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Aachen of Germany
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Aachen, located in the heart of Europe, belongs to the State of Northern Rhine-Westfalen. It is the largest city in the west of Germany as well as one of ancient cities with a history of more than two thousand years. In the Middle Ages it used to be the capital of Charlemagne Empire and had the alias of "Heart of Europe". 
The city covers an area of 160.77 square kms. It has a circumference of 87.5 kms, 45.6 of which borders the Netherlands and Belgium. The average elevation of the city is 174-m above sea level, the highest being 410-m and lowest 125-m. Its yearly average temperature is 9.70C. The population of the city is about 240,000, 10.2% of which are expatriates.
Aachen has 1814 medium and small-sized enterprises with 113,000 employees. Its annual gross product reaches 5,500 million marks. It is quite advanced in industries such as electronics, textile, knitwear, leather processing, food processing, tyre and glass. Other industries include mechanic engines, telescope, pharmacy, leather ware, paper, garment, fir and gold and silver processing. 
Aachen is well advanced in its medical research. The Hospital of Aachen University of Technology is a renowned hospital in Europe, unique in its architectural style. It has many well- established doctors in the world. Its research in ophthalmology, urology and cardiology has reached a quite high level.
The city has good transport facilities. With 100 kms of the city there are 4 airports. Every day 185 trains go to more than 70 cities in different countries. In the city there are buses and taxis. It is only 80 kms from Cologn, the oldest and most populous city as well as the most important economic and industrial center in Northern Rhine-Westfalen. There are 20 post offices in the city and more than a hundred public telephones.
The city is also famous for its good educational system. The renowned Rhine-Westfalen University of Technology (AUT) and Aachen Polytechnic College (APC) have more than 60,000 students and staff members, almost one quarter of the city's population, thus earning it the title " Town of Universities". AUT was founded in 1870. It is strong in the education and research of engineering science. It also offers courses in humanities, natural and social science, economics, etc. It has about 35,000 students, a part of which come from foreign countries. There are 5 museums in the city. The city library has a collection of 400,000 books. There are two local papers in the city including the Aachen Daily.
The Aachen Cathedral is one of the four most famous buildings in Germany. UNESCO designates it as one of the cultural relics in world. Aachen is also famous for its hot springs, which can be as hot as 700C, the hottest in Central Europe. Many emperors and government officials used to build their palaces here. 
In October 1986 Ningbo formally signed a sister city agreement with Aachen and since then the friendly exchanges and cooperation between the two cities have yielded positive results.

Exchanges between Ningbo and Aachen

1. Education
Ningbo Polytechnic School established intercollegiate relations with Aachen Polytechnic College. As part of the educational aid projects of the German government, it has sent close to 35 teachers to study in APC and acquired from Germany equipment including computers, multi-purpose experimenters, photocopiers and print presses with a total value of about 1.05 million marks. The two schools also send scholars to each other for academic exchanges. NPS invited several teachers from Aachen to teach German. The Medical Institute of Ningbo University has also established close relationship with the Medical School of Aachen University of Technology.
With the support of Aachen-Ningbo Friendship Promotion Association, the German Language Club of Ningbo was set up in June 1998. Now it has dozens of members who receive free training in Germany.

2. Personnel training and academic exchanges
By the end of 2000, Aachen has received more than 30 personnel from Ningbo for trainings in architecture, finance, medicine, machinery, shipping administration, power marshalling, electric appliances designing, etc.
Ophthalmologists, physicians, gynaecologists and pediatrics from Aachen have given many lectures in Ningbo. Two students came to Bank of China, Ningbo Branch for field practice.

3. Trading
In March 1996 Ningbo Tiangong Tools Ltd. established a branch in Aachen. Bank of China Ningbo Branch established agency relationship with Bank of Aachen for reciprocal L/C collection service.
In December 1995, Bank of China Ningbo Branch purchased safes from Aachen's STARK GMBH valued more than 100,000 marks.
In September 1997 Yin County of Ningbo held a trade show in Aachen during which more than 2 million dollars worth of export contracts were signed and intentions for some joint investment and cooperation projects were expressed.
In June 1998, Aachen's PRYM Group solely invested 13 million marks in Yuyao Ningbo to establish Prym Metals Ltd, which specializes in the production of metal buttons.

4. Culture
In November 1988, Ningbo ran a Ningbo Photography Exhibition in Aachen. In May 1989, Aachen held an Aachen Photography Exhibition in Ningbo. In October 1995, Ningbo set up the Window on Ningbo in Aachen. In March 1997, Aachen set up the Window on Aachen in Ningbo. In August 1998, Ningbo held an art exhibition in Aachen.
In August 1998, Ningbo Red Cross sent a staff member to Aachen Red Cross for exchange activities and in May 2000 Aachen Red Cross sent two members to Ningbo. Ningbo Esperanto Society also has established close relationship with its Aachen counterpart.

5. Tenth anniversary ceremony
In October 1996 Ningbo and Aachen municipal governments held in Ningbo activities to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the sister-city relationship. The two cities looked back on the past ten years of cooperation and discussed the possibilities of further exchanges in economy and technology. Ningbo People's Congress conferred on Mr. Promper, former president of Bank of Aachen and Chairman of Aachen-Ningbo Friendship Promotion Association, the title of Ningbo Honorary Citizen to commend his important contribution to the development of the two citys' friendly cooperation. Ningbo Overseas Friendship Association established a Ningbo-Aachen Friendship Committee.

6. Exchanges of visits
By the end of 2000, Ningbo had sent 27 delegations to visit Aachen numbering 179 people. Aachen had sent 25 delegation numbering 159 people to Ningbo. 

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