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Portsmouth's International Links


An easy to remember link to this page is: tinyurl.com/portinter

This page will be regularly updated, announcements will not come through (to subscribers) automatically as updates are added, so do come back to check what has been added.

Text in blue and underlined will take you to other webpages or download a relevant document to your computer.

The city of Portsmouth, UK - a video by LSI English Language School in Portsmouth UK

This blog post concerns all of the City of Portsmouth's International links and is a place to gather information on all of these cities. This pdf is often offered around the city at various events.

You may have found your way here after meeting one of the Portsmouth European Cities Twinning Committee. This committee is formed of a merger between the Caen-Portsmouth Friendship Committee and the Duisburg-Portsmouth Friendship Committee. The two websites will remain as will those two identities. The European Cities committee will help promote twinning with both cities and any future European cities Portsmouth may have links with.

Our Twin Cities

You are currently on the news blog of the Caen-Portsmouth Twinning Association. Portsmouth has been twinned with Caen since 1987. In July 2018 this Association merged with the Duisburg-Portsmouth Twinning Association to form one umbrella committee for our European Twin Cities. Further information is on this blog post: tinyurl.com/portectc

Portsmouth has two twin cities. These are Caen in Normandy, France and Duisburg in North-Rhine Westphalia, Germany. We have been twinned with Duisburg since 1950. This is the second oldest twinning link in the UK. Bristol and Hannover being the oldest (1947). Why not visit: tinyurl.com/duisport tinyurl.com/caenblog for further information.

Both twin cities have blogs too:

tinyurl.com/duisblog

tinyurl.com/caenblog

You can also follow both cities twinning events and news via Facebook

tinyurl.com/duisportfb

tinyurl.com/portcaenfb

For Twitter there is a feed which will promote all events and news posted @PortsmouthCaen


We are also on Instagram under portsmouthtwinning

What is a twin city?

Twin Cities have active links across various areas such as Culture, Education, Economic Development, Business to business growth, growth of tourism, etc. These have official twinning charters signed by the mayors of both cities and held at the city halls in both cities.

What is a sister city?

Sister Cities are those with which we have something in common, such as historical links or a shared name and are formalised by a signed agreement.

What is a friendship link?

Friendship links are less formal signed by the council to promote projects between cities.

Our European Twin Cities

Caen, Normandie, France

The ferry service began the link between the Cities of Portsmouth and Caen (France’s first major city liberated after the D-day landings, in which Portsmouth played an enormous role). On 5 June 1987 a document was signed in Portsmouth and in Caen on 6 June 1987. This document was rewritten and re-signed by the mayors of both cities in a ceremony in Caen on November 25th 2017.

A representative of the city of Caen came to the 2018 Mayor Making Ceremony along with members of the French version of the twinning committee and some volunteers from Caen who came to take part in the SIMEX exercise also taking place the same day here in Portsmouth (the largest emergency disaster simulation in the world).

Caen hosted a major celebration of our twinning link's 30th Anniversary in November 2017.

Day one of the celebration can be seen on this news blog here

Day two of the celebration can be seen on this news blog here

Day three of the celebration can be seen on this news blog here

We were featured on France 3 Television channel - this can be seen here

Coverage of the reciprocal visit from Caen to Portsmouth for the 30th Anniversary can be seen here.

Some images of the 30th Anniversary of Twinning celebrations in Caen (November 2017) and Portsmouth (March 2018).

Further info: tinyurl.com/portcaen

E-mail the Caen committee here.

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Duisburg, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Deutschland

Duisburg is a German city of over 500,000 people. It is situated in the Rhine-Ruhr conurbation, close to Düsseldorf and is part of the North-Rhine Westphalia region. Its inland port is the largest in the world. The second oldest Anglo-German twinning link was signed in 1950 by the Lord and Lady Mayoress, Sir Denis and Lady Peggy Daley in Duisburg’s Rathaus.


2020 would mark the 70th Anniversary of twinning with Duisburg. A lot of events were planned, both here and in Duisburg. However in February along came Covid-19 and by March both countries (and much of the rest of the world) went into lockdown.

The whole year's planned were shelved. We hope to mark this anniversary in 2021 with some events...


This video was put together by the Portsmouth City Council events team as a reflection of the 70 years of twinning between Portsmouth and Duisburg.

The Mayor of Duisburg and his assistant attended the 2018 Mayor Making Ceremony in Portsmouth. A group of the 'Portsmouth Freunde' citizens of Duisburg were also present, along with the chief of Duisburg's Fire Service and his assistant who were also here for the SIMEX disaster simulation.

Further Info: tinyurl.com/duisport

E-mail the Duisburg Committee here.

Images below: These photos were taken in Duisburg in December 2017.

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Our Sister Cities

Haifa, Israel

Haifa is Israel’s third largest city, built on three levels: The German colony dating from 1869, bustling at the base of the mountain. The Hadar district midway up the mountain, at the top is Carmel, with tree lined streets. The Link was formed in 1963, on the invitation of Haifa. It aims to encourage organisations and individuals to link with each other to share common interests.

A delegation representing Haifa were present at Mayor Making in 2018 in Portsmouth.

Further info: tinyurl.com/porthaif Twitter: @haifaportslink

Image below: Haifa, Israel

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Portsmouth, Virginia, United States of America

The 3 Portsmouth’s in New Hampshire; Virginia and Rhode Island on the Atlantic Coast. The 3 Mayors of the Atlantic Portsmouths and our Lord Mayor signed a declaration in 2013, seeking closer ties with the goal of enhancing educational, economic and cultural opportunities. Further Info: portsmouthatlantic.org Image below: Portsmouth Harbor, Virginia followed by an information video from City of Portsmouth VA.

Click here for Portsmouth VA's Tourism Wesbite

The following two galleries of photos supplied via Rebacca Larys of City of Portsmouth, VA Council and her colleague Barbara Early. They are of Portsmouth, Virginia's Old Towne

In June 2018 we had a visit from Portsmouth Virginia's City Commissioner Rebecca Larys and her husband Bob. We hope this will reignite the link between our two cities.

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Portsmouth, New Hampshire, United States of America

The 3 Portsmouth’s in New Hampshire; Virginia and Rhode Island on the Atlantic Coast. The 3 Mayors of the Atlantic Portsmouths and our Lord Mayor signed a declaration in 2013, seeking closer ties with the goal of enhancing educational, economic and cultural opportunities. Further Info: portsmouthatlantic.org

Image below: Portsmouth Harbor, New Hampshire, followed by a video from City of Portsmouth NH.

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Maizuru, Japan

Maizuru is a thriving port of Kyoto, located in a scenic bay with a coastline around 98km long. Maizuru and Portsmouth have had links stretching back as far a the Japanese Admiral Togo (Togo Avenue in Gunwharf Quays is named after him) who studied naval gunnery in Portsmouth. In 1901 Admiral Togo became the first commander of Maizuru’s naval station. Formal sister city accords were signed in 1998. In July 2000, a Japanese Garden was opened in Portsmouth by Mayor Emori.

In 2020, a Russian YouTuber produced videos of his tours around Japan by bike.

Here is his video on the East Side of Maizuru.

And here is his video of the West Side of Maizuru

Here are some images of the Japanese Garden in Portsmouth:

Image Below: Students from Maizuru on a visit to Portsmouth in March 2018. Visiting the Lord Mayor in the City Council Chamber.

Below - Images supplied of Maizuru by Shota Kubo of Maizuru's International Exchange Department:

Below a series of photographs taken of the Japanese delegation from Maizuru on their visit to Portsmouth to mark the 20th Anniversary of our sister-ship link in August 2018.

Click Here for Maizuru's Tourist Information in English

Click here for Maizuru Council's Webpage (you can choose Google English version to help)

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Zhuhai, Guangdong, China

Zhuhai is located on the Pearl River delta, and its name means "pearl" and "sea". It includes 146 islands scattered in the South China Sea, hence its nickname: City of a Hundred Islands. The friendship link was set up between Zhuhai and Portsmouth in 2014 following official visits, with the support of the Portsmouth Chinese Association (PCA).

A delegation from Zuhai were at the 2018 Mayor Making Ceremony here in Portsmouth, along with some representatives of Portsmouth's Chinese Association.

Image Below: Zuhai Harbour - One of Portsmouth's Chinese Sister Cities.

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Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

The Sister city link between Portsmouth and Sydney was made in December 1984. The first Australian Settlers lead by the then Captain Arthur Phillip, left from Portsmouth bound for Botany Bay on 13 May 1787, arriving there, they found no fresh water so they landed at what is now Sydney Cove. The Australian Settlers Memorial at Sally Port in Old Portsmouth is a gift of a granite block from Sydney and a set of links symbolic of the two cities’ links. An identical memorial exists in Sydney.

Below left Sydney's memorial and below right Portsmouth's memorial. Further information on these memorials can be found here.

The Britain-Australia Society's Portsmouth Branch has further information on the link tinyurl.com/portoz

The Sydney Friendship Committee organises an annual remembrance service at the Commonwealth graves in Milton Cemetery. The Deputy Lord Mayor 2017-18 has posted some images of this service on his Facebook feed here.

Image below of modern day Sydney Harbour - Portsmouth's Australian Sister City.

Sylhet, Bangladesh


A new link has been established between Portsmouth and the Bangladeshi City of Sylhet.

Below: The Rose View Hotel in Sylhet

Wikitravel information on Sylhet


This link has an association among the Bangladeshi Community in Portsmouth and their Facebook Page can be found here.

Portsmouth News Article on the link

Bangla Tribune Article

Portsmouth City Council Agreement

Hive Local Link with further information


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Our Friendship Cities


Lakewood, Colorado, United States of America

Lakewood Colorado has a Chester-Portsmouth Park named after its Sister City link with us. Further Info: http://www.lakewood.org/SisterCities/ In November 2019 a group of people came to Portsmouth via Colorado History This tour was intended to get people from the Denver area and Colorado to visit some of their sister cities in the UK and the rest of Europe.

Below: With the Lord Mayor Cllr. David Fuller in his chamber at Portsmouth Guildhall

Below: The inauguration of the Lord Mayor's Remembrance Garden - Colorado visitors were guests of honour.


Below: Colorado Visitors were guests of honour at the Portsmouth City Municipal Guy Fawkes' Night Fireworks. Present from the opening booth with Deputy Lord Mayor Cllr. Ben Dowling.

Below: The inauguration of the Lord Mayor's Remembrance Garden - Colorado visitors were guests of honour.

Below: With the Lord Mayor Cllr. David Fuller in his chamber at Portsmouth Guildhall

Image below: Lakewood, Colorado.

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Portsmouth, Rhode Island, United States of America

The 3 Portsmouth’s in New Hampshire; Virginia and Rhode Island on the Atlantic Coast. The 3 Mayors of the Atlantic Portsmouths and our Lord Mayor signed a declaration in 2013, seeking closer ties with the goal of enhancing educational, economic and cultural opportunities.

Portsmouth Rhode Island is a city within Newport, Rhode Island Further Info: portsmouthatlantic.org

In August 2018, The Lord Mayor of Portsmouth embarks on a self funded tour of our three linked Portsmouths. In anticipation of his visit the press in Portsmouth RI published this article on August, 19th 2018.

At Mayor Making 2018, some visitors from Portsmouth RI were present

Image below - Middletown and Portsmouth, Newport Rhode Island.

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Zhanjiang, Guangdong, China

The Zhanjiang Friendship link was signed in 2017. This city is a major commercial port in China and home to the Chinese Navy. A huge city of nearly 7 Million people. Image below: Zhanjiang harbour, China

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Portsmouth is currently in discussion with Halifax, Nova Scotia and the Falkland Islands with the aim of developing a partnership.


View the Portsmouth News article on the new links with Halifax NS and the Falkland Islands here.


#Duisburg #Caen #Portsmouth #Haifa #Maizuru #Sydney #Twinning #Twin #Sister #Friendship

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