Celebrating 10 Years of Friendship Between Vietnam’s Hoi An Town and Germany’s Wernigerode

In the past decade, the bond between Hoi An and Wernigerode has been cemented through the fostering of people-to-people cooperation.

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According to VNA, celebrations took place in Wernigerode, Germany, from August 24-27 to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the friendship and twinning partnership between Hoi An city in the central province of Quang Nam, Vietnam, and the town of Wernigerode.

Vietnam's Hoi An Town, Germany's Wernigerode Mark 10 Years of Friendship
A corner of the Hoi An Garden at the Miniaturen Park ‘Kleiner Harz’ in Wernigerode. Photo: Thuan Le Ngoc/FB

Wernigerode, situated on the northern border of the Harz Mountains, boasts a charming historic town center lined with beautifully restored and vibrantly colored half-timbered houses. With a population of approximately 35,000 residents and over 2,000 well-preserved old houses, this small city in Harz County offers a delightful glimpse into its rich cultural heritage.

Since 2013, the beautiful city of Hoi An has established a sisterhood with Wernigerode. To celebrate this special bond, an agreement was signed and a lantern festival was organized in Wernigerode. The festival showcased countless lanterns crafted by talented artisans from Hoi An. Furthermore, various sports and cultural activities were held, featuring the participation of Vietnamese artists and expatriates living in Germany.

This is the third time that hundreds of lanterns from Hoi An Town are being showcased in Wernigerode, transforming this historic European city into a vibrant and enchanting destination reminiscent of an Asian festival.

The Lantern Festival offers a unique experience for visitors, allowing them to be enveloped in a vibrant atmosphere. Additionally, it provides people from around the globe with the opportunity to encounter a small-scale version of Hoi An, complete with authentic Vietnamese elements, situated in the heart of Germany.

In celebration of the 10th anniversary of the two sister cities, a series of impressive and meaningful activities were held. These included traditional art performances, an Ao Dai festival, and various food booths. Additionally, the inauguration ceremony for the Hoi An Garden at the Miniaturen Park ‘Kleiner Harz’ and the opening of the Hoi An Bridge in Wernigerode added to the festivities.

Despite only 10 years having passed, the residents of Hoi An and Wernigerode have developed a deeper understanding of one another.

Vietnam's Hoi An Town, Germany's Wernigerode Mark 10 Years of Friendship
At the opening of the bridge named Hoi An in the city of Wernigerode. Photo: Ngoc Cam/FB

The Chairman of the Hoi An People’s Committee, Nguyen Van Son, emphasized that Hoi An and Wernigerode share numerous similarities. Hoi An, recognized as a world cultural heritage site by UNESCO, showcases its rich cultural heritage, while Wernigerode is renowned for its ancient architectural wonders. Both cities attract a large influx of tourists, making them popular destinations.

Son highlighted that cooperation activities between Hoi An and Wernigerode over the past decade have significantly enhanced connectivity and fostered meaningful exchanges between the two cities and countries.

He stressed the ongoing commitment of both cities to strengthen the friendship between Vietnam and Germany.

Mayor of Wernigerode, Tobias Kascha, emphasized the importance of fostering bilateral relations and cultural understanding between the two nations. He highlighted several successful joint projects, including a German-funded solar power initiative in Hoi An, the construction of a cultural center in Hoi An, and a vocational training program.

Vietnam's Hoi An Town, Germany's Wernigerode Mark 10 Years of Friendship

The opening ceremony of Hoi An Garden at the Miniaturen Park ‘Kleiner Harz’ in Wernigerode was marked by delegates cutting the ribbon. An accompanying photograph captures the momentous occasion.

The mayor has announced that the leaders of Hoi An and Wernigerode have reached an understanding on various aspects of their future cooperation plan. In particular, a vocational training initiative for students from Hoi An to Wernigerode will be continued.

Wernigerode authorities have pledged their support to Hoi An in establishing an “eco-road” to enhance the local atmosphere and provide residents with a similar experience to that in Wernigerode. Additionally, they will contribute to the development of tourism in Hoi An by issuing a tourism quality certificate, promoting the growth of the industry in the area.

The Vietnamese Ambassador to Germany, Vu Quang Minh, announced that Hoi An and Wernigerode are the first cities of Germany and Vietnam to establish a twinning relationship.

The twinning relationship between the two cities was established when Vietnam and Germany formed a strategic partnership. This has served as a remarkable model for intercity cooperation between the two nations, highlighting the importance of cities and localities in fostering bilateral relations, as stated by the diplomat.

Vietnam's Hoi An Town, Germany's Wernigerode Mark 10 Years of Friendship
A performance at the inauguration ceremony of Hoi An Garden at the Miniaturen Park ‘Kleiner Harz’ in Wernigerode. Photo: VNA
Vietnam's Hoi An Town, Germany's Wernigerode Mark 10 Years of Friendship
At Lantern Festival in Wernigerode. Photo: hoianrt.vn
Vietnam's Hoi An Town, Germany's Wernigerode Mark 10 Years of Friendship
A performance at Lantern Festival. Photo: Ngoc Cam/FB
Hannah Nguyen