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Developed round a fan design

Together with our partners into a European future

Karlsruhe is well equipped for the future ahead of it and, together with its partners and friends, is making steady progress on the road to Europe. The city has a tradition of thinking and acting in the European spirit, if only because of its proximity to France and the excellent links it now enjoys to international transport networks. It is now possible to fly all over the world from Baden Airport, for example, which is just a few kilometres away from the city centre. This airport which, thanks to the collective efforts of the entire region, went into operation on what used to be the Canadian forces' Söllingen Air Base in 1997, provides both the city and the region with connecting flights to international airlines.

Straßenbahn des Karlsruher Verkehrsverbunds
Karlsruhe's public transport network
serves as a model for other cities

Karlsruhe is also an integral part of Europe's network of inland waterways and boasts Germany's second largest inland port, while no fewer than three motorways, the A5, A8 and A65, provide access to the national and European road network. The fan-shaped city is also known as a "public transport mecca". Scarcely a week goes by in which Karlsruhe is not visited by a German or foreign delegation wanting to experience the Karlsruhe model at first hand. What makes this model so special is that its trams and local trains run on the same rails. Designed to meet the very latest standards of public transportation, the network connects Karlsruhe not only with the other towns and municipalities in the TechnologieRegion but also takes commuters and day-trippers across the Rhine to the Palatinate town of Wörth or Lauterbourg in Alsace. Karlsruhe central station is an important junction of Europe's north-south and east-west railway lines and a regular stop for ICE, EC, IC and InterRegio trains. The fan-shaped city's importance to international rail travel will be further enhanced by the "Magistrale for Europe". This is an alliance of Karlsruhe-led German and Austrian towns and Budapest which, together with its French sister organization, the Association TGV Est-Européen, aims to build a high-speed rail link from Paris to Strasbourg, Karlsruhe, Stuttgart, Munich, Vienna and finally to Budapest.

When it comes to European integration, the city's partnership with the other members of PAMINA is especially worthy of mention. The towns, municipalities and institutions in PAMINA, a region which covers the South Palatinate, the Middle Upper Rhine and Northern Alsace and has a population of 1.2 million, are engaged on no fewer than 70 cross-border projects. The PAMINA joint venture, which has since been acknowledged by the federal government as a "Region of the Future", received tailwind from the Karlsruhe Treaty of 1996, in which France, Germany, Luxembourg and Switzerland created a legal basis for cross-border projects on the part of their municipalities and regions.

Reconciliation with France and the healing of the deep wounds left by the Second World War Germany unleashed on Europe have always been an important aspect of Karlsruhe's "foreign policy", right from the early days of democratic reconstruction in the postwar years. When Karlsruhe extended the hand of friendship to the city of Nancy in Lorraine back in 1955, it was one of the first town-twinning projects between France and Germany. The founding of the international youth education and recreation centre was inspired by the same spirit. This centre, run by the city's committee for youth affairs in Baerenthal in the northern Vosges, provides a meeting point for young people from all over Europe. Reconciliation means a willingness to remember. Karlsruhe has taken steps to ensure that Nazi crimes and their victims are not forgotten and so can serve as a warning to future generations. This is why in 1963, Karlsruhe and several other towns in Baden took on the job of maintaining the cemetery and memorial sites at the deportation camp in Gurs in southern France. It was to this camp that the Nazis deported 900 Jews from Karlsruhe in the year 1940.

Begegnungsstätte Baerenthal
Hand in hand into the future:
Children and young people come together
at the youth recreation centre in Baerenthal

For Karlsruhe, the main purpose of town twinning is to build bridges between countries and people. It is not, therefore, the exchange of official delegations which has shaped the city's five partnerships with towns in both Western and Eastern Europe, but rather the personal contacts among ordinary people to which they have given rise. In 1969, fourteen years after entering into the liaison with Nancy, the fan-shaped city went on to twin with Nottingham in England and in 1987, was among the first West German cities to twin with a city - Halle an der Saale - in what was then still East Germany. Since then, the compass needle has continued to point eastward: In 1998, Karlsruhe signed partnership agreements with the Russian city of Krasnodar and the Romanian city of Timisoara.

Mathias Tröndle

Karlsruhe - a young city in the heart of Europe· The planning spirit which gave the city its face· From the seat of a court to a modern city
The cradle of democracy and seat of justice· A pioneer in science and research · Technology - the driving force behind business
It's always holiday time in Karlsruhe · Art combines the historical with the modern· Milestones in Karlsruhe's history
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