Sister City - Schwäbisch
City of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and the City of Schwäbisch
Gmünd in Baden-Württemberg, Germany, formalized their sister
city relationship in 1991. Schwäbisch Gmünd is located about
40 miles east of Stuttgart in southwestern Germany and traces
its history from an eighth-century Roman settlement that grew
into a walled town. Schwäbisch Gmünd is cradled by hillsides
and has a climate and population similar to Bethlehem.
Schwäbisch Gmünd Marktplatz
The center of life in Schwäbisch Gmünd is its downtown plaza.
Schwäbisch Gmünd has diverse businesses and "high tech" industries
but, like Bethlehem, owes much of its development to a metalworking
industry. While steel is no longer produced in Bethlehem,
precious metalwork remains an integral part of the economy
in Schwäbisch Gmünd.
Schwäbisch Gmünd and Bethlehem are both vitally interested
in their histories. The love of music is especially prominent
in both cities. Bethlehem embraces the Bach Choir, many instrumental
and choral groups, and annual music festivals, while Schwäbisch
Gmünd cherishes its annual three-month celebration of European
Church Music, a summer Stadtfest, and numerous musical organizations
The similar characteristics of Bethlehem and Schwäbisch Gmünd
are a natural foundation for a sister-city relationship. Two
organizations thousands of miles apart have the responsibility
of developing the partnership and assisting with exchanges
of mutual interests, people, and ideas. Exchanges have included
musicians, theatrical performers, artists, and lecturing scientists.
Among students, an exchange program has been established between
Bethlehem Area Vo-Tech and its counterpart in Schwäbisch Gmünd.
In addition, the Bethlehem Schwäbisch Gmünd Association awards
an annual student travel award to two local high school students.
The Bethlehem Schwäbisch Gmünd Association (BSGA) is composed
of a board of directors and a general membership having an
interest in Germany and, in particular, Bethlehem's German
sister city. The BSGA invites you to join with us in the development
of the many benefits that the partnership offers, now and
into the future. Through the sister city relationship, opportunities
exist for the development of many types of exchanges, the
advancement of mutual understanding, and for personal visits
to Schwäbisch Gmünd. BSGA can put you in touch with Gmünders
who share your field of interest, who are eager to meet and
greet you, and can assist with accommodations at homes in
Schwäbisch Gmünd, thereby making your visit to this section
of Germany both exciting and personal. The BSGA reciprocates
when German visitors come to Bethlehem. BSGA holds an annual
membership meeting and various activities for the enjoyment
and education of its members throughout the year. Occasionally,
BSGA is the host of a trip to Schwäbisch Gmünd and other environs.
In an international climate, partnership activities such as
those of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and Schwäbisch Gmünd, Germany,
can bring people, as well as nations, closer together.
For additional information, please contact the BSGA:
Bethlehem - Schwäbisch Gmünd Association
PO Box 1947
Bethlehem, PA 18016-1947
For more information about our sister city, Schwäbisch Gmünd,
visit their website at www.Schwaebisch-Gmuend.de