This year sees the 75th anniversary of Bristol’s two oldest twinning relationships.

Bordeaux in France and Hannover in Germany both started their partnerships with Bristol in 1947 in the dark days following the Second World War. The twinnings were agreed in a spirit of reconciliation and friendship with the aim of building a stronger Europe and avoiding any future conflicts.

Bristol Bordeaux Partnership lantern in Bedminster Lantern Parade

Image - Bedminster Lantern Parade, credit Bristol Bordeaux Partnership

To mark this special year, the celebrations will include a range of public events and exchanges as well as official delegations and citizen visits.

The Bristol Bordeaux Partnership (BBP) and the Bristol-Hannover Council (BHC) are taking a leading role working closely with the Guild of Guardians and Bristol City Council to pull together an exciting programme for the year.

75th twinning anniversary events in Bristol

Upfest (28 & 29 May)

Artists from Bordeaux and Hannover taking part in this year’s Upfest, Europe’s largest festival for graffiti and street art. GZ and Lulepi from Bordeaux and Das.t.ea and Madina Saif from Hannover will be part of the 250-strong crew of artists creating murals during the festival.

The Bristol Bordeaux Partnership is also running free kids art and craft activities based on the artists’ style and palette, plus there’ll be a ‘meet the artists’ events. 

Insane51 3D mural for Upfest

Image - 3D Upfest mural by Insane51

Bristol Festival of Voice

Taking place in June, the inaugural Festival of Voice at St George’s Bristol is a month-long celebration of the power, beauty and universality of the human voice. The programme includes screenings of Bordeaux and Hannover choirs. 

St George's Bristol exterior at night'

Image - St George's Bristol

Wine Tasting for the 75th anniversary at Averys Wine Merchants (16 June)

There’s a chance to toast to the 75th anniversary at this wine tasting event at Averys Wine Merchants. Mimi Avery will be taking guests through a tutored tasting of seven themed Bordeaux, Hannover and Bristol wines, with artisan bread, cheese and pâté from local suppliers too.

Averys "fine wine shop" sign

Image - Averys Wine Merchants

Bristol Harbour Festival (15 – 17 July)

A Second World War training boat carrying a barrel of Hannover Gin from Hannover will be taking part in Bristol’s maritime extravaganza. The Mayor of Hannover will also be checking out the festivities, as part of their trip focused on collaborating with the city on shared urban challenges. 

The boat will also be bringing a typical Lower Saxony tree (‘cornus mas’), which will be planted in the University of Bristol Botanic Garden.

Crowd in front of Bristol Harbour Festival stage in Lloyds Amphitheatre

Image - Bristol Harbour Festival

College Green exhibition

Wander along College Green to see posters of Hannover parks as well as a twin cities signpost, while Bristol’s green spaces are appearing on giant planters around Hannover. 

Sporting partnerships

A Hannover junior football club is visiting the city on tour to play against Ashton FC and Cotham Park rugby club is hosting Hannover’s Victoria Linden RFC, Germany’s top club side. 

Celebrating 75 years of friendship

Events like these – both here and in Hannover and Bordeaux – are an exciting way to pay tribute to the long twinning history based on friendship, collaboration, exchanges and diversity. It’s a chance to celebrate the connections and help ensure they continue for many more decades to come.

People involved in Bristol, Bordeaux and Hannover twinning 75th anniversary on College Green

Image credit - Bristol City Council

Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol, has said, “Being able to mark these significant anniversaries is a really important part of our twinning partnerships. We’re lucky to be welcoming representatives from both Hannover and Bordeaux to our city to help us celebrate these milestones and would encourage Bristol residents to get involved as well.

“Working closely with our twin cities in France and Germany is a vital part of Bristol’s international strategy. Relationships between the cities and their people which reach out across generations, cultures and borders are even more important at a time when we’re seeing devastating conflict in other parts of Europe.

“In Bristol we are proud of the links we’ve built with our twin cities across the world and look forward to building more connections and exchanges for the future.”

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