Twinned towns and cultural links

Richmond upon Thames is twinned with three towns:

  • Fontainebleau, France (1977)
  • Richmond, Virginia, USA (1980)
  • Konstanz, Germany (1983)

The borough has a number of other cultural links across the world recognising where we have shared heritage and economic opportunities.

Celebrating our links with Europe

In 2020 we will proudly celebrate our twinning partnership with France and Germany. For up to date news and opportunities on how to get involved, visit Richmond in Europe.

Twinned towns

We embrace our cultural links across the world and encourage our communities to take part in events with our twinned towns.

Richmond is formally twinned with three towns: Fontainebleau, France; Konstanz, Germany and Richmond, Virginia, USA.

During the weekend of Friday 26 June to Sunday 28 June 2020, the communities and leaders from our twinned towns will join with us in Richmond upon Thames to re-affirm our partnership. Across the summer in 2020 there will be many opportunities for our community and visitors to get involved in events celebrating our links.

For current information and details of how you can get involved, visit the Richmond in Europe website.

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Fontainebleau, France

Richmond and Fontainebleau have been linked since 1977. Over this time, the two towns have celebrated their cultural link through various exchanges and sporting events, including a cycle ride from Fontainebleau to Twickenham to celebrate the 40th anniversary of their twinning, and to raise money for the local charity Street Invest.

Fontainebleau's twinning organisation, ARCIF, works closely with the Council and REA. To learn more about twinning with Fontainebleau, please see the Fontainebleau Council website.

Richmond, Virginia, USA

Richmond, Virginia was named after Richmond upon Thames because of the similarity of the view of the James River in Virginia to that of the view of the River Thames from Richmond Hill. Sharing a name has resulted in transatlantic ties, including economic exchanges between the two towns and engagement in arts events. Both Richmonds also share history about Pocahontas, which was marked in a visit from her descendants to Richmond upon Thames in 2016.

Richmond, Virginia is part of Sister Cities International, working to create global exchanges for community impact, including our friendship with them.

Konstanz, Germany

Richmond's twinning with Konstanz has established several relationships which has led to exciting opportunities, including university student exchanges, Richmond students attending a youth council conference in Konstanz, and links between local tennis clubs. Konstanz is also twinned with Fontainebleau, creating deeper links between the three towns.

See more about Konstanz's twinning.

Cultural links

Beyond our formal twinning agreements, Richmond embraces its shared cultures and heritage with other parts of the world.

Belgium

Twickenham, Richmond and surrounding parts of the borough became home to 6,000 Belgian refugees during World War 1, developing a strong community.

The East Twickenham Centennial Group recovered this story through its Richmond and Twickenham First World War Belgian Refugee Project. The history has been commemorated with a stone memorial on East Twickenham Riverside outside the former Belgian munitions factory.

Chile

Bernardo O'Higgins, 1778-1842, General, Statesman and Liberator of Chile, lived and studied in the borough, creating a historical link with Richmond.

Richmond, Yorkshire

A member of Richmonds of the World, the town shares a link with Richmond upon Thames through their shared name. Henry VII named Richmond upon Thames after his favourite Earldom, Richmond in Yorkshire.

Barnes and Le Pecq

Richmond's village of Barnes is informally linked with Le Pecq in France. The two towns engage in various activities together.

Community groups

The Richmond in Europe Association (REA) is a voluntary association with over 200 members in Richmond upon Thames, Fontainebleau and Konstanz, bringing our communities together. It works closely with the Council in promoting cultural, educational and sporting links with our twinned towns. Its website provides a wealth of information about current partnerships, events and further twinning opportunities. 

Events

For further information on our shared culture and heritage events, take a look at Visit Richmond and Community News.

Contact

For more information, please contact Elizabeth Kingdom, Partnership Officer.

Phone: 020 8831 6095
Email: elizabeth.kingdom@richmondandwandsworth.gov.uk

Updated: 11 July 2019