TODAY.AZ / Society

Two sister cities to expand relations

27 November 2017 [16:40] - TODAY.AZ

By Azernews

By Aygul Salmanova

Although Sheki and Colmar are thousands of miles apart, their charming landscapes, ancient architecture, village setting, downtown with unique shops, galleries and restaurants connect them.

Azerbaijan’s ancient city of Sheki and the charming French city of Colmar have become sister cities following the signing of a friendship and cooperation charter in France in November 2015.

Within the framework of this charter, the delegation led by head of Sheki City Executive Power Elkhan Usubov attended the opening ceremony of the Christmas market in Colmar.

The main purpose of the visit was to revise the action plan to ensure the representation of Azerbaijan in the Christmas market of Colmar and further expand the relations between the two cities.

Mayor of Colmar city Jilber Meyer made a speech at the opening of the Christmas market and emphasized the participation of the Sheki delegation at the event and noted that it plays a great role in the development of bilateral relations.

After the event, the participants visited the stands. Additionally, guests were informed about Azerbaijan stands and products. Visitors to the Azerbaijani stands were presented with publications about national history, culture and cuisine.

This year, the Christmas market of Colmar features Sheki's sweets, silk carpets, craftsmanship, various paintings, paintings on the stone, as well as products from “Tovuz-Baltiya” company - fruit juices, wines.  

During the meeting of the Azerbaijani delegation with Meyer, bilateral relations and action plan for 2018 were discussed. The parties also exchanged views on further strengthening relations in education, prospects of cooperation between Sheki and Colmar schools.

The sides also discussed French experience in the development of wine production in Sheki, establishment of joint ventures in this direction, cooperation in silk and textile industry, promotion of export potential of the country in France, exploration of lavender and export of rose oil in France.

At the same time, the sides exchanged views on studying the experience of France in introducing Azerbaijan as a new destination in tourism.

The first secretary of Azerbaijani embassy in France Tural Rasulov also attended the meeting.

Being one of the most ancient and historical cities of Azerbaijan, with its population of 181,000 people, Sheki excels in agriculture, especially in the silk industry.

The city is one of the country's main tourist destinations, hosting more than 100,000 tourists every year.

Being a famous silk center and an important stop on the Great Silk Route, Sheki has been famous for its silk, which has been used in the Middle East, Europe and India since the ancient times.

The city is a real natural wonder with its beautiful landscapes, mineral water springs, forests and rivers and with some 84 historical and cultural monuments. Archaeological findings suggest that the city might be one of the oldest settlements in the Caucasus. Pieces dating 2,500 years were unearthed here.

Modern Sheki was actually rebuilt in 1772 after the city was destroyed by mud streams - River Kish. Annually, Sheki becomes a place for international and local festivals which attract many people.

Colmar is a sizeable town in the Haut-Rhin department - south of the Alsace region.

Although the city has been modernized a lot over the past few years, it still retains its history. The old city most of all attracts tourists with its narrow streets and half-timbered, half-painted houses so particular to the Alsace region.

Wandering about Colmar, discovering its old streets is the best way to explore the city where a variety of shops of different sorts exist. Many people choose to discover the city through boat trips on the canal from Little Venice.

The city is a bit of France, Germany, and even Italy all at once. Most people would say it feels mostly like Germany, with the half-timber houses, the cuisine, and the fine brusque wines.

Every year more than 3.5 million tourists visit the city, which annually hosts nearly 3 to 4 international festivals.


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