The international twinning movement first started in 1944 with two cities, Coventry (the UK) and Stalingrad officially creating a bond of friendship by becoming twins.
That year 830 women from Coventry signed a tablecloth, which was sent to Stalingrad together with some money and the message: “Little help is better than big sympathy.” Today this tablecloth is at the ‘Battle of Stalingrad’ Panorama Museum.
As the years went by Stalingrad and then Volgograd was twinning with more and more cities. Today Volgograd has a total of 25 twin cities:
Many countries have streets, avenues and places named after Stalingrad – Place de la Bataille-de-Stalingrad in Paris, Via Stalingrado in Italy. There is even an asteroid named after our hero city. At the same time Volgograd also has a number of streets named after its twin cities – Coventry Street, Port-Said Street, Hiroshima Street or Lièg Street.
28 November 1988
Today Volgograd is actively developing its twin relations with the city of Cologne, which first become a twin on November 28, 1988. The emerged partnership between two cities facilitated the cooperation between their citizens and allowed for the implementation of school and university exchange programmes. During the difficult for Russia 90s Cologne sent a couple of trucks with humanitarian aid as well as collected and sent all the necessities to the people in Volgograd. In 1989 the Volgograd-Cologne Partnership Organisation was established to facilitate the partnership between these two cities. In order to bring people together it was decided to make documentaries about the life and history of two cities, exhibit photos, have concerts and festivals.
Today twinning is considered one of the most successful and promising projects of international and interregional cooperation and an important element of public diplomacy.