Five European cities, five different characters.
The European ideal, which years ago was a vision shared by the founding fathers of the
European Community, is developing apace and taking on an increasingly concrete form. Not so long ago the idea of a United States of Europe still seemed utopian, but today it is becoming more than ever a reality which has to be taken very seriously, not least at the
The four cities are well acquainted with the "European
ideal". The starting point, as far back as 1989, was primarily in the field of economic co-operation, a task whose purpose is to give new depth and meaning to the partnership between the cities.
Four cities in Europe - four different mentalities - four different regions. Logroņo and its fertile
"huerta", the flavour of its wines, the hospitality of its people. Dunfermline, capital of Scotland back in the 11th Century, was once characterized by the "fire" of the coal mines, but today is one of Scotland's major commercial
centres. Vichy, France's famous thermal spa town where "Health, Beauty and Fitness" go hand in hand with "Sport, Culture and Leisure". Water is at the heart of its culture and all its activities.
Wilhelmshaven, which is engaged in intensive research into the element
"wind", a city where wind power stations and the German Wind Energy Institute have been established.
"Earth - Fire - Water - Wind", the original elements of life are reflected in the four
European cities, which have made "Europe" the joint objective they are seeking to achieve through joint
activities. Elements in cities whose aim is to be instrumental not only in bringing a joint idea to fruition but also in facing the future together.
Dunfermline District provides the Gateway to Fife, for travellers from the south coming into Dunfermline District and Fife Region over the Kincardine or Forth Road Bridges, or indeed, the world famous Forth Rail Bridge.
All three routes give spectacular views over the Firth of Forth as you enter the District, with over fifteen miles of scenic coastline to the Forth.
Only 25 miles from the centre of Edinburgh, the town of
Dunfermline, steeped in history, lies in the centre of the District, surrounded by a mixture of beautiful countryside, and smaller historic or commercial towns.
Dunfermline was the Royal Capital of Scotland for well over five hundred years until the Union of the Crowns with England in 1603.
Much of Dunfermline's Royal Palace remains today. The ruins now form a Visitor Centre, open throughout the year.
The ancient Dunfermline Abbey remains intact today, dating from its original role as part of the Benedictine Monastery. The Monastery was established by the Sainted Queen Margaret, who brought Roman Catholicism to Scotland. The remains of Robert the Bruce lie in a tomb under the Abbey Church pulpit.
Town of particular interest surrounding Dunfermline include Culross on the shores of the Firth of Forth. This picturesque town with its quaint houses and their famous
pan tiled roofs, ahs remained substantially unchanged since the 17th Century.
The restored Palace and other buildings are open to the public.
To the east of Dunfermline, Aberdour boasts two beautiful beaches, a yachting
harbour; Aberdour Castle which is open to the public, views of Inchcolm Island with its former monastery, also
open to the public and accessible in the season via a ferry from South
In the sporting sphere, water sports and nature study are available at the Lochore Meadows Country Park; water
skiing at the Scottish National Water -ski Centre at Townhill; motor racing at
Knockhill; stock car racing at Cowdenbeath; sailing on the Firth of Forth and golf at several locations in the District. The District Council is active in the provision of Sports Centres in Dunfermline and Cowdenbeath and the Carnegie Hall in
Logroņo, capital of the autonomous region of La
Rioja, is a picturesque Spanish city. It grew up on the Ebro, which contains more water than any river in Spain and has influenced the life of the this city for centuries.
Logroņo has the Ebro to thank for its mild climate, fertile
"huerta" (expanses of fruit and vegetable cultivation) and the
development of the city itself. Since the Middle Ages the city grew outwards from its original network of narrow streets and lanes, spreading further and further along the river. Paradoxical as it may seem, the Ebro has, during the course of history, been both a natural boundary and a path of communication between the people of
Logroņo and their northerly neighbours in the Basque Provinces and Navarre, which are only a few kilometres away.
Logroņo is situated on the "Camino de Santiago". Europe's first cultural
itinerary, which leads to Santiago de Compostela. Pilgrims and visitors agree that it is a hospitable city.
The numerous attractions of Logroņo - its streets and squares, monuments, cuisine, traditional fiestas and the people themselves - all make this a place one should not simply pass through.
Often tranquil, but sometimes also very lively, Logroņo is well worth a stop.
Sights to See
Church of San Bartolome
Squared-stone church with triple-aisle nave. The portal dates from the 13th century and is the only medieval artworks still preserved in the city.
Santa Maria de Palacio
Squared-stone church with triple-aisle nave. Construction began in the 12th century and was later completed in stages. It has an unusual tower with octagonal ground plan and Gothic style with Byzantine influence. Nicknamed "la
aguia" (the needle) by the people of Logroņo because of its pointed form, this tower is one of the city landmarks.
Santiaqo El Real
Squared-stone church with a single-aisle nave. Construction began in the 16th century. Situated on the "Camino de Santiago" this building is where the City Council used to meet.
Cathedral of Santa Maria de la Redonda
Squared-stone church with triple-aisle nave. Construction began in the 16th century and was completed by 1762. Two identical baroque towers.
Experience the Logroņo of today Logroņo is not only a place where you can track down the past but also where you can enjoy the present. It is a pleasure to stroll through the city, meander through the streets, chat with the locals or stop off at one of the countries bars and restaurants in the city.
There you have the choice between numerous regional dishes, in which vegetables from the
"huerta" and meat from the Rioja mountains are skillfully combined and served together with wines matured in the cellars. It is also a unique experience to take part in the
traditional fiestas of San Bernabe on 11th June and San Mateo on 20th to 26th September, when the otherwise tranquil city is busting with activity on every corner.
"Learn French in exceptional surroundings"
Wilhelmshaven is situated on the North Sea coast of Germany, on the banks of the Jade Bay; it is a young, cosmopolitan city with a history full of change.
In search of a suitable naval base on the North Sea Coast of Prussia, which at that time had grown strong, acquired 313 hectares of the Jade area from the Grand Duchy of Oldenburg in 1848 for the purpose of setting up its own "Naval Establishment". On 17th June 1869 King Wilhelm 1, who later became the German Kaiser, inaugurated the port and gave the settlement around the naval installations its name. In 1873
Wilhelmshaven, which had in the meantime grown by 109 hectares, was given the rights of a town.
In the vicinity of Wilhelmshaven the town of Rustringen was formed from the Oldenburg communities of Bant, Heppens and Neuende in 1911. On 1st April 1937 the towns of Wilhelmshaven and Rustringen merged to become the large town of "Wilhelmshaven". Due to the inclusion of other surrounding areas Wilhelmshaven became a city in 1938. After the Second World War, in which Wilhelmshaven suffered considerable destruction, those with responsibility sought a new leading role for the Jade city. Consequently, within four decades a city grew up which carefully conserves and visibly maintains the witnesses of its past, but the future of which is based on clear new objectives.
Naturally Wilhelmshaven, in its capacity as the largest naval base in Germany, is today still considerably influenced by the German Navy. However, the former image is long since out of date. Nowadays the Jade city is a major economic and cultural centre on the North Sea coast with plenty of amenities.
Wilhelmshaven has the only deep-water port in Germany so the future prospects for the city lie particularly in the port and commercial sectors, but also in developing advanced energy technologies as well as further development as a centre of a culture and leisure activities.
With the "Pumpwerk" cultural centre, which is appreciated well beyond the borders of the region, the City
Theatre, Municipal Hall, Art Gallery, Coast Museum, Marine Aquarium, private galleries, superb celebrations and festivals , modern Wilhelmshaven offers its guests a range of cultural activities unparalleled in this region.
Throughout the city one can perceive the close connections with the sea. South beach, which is the only one on the German North Sea Coast, is the most popular attraction. Departing from the quay here MS Wilhelmshaven sets sail on its impressive voyage to the high-sea island of Heligoland and it is from here that port sightseeing tours and romantic evening voyages depart.
The beach promenade, which remind one of southern Europe, invites you to stroll in salty North Sea air and relax in the
cozy cafes and restaurants. Water sport fans find numerous activities and amateur sailors can tie up at any of a number of clubs.
Wilhelmshaven is a lively and lovely city and is always a resort worth visiting.
Click here for Link to city of Wilhelmshaven web site
Ancient and modern
Founded by King Olav Tryggvason of Viking fame in 997, Trondheim holds a special place in Norwegian history and culture. It was the first capital of Norway, and is still the city where new kings receive their ceremonial blessing. Situated by the Trondheim fjord, it is surrounded by lovely forested hills, with the Nidelva river winding through the town. It has been and still is a popular pilgrimage site, an ecclesiastical centre, a regional capital, a centre for commerce and administration and last, but not least a city of education and research.
While far north only 500 kilometres south of the Arctic Circle Trondheims climate is blessed by the warming presence of the Gulf Stream, providing weather conditions similar to that of Scotland.
Click here for Link to Trondheim web site