Sister Cities: Soltau, Lower Saxony and Coldwater, Michigan

Fußgängerzone Marktstraße

Fußgängerzone Marktstraße, © Stadt Soltau

17.05.2019 - Article

How it all began:

The partnership between Soltau and Coldwater originated in the “People to People” campaign launched by former President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1956: in order to intensify relations between the two peoples on a personal level as well, concrete contacts should be established, for example on the basis of reciprocal visits. For this reason, American cities at the time attempted to establish links with Germany.

In 1970, Mayor George Henderson of Coldwater, Michigan commissioned residents Mr. and Mrs. Medendorp to look for a suitable twin city on their trip to Germany while visiting their son, who was studying in Braunschweig. They enjoyed Soltau and the surrounding area so much that when they returned to the USA, they suggested to the Coldwater Council to propose a partnership to Soltau.

On May 13, 1971, the Soltau City Council made the decision: “The Soltau City Council welcomes the decision of the Coldwater City Council of 28.12.1970. It declares its sincere interest in a friendly connection to the city of Coldwater in the State of Michigan / USA.”

Hartwig Lindloff, the mayor of Soltau at that time, flew to the USA shortly afterwards and signed and exchanged the partnership agreement with then Mayor George Henderson in a ceremony before the Michigan Senate in Lansing on June 9, 1971. Already in September 1971, Mayor Henderson paid a return visit to the new sister city with his wife and the “godparents of the partnership,” the Medendorps, as well as the reporter of the local newspaper “Daily Reporter.” Since then, numerous mutual visits have taken place.

Soltau City Portrait

The city of Soltau with its approximately 22,000 inhabitants is beautifully situated in the Lüneburg Heath in central Lower Saxony in northern Germany.

It is very easy to get to Soltau: located within the triangle formed by Hamburg, Hanover, and Bremen, Soltau is easily accessible via the A7 motorway and with the railroad.

Its location is also important for large and medium-sized companies. In recent years, many companies have settled in the six commercial and industrial areas, as they appreciate the proximity to the port of Hamburg. In addition, the service sector has developed strongly and created many jobs.

A great advantage for the employees in Soltau is working where others vacation. The Soltau thermal springs, the Heide-Park (Heath Park), the toy museum, the Lüneburg Heath nature preserve, and the many bicycle and hiking trails offer plenty of opportunities to enjoy oneself. Even more so in our city center! The city’s pedestrian zone has a number of good shops, cafés, and restaurants on tap. The Designer Outlet Center Soltau DOS is just minutes away via car on the A7 motorway. With nearly 108,000 square feet, there is a large and high-quality selection of fashion and other great things that will attract many more visitors from near and far to the city.

There is always something to do in Soltau and it never gets boring. The calendar of events is jam-packed with markets, festivals, and much more all year round.

Have a look! Soltau is worth a trip!

Original German-language text provided by the City of Soltau

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