Gauting as a guest of friends: Between 31 May and 4 June, a delegation from the Würm Valley community of Clermont paid a visit to L'Hérault. The photo was taken on the day of departure in front of the Salle Georges Brassens in the center of Clermont. © Between 31 May and 4 June, a delegation from the Würm Valley community of Clermont paid a visit.
The partnership between Gauting and Clermont L'Hérault has now been in existence for 50 years. This was celebrated in France last week.
Gauting – It's hard to imagine today, but Germany and France have covered each other with wars for centuries. It is a miracle that the notorious german-French "hereditary enmity" turned into a real friendship – sealed in the Elysée Treaty in 1963 between Konrad Adenauer and Charles de Gaulle. In 1973, the municipality of Gauting was the first in the district of Starnberg to enter into a town partnership with Clermont L'Hérault, a town in southern France. This was initiated by the mayors at the time, Josef Cischek and Marcel Vidal. This year marks the 50th anniversary.
Patchway is also part of the party
For this reason, a delegation of more than 30 people from Gauting – consisting of Mayor Dr. Brigitte Kössinger, location promoter Fabian Kühnel-Widmann and other representatives of the administration as well as members of the partnership association, the art association and the music school – paid a visit to the French friends last week. On Wednesday morning at five o'clock, the bus drove off to Clermont, a good 1000 kilometers away. There they also met a delegation from the southern English community of Patchway near Bristol. The Gautingers had once met the English through their friends from France, and in this case, too, a friendship arose, which was sealed in 2002. Since then, Gauting, Clermont and Patchway have formed something of a triumvirate.
A new pomegranate tree in front of the "Hotel de Ville"
Clermont is located in the Occitanie region in the south of France and has about 9000 inhabitants. The sea and the student city of Montpellier are about 40 kilometres away. The landmark of the village is the Gothic cathedral in the old town centre, olive and viticulture characterise the surroundings. At the Lac du Salagou, which is located just outside, you can swim and surf well. A "Gautinger Hütte" serves as a meeting place for youth groups.
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The week for the Gauting delegation was filled to the brim with appointments: On Thursday, videos were shown in the Alain Resnais cinema in which students from Clermont and Gauting interviewed contemporary witnesses of the partnership, including Barbara Deisenhofer, who once came to the south of France as an au pair and made contact. At the evening ceremony at the Chateau de Malmont just outside the city, the mayors Dr. Brigitte Kössinger and her colleagues Dayley Lawrence (Patchway) and Gérard Bressière (Clermont) reaffirmed their friendship. On Friday, a pomegranate tree was planted in front of the town hall, as a sign that the friendship may still bear many fruits.
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Adriana Scipio from the partnership association says: "As always, we were warmly, openly and lovingly welcomed." She is particularly pleased that young people have also joined the trip, the youngest participant was 14 years old. "It is extremely important that contacts are maintained not only at the political level, but also at the civilian level." The return visit is scheduled from 21 to 24 July. If you want to host guests, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.