Indiana Sister Cities: Jasper, Indiana & Pfaffenweiler, Germany
Pfaffenweiler, Germany and Jasper, Indiana when 41 people from Pfaffenweiler visited the southern Indiana city for the official signing of the partnership document. A year prior, a group from Jasper visited Pfaffenweiler, Germany on and invitation from German Mayor Fritz Gutgsell and was inspired by the visit to create a sister city partnership between the two communities.
Jasper and Pfaffenweiler:
|Pfaffenweiler, Germany||Jasper, Indiana|
|Population||2600 (2021)||16,713 (2021)|
|Size||1.39 mi²||13.17 mi²|
About Pfaffenweiler, Germany:
Pfaffenweiler is in the foothills of the Black Forest tucked in the southwestmost corner of Germany, in the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg and south of Stuttgart. The community lies 40 miles north of Switzerland and about 16 miles east of where the Rhine River borders France. The area is surrounded by beautiful rolling green hills and is close to Germany’s famous Black Forest, known for its dense evergreen forests. Pfaffenweiler is one of the many small villages in the Black Forest area. The geography of the region makes it a popular place for tourists and families to visit with fun activities all year long.
Food & Drink
The region is known for their snacks called ‘Vesper’ – similar to American appetizers and can be quite filling. On the Vesper menu are Bauernbratwerst (bratwurst), Speckeier (scrambled eggs with black forest bacon), Bibbileskase (curd with chives and onion), Bragele (fried potatoes), Bauernvesper (smoked black forest bacon and pairings) and more.
The food in this region of Germany is influenced by Swabian, Alsatian, and Swiss dishes and is always made from fresh, local products. Many restaurants in the region have received awards and stars but fantastic food can be found at any of the many establishments.
Pfaffenweiler is in a valley surrounded by 250 acres of grape vineyards. The residents formed a wine cooperative in 1950 and presently have 270 members who grow 15 kinds of grapes producing about 100 varieties of wines each year! Wine is an art in Pfaffenweiler and the locals are very passionate about it.
Although Jasper, Indiana and Pfaffenweiler, Germany only became sister cities in 1985, their connection started a long time before that. The two decided to make their commitment to friendship and peace official based on the history and longstanding connection between Jasper and Pfaffenweiler. The genealogy and heritage connection between the two cities stems from a trip in 1847 from Pfaffenweiler to Jasper. Today, many family names are found in both cities, forever connecting the two.
Since then, Pfaffenweiler ancestors have lived in Jasper, but it wasn’t until the early 1980s that the partnership was suggested. In 1984, two Jasper locals traveled to Pfaffenweiler, Germany and brought with them a phone book. After sitting down with the mayor it was soon discovered that many of the last names in the Jasper yellow pages matched with families in Pfaffenweiler. The bond between the two cities solidified when a group of Jasper tourists was invited to Pfaffenweiler by the mayor. The group is accounted for saying that they felt at home and that the genealogy and heritage only laid the foundation for a true relationship to bloom.
This relationship is longstanding and will continue to be strengthened for years.
Wine Queens of Germany
Germany, as a whole country, is passionate about their wine and elects a German Wine Queen each year since 1931. Each wine queen must be an expert in oenology and winemaking technology, as well as proficiency in foreign languages and knowledge of the export business. The crowning started when wine consumption was low in Germany to help promote wine sales. This publicity stunt quickly turned into a serious tradition – the Wine Queen has many duties, which include serving as the ambassador for Germany’s wines domestically and abroad.
The 74th German Wine Queen is Katrin Lang, who will visit the sister city of Jasper, Indiana this winter. The International Center is honored to host Katrin and the 72nd German Wine Queen, Jessica Himmelsbach alongside the Indiana-Germany Business Council for cultural exchange – with plenty of wine tasting!
By Meg Lunn, marketing & communications intern