27 Apr, 2009
San Francisco and Kraków are now twinned!
Or as SFGate chose to put it, “Sauerkraut for everybody!”
Yes, the two cities, which couldn’t be more distant geographically and culturally, are now twinned.
And if you’re in Kraków around the 3rd July, you can witness the official signing ceremony there.
San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom released a statement, in which he said:
“I am pleased that the beautiful, innovative and destination cities of Krakow and San Francisco are now sister cities. The sister city relationship is a wonderful expression of the strong relations between our two magnificent cities.”
Aaawwww, well put. According to SFGate,
The partnership is intended to foster cultural, business and civic ties between the cities.
So how do they compare?
San Francisco: is the fourth most populous city in California and the 13th most populous city in the United States, with a 2008 estimated population of 808,976. San Francisco is characterized by a high standard of living.
The great wealth and opportunity generated by the Internet revolution continues to draw many highly educated and high-income workers and residents to San Francisco. Following the arrival of writers and artists of the 1950s—who established the modern coffeehouse culture—and the social upheavals of the 1960s, San Francisco became an epicenter of liberal activism, with Democrats and Greens dominating city politics.
Indeed, San Franciscans have not provided a Republican presidential candidate more than 20 percent of the vote since the 1988 election. (source: Wikipedia)
Kraków: is one of the largest and oldest cities in Poland, with a population of 756,336 in 2007. Situated on the Vistula river (Polish: Wisła) in the Lesser Poland region, the city dates back to the 7th century. It was the capital of Poland from 1038 to 1596.
With the emergence of the Second Polish Republic, Kraków restored its role as a major academic and cultural centre. After the war, under the Stalinist regime, the intellectual and academic community of Kraków was put under total political control. The communist government of the People’s Republic of Poland ordered construction of the country’s largest steel mill in the newly-created suburb of Nowa Huta.
Kraków has traditionally been one of the leading centres of Polish scientific, cultural and artistic life. As the former national capital with a history encompassing more than a thousand years, the city remains the spiritual heart of Poland. It is a major attraction for local and international tourists, attracting seven million visitors annually. (source: Wikipedia)
Very different, but in a strange way also very similar. I only hope that this twinning will raise Kraków’s profile internationally even more as it deserves more attention. And so does the rest of Poland, in fact.
I hope my favourite Kraków blog, krakoff.info writes something about it soon.
And I wonder whether San Francisco’s Polish restaurant Old Kraków will celebrate the news somehow….
SF image © Stuck in Customs, Kraków image © smif, used under Creative Commons licence via Flickr