Twin towns – music and mountain town Sondershausen

Rolla is a small town with about 16,300 inhabitants in the state of Missouri, USA and is located about 100 miles south-west of St. Louis. The city is still relatively young. The settlement began in 1818, the oldest building dates back to 1860.

The economic development of the region began with the extraction and processing of iron (1826), the construction of the railway and the Missouri Mining School (1870).

Rolla lies on the legendary “Route 66”, has a university with 5,500 students and a diverse economic structure. Due to many immigrants of German descent – for example the wine-growing town of Herman is nearby – the desire for a German twin town grew.

Partnership relations between the two cities have existed since 1998. Since its foundation in 2003, the “Verein für internatonale Städtepartnerschaften Sondershausen e.V.” has felt responsible for the development of all city partnerships.


City of Rolla, Missouri901 North Elm StreetP.O. Box 979Rolla, MO 65401USA

Pecquencourt is a small town of miners in the north of France, in the region Nord- PAS de Calais, with the capital Lille. The city of Pecquencurt has about 6 900 inhabitants. They used to live from agriculture, which was the most important economic factor in the region until the beginning of the 20th century, when coal mining began in 1912. Through the coal industry, the city experienced an economic upswing, which ensured good incomes for many families until 1984. With the closure of the mines in 1971 and 1984, unemployment increased and many people had to reorient their careers.

The signing of the agreement on town twinning relations between the towns of Sondershausen and Pecquencourt took place on 6 October 1969. With the reunification of Germany, the possibilities of cultivating mutual contacts reached a new quality. For the first time, guest visits could be made to Pecquencourt; members of the city council, former miners of the potash plant, senior citizens, pupils, sportsmen, children and young people got to know and appreciate the hospitality of French friends. Partners from France are also welcome in Sondershausen.

The territory around Pecquencourt, once dominated by coal mining, developed from coal blackening to greenery of hope. Environmental projects, renaturalisation and the greening of dumps improved people’s living environment. The city offers some interesting sights with the S. Gilles church from the 12th century, two 18th century hunting castles and a coal mining museum in Lewarde.

Almost 50,000 visitors are attracted annually by the Salon de LAMOTTO, an international motorcycle show. The cities of Pecquencourt and Sondershausen jointly participated in the European forums of the twin cities in 1996 and 1997. The city of Sondershausen was awarded the European Medal by the Institute for European Partnerships and International Cooperation.

In the sense – Youth for Europe, trinational children’s and youth camps have been carried out in partnership cooperation since 2001.


MunicipalityMaire de PecquencourtPlace du General de Gaulle59146 PecquencourtFrance

Telephone: +33 327 944980Fax: +33 327 865957

youth commissioner

Yousseff ManhabCentre Social FrancoiseDolto 4, rue Estienne dÒrves59146 PecquencourtFrance

Phone: +33 327 861433Fax: +33 327 869229

The territory of Kazlu Ruda is located in the southern part of Lithuania. Kazlu Ruda is an independent town in the Marijampole district and has about 16 thousand inhabitants with the surrounding villages. The territory covers 554 square kilometers, about 60% of the area is covered with forests.

Kazlu Ruda is a peculiar city with old traditions. Historical sources from 1744 indicate that the settlement was involved in the extraction and processing of iron ore (Lithuanian: ruda). Only after 1861 did the construction of the Kaunas-Königsberg railway line bring about a visible development.

In 1950 Kazlu Ruda got city charter. In 1996 the Lithuanian president handed over the confirmed coat of arms and the city flag. After the municipal elections in 2000, the new legal status was established.

Lithuania, like many Eastern European countries, has become a member of the European Union. In the spirit of European integration, a partnership agreement was concluded in December 2000 between the cities of Kazlu Ruda and Sondershausen. With this agreement, the cities want to take steps towards cooperation for the benefit of their citizens. Encounters between people have led to the growth of friendly relations and improved mutual understanding. Children’s and youth projects in the sense of youth for Europe, cultural events in the cities and exchange of experiences at the municipal level promote rapprochement.

Those who have already visited Kazlu Ruda are impressed by the hospitality of the people, the folk art, the wooden sculptures, the old cemeteries and churches.

The territory of Kazlu Ruda is crossed by the VIA BALTICA motorway and the Vilnius – Karaliaucius and St. Petersburg – Warsaw railway lines.

Cultural CentreS. Daukantostr. 19, Kazlu RudaTelephone: +370 343 95117

Forest MuseumMiskininkustr. 1, Kazlu RudaTelephone: +370 343 96195

Guest room and guesthouse (Motel)Gudeliai, near Kazlu Ruda(on the road Marijampole-Azuolu Buda – Kaunas, 24 km from Marijampole)Telephone: +370 343 36288, +370 343 8 687 41922

Restaurant, CafesGudeliai, near Kazlu Ruda, (on the road Marijampole Kaunas)Phone: +370 343 36288

Cafe BALTAS BARASS. Daukantostr. 19, Kazlu RudaPhone: +370 343 95142


Municipality Kazlu RudaMayorMr Vytautas Kanevičius4500 Kazlu RudaLithuania

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Christina Cherry
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