The name Gera was first mentioned in a document in 995. Having a population of approximately 115 000 inhabitants makes it the second largest city in the German state of Thuringia. Gera is situated in the center of East Thuringia on the river Weissen Elster, at the intercrossing of the Thuringian basin, the Saxon plateau and the South belt of the Thuringian-Saxon Mountains.
Gera is a city whose industrial profile - which had been the main economical focus before the unification of Germany on October 3rd 1990 – has lost significant weight in the last decade. Results at the end of the structural changes aim strictly areas such as trade, arts and crafts, administration and any related services.
Another major objective of the city of Gera is to turn – by means of the BUGA 2007 program – the former industrial areas of the city and their surroundings into green areas. The URBAN II program aims at urban restructuring whole areas of the city by 2006.
On a 100 km radius around Gera there are cities such as Leipzig, Halle, Jena, Weimar, Erfurt, Zwickau, Chemnitz, Paluen and Hof.
Every year, the city organizes "Sportwetten Gera”, the only sporting event with private funding from the whole of Germany. At the same time, new perspectives are also provided by “GeraMedia”, a products and media events fair. Every two years, Gera is the host city of the Film and Television Festival for Children “Goldener Spatz” (in Romanian “Vrăbioiul de Aur”).
Twinning Date: October 3rd 1998
The Twinning Agreement has provided cooperation in the fields:
- Local government
In April 1998, there was made a proposal that a group of three specialists from Gera make practice at Timișoara Town Hall.
From October 23rd to 26th 1998, an official delegation from Gera was invited to Timișoara in order to continue discussions on future cooperation projects between the two cities and on the agenda regarding urban planning, civil protection, economics and trades (with CCIAT), the city's water supplying (with the County Council). On this occasion, humanitarian aids to help natural disasters victims were brought along with a symbolic amount of money collected by children and young people from Gera for children living in “St. Nicholas” Transit Center, money for the winter holidays.
From July 22nd to August 1st 1999, a group of students from the High School of Fine Arts was invited to participate at International Painting Camp in Gera.
In August 1999, an invitation to participate in the next year"s (2000) International Rugby Championship of twinned cities with the town of Gera was received, the invitation being addressed to DJTS (The Youth and Sports County Department).
From September 29th to October 6th 1999, a delegation from Social Services went to Gera to participate in the “Senior Citizens International Year 1999” and for an exchange concerning social care for the elderly.
In January 2001, Wolfgang Hiller, Manager of Recycling, made a visit to the city.
In February 2001, an invitation came from Ralf Rauch, the Mayor of Gera, to the Mayor of Timișoara by which our town was being invited to attend to the sixth edition of the Thuringia Day. Romanian representatives at this event, which took place in September, were the folk dancers of “Timișul” Ensemble from Timișoara’s House of Culture.
From August to September 2002, a group of children traveled to Gera in order to take part in and represent the city at the 2nd edition of the International Itinerant Project, focusing on artistic-educational topics and environmental protection.
In November 2003, Raluca Ciortan, as representative of Timișoara Town Hall, and Gabriela Buță, as representative of the Romanian Institute of Adult Education, traveled to Gera in Germany in order to participate at the partnership seminar “The development of the project activity concept, regarding the informal youth education at national and international levels”. The seminar was organized by the city of Gera and was aiming at bringing together two representatives from each of the cities twinned with Gera.
From April 5th to 7th 2004, responding to an invitation from the Mayor, a delegation led by Gera’s Mayor, Mr. Ralf Rauch, arrived in Timișoara. On this occasion, several debates were held concerning the economic development of the two cities, as well as identifying new areas of cooperation.
From October 11th to 22nd 2004, following the invitation received from the twin town, a delegation consisting of seven young people from Timișoara Youth Local Council went to Gera in order to participate to the international seminar “The Youth and Politics in Europe”.
In January 2005, during a visit in Gera, concrete aspects of the collaboration of professionals from the two twinned towns were discussed together with representatives of the local German government, concerning the development of the project “Prudent Rehabilitation and Economic Revitalization of the Historic City Quarters of Timișoara”.
From July 9th to 17th 2005, four athletes and an accompanying teacher from High School of Fine Arts in Timișoara took part in “Outdoors Arts Camp”, organized by the city of Gera in collaboration with its partner cities.