Brühl, Germany

LITS and Brühl’s twinning society FBS meet in 2019

The town of Brühl was the residence of the Prince Bishops of Cologne. In the 18th century the Prince Bishop Clemens August replaced a former ruined castle and built the Augustusburg and Falkenlust palaces near the city centre. Today both are listed as UNESCO – World Heritage Sites. Until 1990 Augustusburg Palace was used by the West German government to receive foreign heads of states visiting West Germany. 

Sceaux, France

LITS Sceaux Co-ordinator Sue Staddon and ‘Lady Godiva’ welcome guests from Sceaux

Sceaux is famous for the Château de Sceaux, set in its large park (Parc départemental de Sceaux), designed by André Le Nôtre, measuring 2 km (0.77 sq mi). The original château was transformed into a School of Agriculture during the Revolution and lost much of its luster. It was demolished at the beginning of the 19th century following its sale by the then French government. Sceaux castle was originally built by Jean-Baptiste Colbert, the minister of finance to Louis XIV and purchased by Louis’ illegitimate son, the duke of Maine in 1699. His duchesse held court in a glittering salon at Sceaux in the first decades of the eighteenth century. The present château, rebuilt 1856–62 in a Louis XIII style, is now the museum of Île-de-France open for visits.

Heemstede, The Netherlands

Although the link with Heemstede has lapsed, it remains an official twinned town with Leamington Spa. The town was formed around the Castle Heemstede that was built on the Spaarne River around 1286. Before 1296, Floris V, Count of Holland, granted Heemstede as a fiefdom to Reinier of Holy. During the 14th century, a village formed near the castle, which was destroyed and rebuilt several times in this period. The most famous resident of this castle was Adriaan Pauw, who bought it in 1620.