MALMESBURY AND DISTRICT TWINNING ASSOCIATION
Malmesbury is twinned with Neibull in Germany and Gien in France.
There are also strong links with Malmesbury in South Africa. To become a member of the Malmesbury and District Twinning Association or for more information please click here.
Gien is on the Loire River, 80 km (50 mi) from Orléans. The town was bought for the royal property by Philip II of France. Evidence of prehistoric occupation of Gien has been discovered. Gien was probably a centre of trade between farmers and blacksmiths. There was also aun unnamed Roman settlement there.
The town of Gien-le-Vieux (Old Gien) became a parish in the high Middle Ages when Saint Peregrine, bishop of Auxerre, founded the Church of St. Peter and St. Paul. In 760, the army of Pepin the short stopped at Gien-le-Vieux before going to fight against Gascony and Aquitaine. In the eighth century, Charlemagne authorised
the construction of a fortified mound around the site of the present castle. In the ninth and tenth centuries the decline of the Carolingian empire and Viking Raids led to a gradual abandonment of Gien-le-Vieux. The population mostly moved to the site of the current town of Gien which was easier to defend. However, the church of St. Peter and St. Paul survived until the seventeenth century.
Much of Gien was destroyed during the Second World War. The town was bombed by the Luftwaffe, who aimed to destroy the town's bridge to prevent the French Army from retreating. The bombardment created a huge fire which completely destroyed over four hundred buildings, including the town's two main churches. The town was rebuilt after the war.
Gien is well known for the Gien Dinnerware Factory : 'Faience de Gien' which was founded in 1821 by Thomas Hall, an Englishman who wanted to introduce fine English earthenware manufacturing techniques in France.
Niebüll is situated in the north of "Nordfriesland" (North Frisia) quite near the North Sea. In a car it will take you about 15 minutes to cross the border to Denmark.
First mentioned in 1436 Niebüll today has nearly 10,000 inhabitants. It is a town of short distances. Niebüll has a hinterland of about 50,000 inhabitants and offers everything families might need. Frisian culture characterizes its townscape with its many thatched houses and its multilingual population. It has three museums,the Outdoor Frisian Museum, with exhibits on the Frisian way of life, the Natural History Museum (Naturkunde-Museum) and lastly the Richard-Haizmann-Museum of Modern Art.
Richard Haizmann was a German painter & sculptor who died here in 1963. His works hang not only in the museum bearing his name, but also in the Alte Rathaus (with other modern day artist’s works); and in the Fine Arts Museum in Hamburg.
Near to the Stollberg Mountain Route, it is also close to areas of natural beauty, such as the forest marshlands where there are nature reserves and bird watching in the bird sanctuary.
MALMESBURY, SOUTH AFRICA
Malmesbury is the centre of South Africa's largest wheat-growing area, situated in the region north of Cape Town known as Swartland , so called because of the dark color of its fertile soil.
Malmesbury grew up round a mineral spring which produces sulfurous water at a temperature of 32°C/90°F. The first settlers established themselves here in 1744. The settlement was given its present name in 1829 during a visit by the Governor of the Cape, who named it after his father-in-law the Earl of Malmesbury. The spring is no longer used for medicinal purposes.
In the heart of the Swartland Wine Route, not even three kilometres from the closest wine farm, the historic town of Malmesbury rests in a simply gorgeous setting surrounded by mountains, wheat fields, and in winter, yellow blazes of canola and indigenous wild flowers.
The largest town in the Swartland, Malmesbury is only 40 minutes drive from Cape Town.
It might have a rural setting, but the town has a vibrant community that plays host to the annual Swartland Food and Wine Festival during winter, where wine tasting and good food are the measure of the day. The secret to Swartland wines is the cool sea breezes from the Atlantic Ocean, and the low-yielding bush vines that do so well in the dry land vineyards surrounding Malmesbury.