Hastings - Schwerte Friendship Association

The twinning link.

Schwerte is located in North Rhine-Westphalia, on the river Ruhr, which flows to the Sauerland, a rural hilly region lying towards the South East. The town can be dated back to 962 when it was originally known as Suerte. In the Old Town centre is the Calvin house, which dates, back over 700 years and the Old Town Hall was built in 1547. It is now home to a museum.

The 50,000 inhabitants of this bustling town, which is dominated by the 14th century church of St. Victor, always show overwhelming warmth, hospitality and friendship to their visitors.

The residents of Schwerte are enthusiastic twinners, which is reflected by the fact that the town is also twinned with Allouagne, Labussière, Violaines and Béthune in France, Cava de Tirreni in Italy, Leppavirta in Finland, Pjatigorsk in Russia, Nowy Sacz in Poland.

Twinning with Schwerte began in 1982 and many strong friendships have formed over the years. Twinners regularly stay at one another's homes and contact goes way beyond the annual exchange trips.

On a typical weekend some time is set aside for spending with the family but group outings, meals and entertainment are also provided. As part of visits to Hastings we have taken our guests to attractions such as Leeds Castle, Hever Castle, Michelham Priory, Batemans and even a day trip to London.

In the past Hastings have taken groups such as Opera South East with them who performed a full version of Verdi's Macbeth for part of Schwerte's 600th anniversary celebrations, and Purcell's Dido and Aeneas in 2007. Children's football teams, baton twirlers, philatelists and choirs have also been included in the exchanges over the years.

The church has also played its part and St. Victor's welcomes the twinners as does St. Ethburga's and St. Thomas of Canterbury.

Hastings visits Schwerte, over the May Bank Holiday weekend and the return visit to Hastings normally takes place towards the end of September.

The association would be keen to hear from any individuals or groups that are interested in joining the friendship group. Please Email the Schwerte Chairman from the contact page if further information is required.

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