“Friendship” was the theme of this year’s Gingerbread Village at the Four Seasons Austin. It was actually six separate villages: Austin, plus our five sister cities: Saltillo, Mexico; Koblenz, Germany; Angers, France; Adelaide, Australia; and Oita, Japan. Each city/village was covered by a plastic snow globe. In this post, I’ve included the Four Seasons’ description for each city, plus one or two interesting Fun Facts from their Wikipedia entry. The village(s) remain on display through Christmas Day.
Saltillo, Mexico – “Saltillo became Austin’s first official sister city in 1968, though the cities already shared a common bond: both have been capitals of Texas. Founded in 1577, Saltillo takes pride in its Spanish Colonial architecture, its masterfully woven serape blankets and namesake tile.”
Wikipedia Fun Fact: Saltillo is known as the “Detroit of Mexico,” although efforts are underway to diversify its industrial base.
Koblenz, Germany – “A historic town in the German state of Rhineland-Palatinate, Koblenz has been a sister city since 1992. Its Medieval town center survived two World Wars and the Romanesque, gothic and baroque churches that still stand are a testament to the city’s long history.”
Wikipedia Fun Fact: Koblenz was established as a Roman military outpost around 8 BCE.
Angers, France – “Austin newest sister city , Angers is the capital of France’s Maine-et-Loire district, a historic region and France’s fourth-largest industrial producer. Angers is a leader in environmentally responsible production and is home to more than 70 multinational firms.”
Wikipedia Fun Fact: Angers is home to the Apocalypse Tapestry, the largest surviving medieval French tapestry in the world.
Adelaide, Australia – “Both performing and visual arts centers boasting strong technology and advanced manufacturing sectors, Adelaide and Austin have been sister cities since 1983. They recently gained a new common tie: each city plays host to the V8 Supercar Series.”
Wikipedia Fun Facts: Adelaide is known as “Australia’s live music city.” Carnegie Mellon has a campus in Adelaide.
Oita, Japan – “Known for its hospitality, burgeoning tech scene and fishing industry, Oita has been sister cities with Austin since 1990. Oita’s strong industrial sector boasts the world’s largest high-efficiency iron blast furnace and 65nm chip fabrication lab.”
Wikipedia Fun Fact: “Oita is also famous for the intestines of puffer fish.”
Austin, Texas – The largest of the snow globes was jam-packed with local landmarks…
South Congress and Circuit of the Americas
Pennybacker (360) Bridge and The Oasis on Lake Travis
UT Tower and Stadium, with the Frost Bank and Texas State Capitol
Wikipedia Fun Fact: “…adults in Austin read and contribute to blogs more than those in any other U.S. metropolitan area.”
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