Short history of the twinning
In the 1950s, students from Heidelberg visit the southern French city of Montpellier and establish contacts with students there, so that in 1957 a partnership between the universities is signed. The partnership between the two cities was established on June 13, 1961. In 1966, the German Cultural Institute Heidelberg House was founded in Montpellier, and in 1986, at the suggestion of Mayor Georges Frêche, the Montpellier House was established in Heidelberg, which he visited almost annually with delegations.
The town twinning was given a new impetus in 1990 by the Francophile mayor Beate Weber in Heidelberg. The many activities of numerous associations in this framework (among others also in the field of sports with the annual exchanges under the direction of the Comité d’organization du Forum sportif et culturel (COFSEC) in Montpellier Comité d’organization du Forum sportif et culturel the Stadtjugendring in Heidelberg) are crowned in the winter of 1993-94 by the awarding of the Adenauer-De Gaulle Prize to both cities.
In 2020, the election in Montpellier of Mayor Michael Delafosse marks the beginning of a new dynamic era of town twinning. The history teacher is particularly sensitive to Franco-German relations and finds an enthusiastic contact person in Heidelberg’s Lord Mayor Prof. Dr. Eckart Würzner. New projects are being developed not only in the field of culture, but also in the field of economy. The 60th twinning anniversary will be celebrated in a big way between the two cities in 2021 and will also be commemorated by a commemorative brochure that will honor the many stages of the exchanges.
The Occitanie region has also recently joined the Franco-German partnership by sponsoring festival weeks in one of the two countries in turn through the Quinzaine Franco-allemande Occitanie and, since 2021, the Montpellier House.