Sister Cities: Wiernsheim, Baden-Württemberg and New Harmony, Indiana


Wiernsheim, © Landratsamt Enzkreis

07.02.2019 - Article

Original German text provided by the Gemeinde Wiernsheim


The reason for the town twinning was that Mr. Georg Rapp (born 1757 in Wiernsheim-Iptingen) and other separatists broke away from the regional Protestant church due to questions of faith and founded their own pietistic faith community. They amassed a large following and Georg Rapp became the most important separatist leader in Württemberg. After Duke Friedrich II (1797) came to power, restrictions were imposed by high penalties and prohibitive taxes, which meant that the separatists no longer felt comfortable in their country under this high pressure.

In order to avoid an imminent expulsion, the separatists wanted to emigrate to a country where they could live their faith undisturbed. Rapp therefore decided to leave his homeland in 1803. He found a suitable settlement area near Pittsburgh, Indiana. The first 300 followers from his homeland arrived in July 1804, with another 260 in August. A third group followed.

The people lived in a flourishing community in which all were equal.


The partnership agreement with New Harmony was signed in New Harmony on 23 August 1980.

The aim of this partnership is to lead to a deeper understanding of the common past, to contribute to the common future and to a better mutual understanding between Germans and Americans, taking into account the historical connection between the two communities.

Initially, the twinning was a lively exchange of visitors, students, craftsmen, musicians and scientists. At the moment, the partnership is on hold, which does not mean, however, that the contact will not be strengthened over time.

In the context of ancestry research and further connections, however, mutual visits take place regularly.

Sights in Wiernsheim



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