Malbork and Monheim am Rhein have been partners since 2005.
Malbork has a population of around 42,000 and is the capital of Malbork County in the Voivodeship of Pomerania in northern Poland, not far from Gdansk. The town is known for its imposing Castle of the Teutonic Order, which is called "Marienburg" in German and was the model for Marienburg Manor in Monheim. Situated on the bank of the Nogat river, the castle complex was the seat and center of power of the Grand Masters of the Teutonic Order in the 14th and 15th centuries.
The SG Monheim Skunks and the Malbork Bombers have been competing against each other since 2017. The partnership works so well that the teams organize a big tournament every year. In June 2019, it was the Monheim Skunks’ turn to host; they invited almost 50 people in several teams from Malbork. An action-packed supporting program meant that plenty of fun was had both on and off the court.
The friends meet not only for their annual tournament, but also to train together like they did this summer in Malbork.
In July 2019, a small delegation with then Deputy Mayor Laura Töpfer traveled to Malbork for a twin town meeting. A varied program provided an opportunity for the participants from all of Malbork’s eight twin towns to get to know each other. The highlight was the castle festival, which ended with a historical reenactment of the Siege of Malbork Castle in 1410. Everyone made plenty of new contacts, which will continue to inspire more new encounters.
The youth council from Malbork visited Monheim’s youth parliament for the second time in June 2019. Their joint work focused on learning about, and from, German-Polish history. During the meeting, five "Stolperstein" sidewalk plaques were laid in memory of forced laborers from Poland. Young people from both towns played music and recited specially written poems during the ceremony. The Monheim City Festival provided an opportunity for the youngsters to get to know each other better and celebrate together. Everyone is already looking forward to the next visit to Malbork.
In September 2018, students from grade 8 of our secondary school visited Malbork. In May 2019, they welcomed the Polish exchange students in Monheim am Rhein. The youngsters made and deepened many friendships during a packed and highly interesting program. In addition to excursions to Leverkusen and Cologne, there was an educational program at the school and the Haus der Geschichte museum in Bonn. The next exchange is planned for 2020.
In March 2019, the dancers from SG Monheim also invited groups from all our twin towns to take part in their dance gala. Three dance groups from Delitzsch, Ataşehir and two groups from the cultural center in Malbork accepted the invitation. The crowd first went wild for a joint performance by all of the visiting groups, before our guests from Malbork showcased their incredible skills in folklore, ballet and modern dance.
“Freundeskreis Malbork” (circle of friends of Malbork) is a group based in Monheim that has been cultivating contacts between the two towns for many years now. Every year, it organizes trips to Poland and Malbork, but also return visits to Monheim am Rhein.
You might be surprised to learn that the “little” Marienburg in Monheim am Rhein – a 19th-century villa – owes its name to the large castle complex in Malbork, which is called Marienburg in German. Naming the villa after the castle was inspired by the fact that the Grand Master of the Teutonic Order, Winrich von Kniprode, was born in Monheim am Rhein in the 14th century.