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Eskilstuna (Sweden)

Stand: 28.05.2024

Erlangen's oldest twin town is 1,400 km away from Erlangen and 110 km west of Stockholm. The partnership was established in 1961 and is one of the oldest German-Swedish town twinnings.

As early as the 10th century, a Viking trading settlement existed on the site of today's Eskilstuna, favored by the town's location on a lake and river. The town owes its present name to the English monk and missionary St. Eskil, who was martyred in Strängnäs near Eskilstuna in 1080.

Eskilstuna was granted city rights in 1659. In the same year, it established its reputation as a center of the forging and steel industry with the establishment of the steel factory of the Baltic industrialist Reinhold Rademacher, which later earned it the name "Swedish Solingen". To this day, the metalworking industry plays an important role in the town's economy. The old forge is still preserved and has become a tourist attraction as an open-air museum.

Eskilstuna is also a service center for the surrounding communities, a school town and, together with the neighboring town of Västerås, home to an expanding university with currently 13,000 students and 40 different courses of study, which was the first university in the world to receive ISO 14001 environmental certification.

The largest employers in Eskilstuna include the city council and internationally renowned companies such as Volvo, IBM, Fuji and Alfa Laval, as well as state institutions such as the hospital and the post office. Eskilstuna's population is on the rise since a high-speed rail link with Stockholm and a newly developed highway have attracted commuters who live with their families in the liveable city and work in the capital.

The center of Eskilstuna is currently being redesigned in an ambitious project. The aim is to create a city that offers its citizens a safe, healthy environment with its very own character between pedestrian areas and inner-city recreational areas.

Eskilstuna also attracts many tourists due to its attractive location between forest and water and its good leisure facilities. Sundbyholm Castle on Lake Mälaren and the Sigurdsritzung, a rune stone from the Viking Age not far away, are famous. Between Eskilstuna and Stockholm lies the picturesque town of Mariefred with Gripsholm Castle, which was immortalized in Kurt Tucholsky's novel of the same name. The German writer is also buried in Mariefred.

The focus of the diverse partnership activities lies in the areas of culture and youth. In recent years, specialist exchanges have also taken place in the areas of migration and refugees, sustainability and environmental protection, as well as sporting encounters.