The concept of twinning towns/cities is an idea you may have heard of, with many places around the UK being linked to various countries around the world as a result.

Oxford is no different, as it is twinned with eight cities, mostly across Europe.

Twin towns, also known as sister cities, constitute a legal or social agreement between two places in different geographical locations which help to foster cultural ties.

The idea started after the Second World War as a way to repair damaged relationships between France, Germany, and the UK.

But what are Oxford's twin cities and why were those specific relationships established?

Oxford Mail: The sign stating Oxford's twin cities (Oxford Mail)The sign stating Oxford's twin cities (Oxford Mail)

What are Oxford's twin cities?

Oxford's twin cities are as follows:

  • Bonn (Germany)
  • Leiden (the Netherlands)
  • Grenoble (France)
  • León (Nicaragua)
  • Perm (Russia)
  • Wroclaw (Poland)
  • Ramallah (Palestine)
  • Padua (Italy)

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Both Ramallah and Padua are fairly recent additions to the twin cities list, with relationships being established in 2019.

Meanwhile, Oxford was twinned with Leiden in 1946, Bonn in 1947, León in 1986, Grenoble in 1989, Perm in 1995, and Wroclaw in 2018.

Links between the locations are kept, such as with the Oxford León Association and Trust (OLAT) organising fund-raising events for charities in León, and regular exchanges involving educational, sporting, business, environmental and cultural groups being held with Grenoble.