Sister cities of Backnang
Backnang ( pronunciation ) is a town in Germany in the Bundesland of Baden-Württemberg, roughly 30 kilometres (19 miles) northeast of Stuttgart. Its population has increased greatly over the past century, from 7,650 in 1900 to 35,761 in 2005.
Backnang was ceded to Württemberg by the Baden (Zähringer family) in 1325. Backnang has been known as Gerberstadt due to several tanneries and leather factories, and wool and cloth mills that dominated Backnang's industries. Today, all of these have vanished and, instead, telecommunication companies like Ericsson (formerly AEG, Telefunken, ANT Nachrichtentechnik, Bosch and Marconi) and Tesat-Spacecom dominate the town's industries. The Stiftskirche, formerly the church of Backnang Abbey, dates back to the 12th century.
Backnang's cultural highlight is the annual Strassenfest during the last weekend in June. It has been founded as a street festival where local sports and cultural clubs offered drinks and foods. The traditional opening of the Strassenfest is marked with cannon shots from the picturesque city tower at 6 p.m. on Friday and ends with the Zapfenstreich on the following Monday at 11 p.m. The Strassenfest tends to attract more than 100,000 spectators.
Another cultural highlight in Backnang is the annual Murr-Regatta organized by the Jugendzentrum (youth center). It is generally held two weeks after the street festival. The Regatta is a race down the river Murr in self-made boats. Besides the prize for the fastest boat, an environmental prize is awarded to the crew that collects the most rubbish along the way, an originality prize is given to the most creative crew, and a drunkenness prize to the most inebriated crew.
The local Jugendzentrum (youth center) is remarkable as it has been independently self-administered by Backnang's youth and young adults for more than 30 years. It hosts numerous concerts and contributes events to the cultural life of Backnang.
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