Saturday, August 15, 2009

Nanteser Platz

[ Nantes Square ]

Just past the fountain of the castle, and across the street lies a little park that has a playground, trees, benches, and overall a very nice environment to enjoy the historic area. From our tour guide, I learned the deeper significance of the reserved park space. The area was called Nanteser Platz / Place de Nantes / Nantes Square. Nantes is the French sister city of Saarbrücken and is actually quite a ways away, in the western part of France.

The park marked the connection of the two cities and we were told was set up like a traditional French park, complete with communal games of boule lyonnaise [a French version of Bocci ball ]. Sister cities are common in today's world to help promote international connection [the closest I know in Michigan is Ann Arbor's sister-city relation to the German city of Tübingen ] but the French and German relation holds an important message of why sister cities are important. Our tour guide mentioned that 60 year ago, during the end of WW2, many in the world were certain that the wounded relations and scars from war between Germany and France would pit the two nations as enemies for many years to come and they must be strictly separated. With the work and patience of both sides, it is amazing to see today a peaceful park sharing the cultures of the two countries right on this national bordering city representing just how far the nations have come from their damaged pasts.

Our tour guide mentioned that sister cities are important, because, whereas politions can only do so much on the international scale to promote peace, it is really up to the people and the friendships created to create proactive bonds and a future without war.

The short stop was a nice reminder about the importance of international friendships, but also a good eye-opener for myself to realize the histories of France and Germany, where, truly, only over a half century ago, the city that I am living in right now would have been one in much turmoil and how far the nations have come.

1 comment:

  1. ann arbor's french sister city is aix-en-provence! :) least i'm pretty sure it's the "sister city"...