax.

Map showing Aachen located in Eastern Germany

Twinned with Halifax, here are a few details about it:

  • Aachen was founded 1,200 years ago by Charlemagne. It was the seat of government for the Franconian empire, the centre of the western world. 33 German kings have been crowned there.
  • 800 years before Charlemagne the Romans so enjoyed the thermal springs that they built thermal baths.
  • It is a university city, attracting students (some 47,000) from 80 nations. This gives it a very cosmopolitan vibe.
  • It is very near the borders of Holland and Belgium.

Find out about the Halifax - Aachen Twinning Society.

Statue of Charlemagne, Aachen

As well as being twinned with Halifax, Aachen is also twinned with:

  • Reims in France.
  • Ningbo in China.
  • Toledo in Spain.
  • Arlington in USA.

In 1978, Aachen Cathedral became the first German building to be put on the UNESCO list of the World's Cultural Heritage. Its central feature is the eight-cornered dome (the Octagon). This was built by Charlemagne to house valuable relics sent from Constantinople and Jerusalem.

A walk round Aachen is a journey through different centuries. It has medieval fortifications, Gothic Churches, Baroque town houses and delightful fountains.

Aachen sweetshop window display

It is also famous for:

  • Aachener Printen, a kind of gingerbread.
  • Needle making.
  • The annual International Horse Show.
  • The Charlemagne Peace Prize.


Halifax - Aachen Twinning Society

The exchange with the city of Aachen and Halifax dates back to 1949. Since then, it has taken place each year either to Aachen from Halifax or to Halifax from Aachen.

It has always worked on a 'every other year' and a home to home basis. We think this is the best way to get to know a country and its people.

From this, many friendships have been formed. Some of which started with the first exchange in 1949 and are still going.

It is one thing to travel abroad and have an English speaking guide. Stay in hotels where English is spoken and English meals are served. It is another, more exciting, thing to:

  • Stay in a home where the language is not easily understood;
  • the customs are quite different;
  • and where the food is not English.

This makes the holiday really enjoyable. It gives the chance to find out that folk living abroad are very much the same as we are. It is useful to get to know people and share points of view.

2009 was a special anniversary year as we celebrated:

  • 60 years of friendship;
  • and 30 years of official Town Twinning with activities throughout the year.

The July/August 2013 exchange visit to Halifax from Aachen

Twin town members outside Aachen town hall

In July, a group of 12 adults and 1 child visited Halifax for one week.

They enjoyed a packed programme, including:

  • A welcome party at Siddal Rugby Club.
  • A civic reception at Halifax Town Hall.
  • Afternoon tea at Harveys.
  • Trips to Keighley, Skipton, Ampleforth, Helmsley and Port Sunlight.
  • A farewell party at Crow Nest Golf Club.

We invite you to join us!

Meetings are held at the Maurice Jagger Centre on the last Wednesday of the month. They are open to all to come and try or join.


For more details:

Website: Halifax - Aachen Society

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