Waterford Twins with Märkischer Kreis

Want to learn more about Waterford’s new twinning partner? 

Earlier this month a delegation from Waterford City & County Council visited Märkischer Kreis to cement the twinning between the two regions. Märkischer Kreis is located in North Rhine-Westphalian, to the northeast of Dusseldorf. The region is relatively new having been established in 1975 and consists of 12 towns and 3 municipalities with a population of 406,793. Märkischer Kreis boasts a rich history that encompasses an area of approximately 408 square miles. The rich history of many of the region’s towns is reflected in the architecture of the time, much of which is still visible throughout both urban and rural landscapes. 

The Medieval town of Menden was established in the 9th century and bore witness to several armed conflicts forcing the town to rebuild; however evidence of its past remains in the form of parts of the town wall and two defence towers that date from the Middle Ages. Another landscape of historical importance is that of Altena to the south west of Menden. Altena’s most famous output is wire of which there is a dedicated museum in the town. The Wire Museum is situated approximately 300 meters from the awe-inspiring Altena Castle dating to the 12th Century. From the castle there are commanding views over the landscape and it is easy to see how it as a highly desirable residence for those in power through the ages, it was regarded as the ancestral seat of the maternal line of the prussian Royal family from the 17th Century and is now a national heritage monument and host to the Museum of The County of Mark which reflects the lives of knights and noblemen in the region in the Middle and Early Modern Ages. 

The scenic landscape of the area is home to many places for recreational activities, one of note being Sauerlandpark in Hemer. This park is approximately 27-hectares and was once the site of much darker historical events most notably during WW2. There is a small museum on site showcasing the history of the area. The park itself was opened in 2011 as a space for cultural events, the extensive gardens feature recreational areas, interactive

games, playgrounds and landscapes of geological and natural importance, it is overlooked by Jübergturm Tower. 

The Twinning Ceremony took place at Altena Castle on April 27th in this historic moment, the Mayor of Waterford City and County, John O’Leary and Der Landrat, Marco Voge signed the partnership document. 

Waterford looks forward to welcoming delegates from Märkischer Kreis to Ireland’s oldest city in the near future! 

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