|>>Offizieller Internetauftritt der Stadt Erftstadt.|
Lechenich was founded in 1279 and was a walled and moated town connected to the local aristocratic family of Metternich whose seat was Schloss Gracht. Liblar was important as a centre of the brown coal open cast mining industry. The area on the outskirts of the town that had previously been worked, has now been reclaimed and transformed into a large and beautiful leisure park of woods, lakes and nature park.
Just like Wokingham, housing has sprung up in most areas and there was a conscious effort to provide new infrastructure which included a shopping centre, swimming pool and a new Town Hall. Many of the occupants of Erftstadt commute to larger neighbouring towns, particularly Cologne, and there are also excellent motorway links to Bonn and Dusseldorf.
A favourite trip for many visitors to Erftstadt is a visit to the Eifel region. Less than one hours drive from Erftstadt, this hilly region offers beautiful panoramic scenery and a host of pretty towns and villages. One such is the ancient walled town of Bad-Munstereifel. To the north west is the wine producing region of the Ahr valley. Typical of so many wine producing villages is Ahrweiler famous as a spa and well known for its red wine.
Bonn, the capital of the Federal Republic, and Cologne with its magnificent cathedral and stylish shopping centre are also favourite places to visit. The great river Rhine which flows through both cities offers many opportunities for excursions and discoveries in both directions.
There is no shortage of cultural activities in Erftstadt and there is a fortnights Cultural Festival each year with exhibitions, performances, lectures, poetry and readings. Artistic projects with a twinning flavour include Hanneke Blessing's project of ceramic relief worked by artists from our three twin towns and Sabine Boebe's mural on her neighbour´s wall depicting the journey from Erftstadt to Wokingham.
Sports enthusiasts are also well catered for in Erftstadt and this is an area which was targeted early on in the twinning of the two towns. For over ten years the Carl Schurz Football Cup was competed for by teams from Wokingham and Erftstadt with a similar tennis tournament for the girls. In the past teams from both towns have competed at hockey, badminton, tennis and chess.
One in four people in Erftstadt pursue some form of sporting activity and, in addition to the sports above there are opportunities for swimming, golf, clay shooting, howling, horse riding and many others. A relatively new initiative is the linking of rambling clubs which is very popular and in recent years Wokingham and Erftstadt have exchanged disabled groups.
February is Karneval in Erftstadt, and this is a favourite time for visits from both Wokingham and Viry-Châtillon. Being near to Cologne, one of the great Karneval cities, Erftstadt bursts into "annual madness" with crazy costumes and fabulous floats. Kolsch, the local beer From Cologne, flows freely, as does the wine, the Schnapps and the Klare.
Then there are the Kirmes or church festivals and the Volksfeste or people´s fairs. There's the St Martins Latern procession and the famous Gymnicher Ritt, a cross country procession, first mentioned in 1809 but probably much older which originating from a procession to bless the crops. Last, but by no means least, the famous Weihnachts Markt or Christmas Fair.
The people of Erftstadt are renowned for their friendship and hospitality. Successive mayors and councils have been continuously and enthusiastically supportive of Twinning. Chairman of the Twinning Club have all worked tirelessly to foster and enrich relations between our two towns.