The city of Rouen has the fourth largest seaport in France and lies between Paris and Le Havre. It is an old trading town situated on the outer edge of the mighty Seine noose, which is surrounded by steep slopes. The college town has approximately 102,000 inhabitants, or 400,000 inhabitants if one includes the suburbs. The style of the old town is dominated by Norman timber framework, and it houses the old market, the Joan of Arc church, and the mighty cathedral. The surrounding landscape, where numerous other partner municipalities of Hanover are situated, is a sight to see. This is mainly due to the steep cliffs and wide beaches on both sides of the mouth of the river Seine, and because of the many castles, palaces, and monasteries built during the period between the Norman rule and the French Revolution. Rouen’s key industries are oil refinery, the paper industry, the pharmaceutical industry, a deep sea port and tourism.
How it began: The partnership between Hanover and Rouen
The partnership between Hanover and Rouen officially started with a ceremonial act in both cities held in September 1966 in Hanover and in April 1967 in Rouen. The document reaffirms the goal of international understanding to secure "peace in the world". Since 1961, school partnerships and, later, university partnerships, as well as numerous citizen’s meetings, have emerged. Also the AIESEC, the Confederation of German Trade Unions, the police, the Federal Post Office, the reservists (AKRO twinning), and senior citizens maintain contact. The partnership focuses on school, youth and sports exchanges, as well as joint art performances, music and media projects. The Expo 2000 and the partnership’s 40th anniversary in 2006/2007 was an opportunity for both cities to strengthen their contacts through an extensive cultural program. As a result, intensive cooperations between the Conservatoire de Rouen and the “Nordstadtkonzerten e.V.” have arisen as well as with the “Ecole des Beaux Arts”. Since 2010, young musicians from Rouen and Hanover have met at the Band Camp during the ferryman rock festival in Hanover.