Greeting Europe in Judenburg, Austria

This past weekend 7 towns from the Douzelage town twinning organisation attended the Toscana Festival in Judenburg which incorporated “greeting Europe”. Representatives from Judenburg, Bad Kötzting (Germany), Bundoran (Ireland), Köszeg (Hungary), Sherborne (UK), Škofja Loka (Slovenia) and Sušice (Czech Republic) met with the residents and visitors to the Austrian town and brought some culture and information which was displayed between Friday afternoon and Saturday.

On display across the 2 days were dancers, singers, a choir, a magician and more from across the Douzelage network while attendees were also able to sample food and drink from some of the towns as well.

Local media were also present to cover the event with features appearing on local tv and the local newspaper.

Shane talking in Irish on Austrian television!

We were treated to the best of local accommodation and hospitality with massive thanks to Elke Florian, Karoline Straner, Thorsten Wohleser, Sabine Matje and all at the Judenburg municipality.

The group also enjoyed traditional dining at Gasthaus Gruber and Cafe Turmblick on the Hauptplatz and some wonderful views all over the area from the viewing platform on the top of the Sternenturm (the tallest freestanding tower in Austria at 75.66m). We opted for the elevator rather than climb the 254 steps however!

The view of the Hauptplatz from the top of the tower.

The Toscana Festival was a wonderful celebration of Judenburg’s ties to Tuscany, Italy through town twinning, with two nights of fun had by all sampling the Italian food, culture and music. Many of the delegations attended the Jubiläumskonzert on Saturday evening and was enjoyed by all while the German youth and the Irish delegation went head to head in the local bowling alley. (It did not end well for the Irish!!)

Bowling in Judenburg

Some of us took the opportunity to explore the town on Sunday morning and we walked the old perimeter wall, strolled through the Europa Park with its Douzelage display, discovered the Puch Museum (a wonderland for fans of the Puch motorised vehicles) and marvelled at the views of town by walking “Wanderweg 3” in the nearby mountains.

There was certainly plenty happening in Judenburg and as we left, the main square was being turned into a beach ahead of the Formula One event in nearby Spielberg next weekend.

I can’t wait to return next year though I hope my German will be a bit better! Vielleicht!!

Shane Smyth, Bundoran, Ireland.

On the same weekend there was singing and dancing in our Dutch partner town of Meerssen which you can read about here!

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