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Pirna has been twinned with Děčín, an industrial and administrative hub located in the north of the Czech Republic and inhabited by around 50,000 residents, since 1975. Thanks to their histories, both towns have things in common, such as shipping and trade on the Elbe and the tourism shared thanks to the Elbe Sandstone Mountains which straddle the border of Germany and the Czech Republic.

Founded in 1128, Děčín is nestled in a basin between Bohemian Switzerland and the Central Bohemian Highlands, meaning that it forms a gateway for tourists looking to visit the picturesque landscape of Saxon and Bohemian Switzerland, whilst also being an ideal starting point for excursions to the nearby German border.

A former fort which was later converted into a castle, Děčín castle and gardens are a popular tourist attraction in the city. In addition to the rose garden, there are also small outbuildings and ornamental structures, greenhouses, an orangery and pavilion. Other sights to see are the Jewish synagogue, the stone bridge over the Ploučnice river originating from the Renaissance period and the birthplace of Miroslav Tyrš, a Bohemian art critic, art historian and co-founder of the Czech gymnastics movement, Sokol.

Pirna’s partnership with Děčín stems from diverse exchanges between clubs, schools and church parishes, as well as visits to town festivals and Pirna’s Markt der Kulturen (cultural festival).

Milestones in the history of the twinned towns

1975A friendship was formed between the two towns
1991The tradition of the annual fundraiser for Děčín Zoo begins
1998The official document attesting to twin town status is signed
1998The first German-Czech secondary school is opened in Saxony, the Friedrich-Schiller Gymnasium Pirna, with a bi-national boarding school
2004The Minister President, Milbradt, congratulates the first German-Czech school leavers at the Friedrich-Schiller Gymnasium
2009A partnership certificate is signed between the “Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi” secondary school and the ZŠ ŽELENICE school in Děčín
2013A contemporary sculpture exhibition is the “1st Summer of Sculptures 2013” in Pirna und Děčín
201540-year anniversary of the partnership
2015Pirna takes part in the historical market for the Děčín town festival
2015A contemporary sculpture exhibition is held for the “Encounter” Summer of Sculptures in Pirna und Děčín
2016Key players for Pirna-Děčín meet in Děčín 
2017Key players for Pirna-Děčín meet in Pirna
2017A contemporary sculpture exhibition is held for the “In Honour of Käthe Kollwitz” Summer of Sculptures in Pirna und Děčín
2019Contemporary sculpture exhibition is held for the “The Beast - Symbol of the Divine” Summer of Sculptures in Pirna und Děčín