Skip to content
Double exposure image of business handshake and modern cityscape

Twin cities


Faenza is a city in the province of Ravenna in the Emilia-Romagna region of northern Italy. Located in the center of the region between Imola and Forli, the town is agricultural. Already in the Renaissance Faenza became famous for the ceramics (faiences) still produced today.

Faenza offers numerous sights such as the Palazzo del Podestà as well as the medieval town hall. Large parts of the town center were extensively restored in the years before 2006. The central square in the village center is flanked by two arcaded walkways, one of which adjoins the single bell tower with free-hanging chimes. The brick church itself does not have a bell tower, but only a small bell on the back wall.

Ceramics in Faenza

Ceramics production boasts a centuries-old tradition in Faenza and continues to play an essential role today, both in terms of craftsmanship and industry. Thanks to the soils of the surrounding area, which are particularly rich in clay, and its geographical position, the town developed as an important place for the production of ceramics as early as the Middle Ages.

Partnership Faenza – Gmunden

For a long time Gmunden has been trying to establish partnership relations with Faenza, the city internationally synonymous with the term ceramics, after Gmunden ceramics uses a faience technique, majolica, whose name was derived from Faenza.

The start of contacts with Faenza was initiated by VzBgm. Mag. Herbert Bergthaler with Mag. Agneta Kreischer, cultural manager in 2001, who is still in charge of this town twinning.

Several visits of the Vice Mayor Elio Ferri, Councillor Paolo Valenti, Councillor Stefano Collina and Municipal Director Dr. Elio Pezzi mainly to the Gmundner pottery market but also in between following a visit to the art fair Salzburg or “Italian Weeks in Linz”, where Modena is the twin city.

In 2003, a 20-member delegation, with Mayor Heinz Köppl and almost all the city councillors, visited Faenza, where in a meeting with the mayor of Faenza, Claudio Cassdio, it was decided to set up a working group to develop the partnership.

In May 2006 signals come from Faenze for a partnership, after such with Greece have broken down.

After decisions of the municipal councils of Gmunden and Faenza on a town twinning, it is on April 25, 2008. The partnership agreement with Faenza is signed in a ceremonial setting in the Museum Gallery in the newly opened K-Hof Kammerhof Museums Gmunden by Mayor Heinz Köppl and Mayor Claudio Cassdio. The aim of the partnership is a mutual inspiration for the two cities in the sense of ceramics.

Mayor Claudio Cassdio and Mayor Heinz Köppl with the signed partnership agreement


Tornesch is a town with about 15,000 inhabitants in the northern German state of Schleswig-Holstein. The municipality is characterized by its proximity to the city-state of Hamburg, which is the economic center of the entire north only about 20 kilometers south of Tornesch.

Tornesch is not a historic town in a touristic sense, but the attentive observer will find many gems like thatched houses (for example the historic “Heimathaus”), moor ponds, but also frequented stud farms and area-sized tree nurseries besides the ubiquitous and visually appealing brick style of the north.

Contrary to popular belief, the inhabitants of this northern German city are neither closed nor dismissive, but on the contrary extremely hospitable and cosmopolitan. This may be due to the proximity of the Elbe as an international waterway as well as that of the multicultural city of Hamburg, but perhaps also to the changeable history in the middle of the area of the German-Danish wars. The course of world politics meant that Tornesch, like Hamburg, once belonged to Austria (!) for a very short time.

Tornesch borders directly on the medium-sized center of Uetersen, with which the people of Tornesch share a similar ambivalent love as the people of Gmund have with the people of Ebensee. The district town of Pinneberg is located halfway between Tornesch and Hamburg.

Partnership Tornesch – Gmunden

The connection to the city of Tornesch is the oldest bi-communal connection in Gmunden. Already in 1996 the first contact between the dam. Wolfgang Sageder on Gmundner side and the member of the district council Heinz Gerd Ude as well as the SPD chairman Rolf king on Tornescher side took place. Very quickly, the factional connection became a communal one and many visits and return visits ensured mutual acquaintance. In addition to the factual advantages of such a connection, such as economic networking, sympathy was an important link and the basis for friendships. In 2004, the two municipalities concluded a friendship treaty.

In Gmunden, the “Tornescher Rose”, a gift from Mayor Roland Krügel, has adorned Franz Josef Park for almost 10 years and is the focal point and eye-catcher there. In Tornesch, the Gmunden town coat of arms can be found at the entrance to the town hall and the words “Gmunden 1,000 kilometers” can be found on a signpost.

The talks have progressed to the point where the friendship is expected to become an official partnership in 2010. Tornesch currently has two partnerships: Strzelce Krajenskie in Poland and Jammerbugt in Denmark.

The partnership agreement was ceremoniously signed at the beginning of October 2010 in the K-Hof Kammerhof Museums Gmunden.