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Sister Cities
Este, Italy

In 2015, Fredericksburg and Este, Italy became sister cities, after an inaugural delegation from Fredericksburg visited Este in November 2014, and the mayors of both cities exchanged letters of intent. The two cities have much in common, including proximity to major international cities (Este is 60 miles west of Venice) and location on major transportation corridors; rich history and heritage; active high quality arts and cultural life; nearby wineries and agricultural production; and numerous tourism and travel programs.

In June 2015, a delegation from Este visited Fredericksburg to explore cultural, artistic, educational, and economic possibilities for exchanges and mutual support. The Fredericksburg-Este Association is a membership-based non-profit organization; and offers regular meetings, numerous programs, and welcomes participation. More information is available on the website,, on the Facebook page, Fredericksburg Este Twinning, and via email at

Schwetzingen, Germany

In May 2010, a delegation from Fredericksburg visited Schwetzingen, Germany, at the invitation of Schwetzingen's Lord Mayor Rene Poltl.   During that visit Fredericksburg Mayor Tom Tomzak signed a letter of intent to pursue a sister city relationship with the German city.

Schwetzingen, located near Heidelberg, has a lot in common with Fredericksburg.  Both are small cities with civic pride, natural beauty and a sense of history.  Both are with driving distance of mayor cities - Frankfurt and Washington. Schwetzingen, however, is best known for its culture.  The roots of that culture lie in the 18th century, when Prince-Elector Karl Theodor chose Schwetzingen for his summer residence, building a palace and an elegant garden.  There, he held what amounted to an international summer festival, attracting artists, musicians, writers and notables from across Europe.

Since the initial visit in 2010, adults and students from Schwetzingen and Fredericksburg have enjoyed cultural exchanges and made enduring friendships.  Groups from Fredericksburg have experienced Schwetzingen's springtime Spargelfest, celebrating the harvest of the region's famed white asparagus, and the toured the world-class garden.  German visitors have learned about the history of the Fredericksburg area, including a memorable trip during the 2012 Battle of Fredericksburg sesquicentennial.  During the December 2012 visit, Mayor Mary Katherine Greenlaw and Lord Mayor Poltl signed an agreement, formalizing the bond between the two cities.

The group meets regularly for Stammtisch on the first Wednesday of every month at 7 p.m. at Capital Ale House.  See their Facebook page for more details.

Frejus, France

In 1980, Fredericksburg became a "sister city" with Frejus, France, a small city located on the French Riviera between Cannes and St. Tropez. Founded by Julius Caesar in 44 B.C., Frejus (Forum Julii) became a major Roman naval base. Vessels built there were used to defeat the Egyptian fleet of Antony and Cleopatra, and Roman ruins and remnants of the city's Roman past abound. In addition to its ancient ruins, Frejus now is a European tourist attraction, famous for its beaches, its restaurants, its Provencal cuisine, and its museums.

To learn more about Frejus, visit their site Internet.

Support for and involvement in the Frejus, France Sister City activities is mainly through the Fredericksburg Sister City Association.

Prince's Town, Ghana

In December 2006, the City of Fredericksburg officially became the first city in the Commonwealth of Virginia to form a partnership with an African city. The City of Prince's Town, which actively participated in the slave trade some 400 years ago, is a small city located on the Gold Coast of Africa. According to their website, on January 1, 1681, a Brandenburger expedition of two ships, arrived in the Gold Coast, and began to build a strong fort between Axim and Cape of Three Points. The original name of this West African town was "Pokezoe" but after the fort was built, it was renamed Fort Gross-Friedrichsburg in honor of Prince Friedrich Wilhelm I, of Prussia.

The Sister City signing ceremony took place with Mayor Tom Tomzak and Ghana's Deputy Minister of Tourism and Diaspora Relations Mr Joe Baidoo-Ansah signing on behalf of their respective cities. Her Excellency Pamela E. Bridgewater, US Ambassador to Ghana, received numerous gifts including the key to the City of Fredericksburg from Mayor Tom Tomzak. Mayor Tomzak and Ms Royster were each presented with a wooden stool.