Twin City since 2002
The youngest twin town of Darmstadt (since 2002) lies in Northern Spain and is the capital of the autonomous region of La Rioja. The city counts about 144,000 inhabitants, as half of the population in the entire region lives at Logroño. Although La Rioja is the smallest of the seventeen Spanish regions, it belongs to those that can present the highest per capita income, based on its agricultural and industrial wealth.
Since the 11th century, the Pilgrimage of St. James, the most important way of communication in medieval Europe, has led over Logroño to Santiago de Compostela. Thus economy and culture began to flourish and Logroño became a privileged town, both for its geographical situation and the location on the river Ebro.
Until the 19th century, Logroño remained restricted to the territory inside the town walls.
The townscape is marked by the pilgrims who enter the town over an old stone bridge across the Ebro. They follow the scallop shell – the pilgrims' symbol – through the Rua Vieja, one of the oldest streets in town, in order to find shelter in the pilgrim hostel. Their way leads them onward, passing by the church Santiago el Real (portal with St. James as a pilgrim and a warrior), the Pilgrim Fountain, the parliament of La Rioja, a monastery as it was, and finally they walk through the old town gate Puerta de Revellín. Other points of interest in Logroño are the oldest church in town San Bartolomé (end of 13th century), and the cathedral Santa María de la Redonda on the market place with its Baroque twin towers, which in its interior boasts beautiful pieces of art. A famous landmark in the town is the church Santa María de Palacio with its unique Gothic pyramidal tower.
One should neither miss a tour to the lane of inns Calle Laurel, to eat Tapas (Spanish canapés) and drink wine. Gastronomy and wine, the well-known produce of the world-famous wine-growing area La Rioja, are rated highly here.
The modern Town Hall was constructed in 1980 by the renowned architect Rafael Moneo.
The town's patron saint, San Bernabé, is traditionally honoured on the 11th of June. This day commemorates the heroic defence of Logroño against the French troops in 1521, and bread, fish and wine are distributed to the population. However, the most popular celebration in Logroño is the feast of San Mateo for the grape harvest, which is celebrated from 20th to 26th September, with grape crushing, parades, bullfights, fireworks, pelota plays, and of course with plenty of wine.
The tradition of handicraft is being upheld at Logroño. The first place is kept by ceramics, but there are also numerous workshops for leather goods and wood carving.
The parks at the riverside promenade of Ebro and the nature reserve La Grajera with a water reservoir come up for recreation. Logroño is also proud of its first-class sports grounds, particularly of the state-of-the-art football arena Las Gaunas.
The relationship between Logroño and Darmstadt developed already in the 1980s by exchanges of youth specialists. Meanwhile there are meetings in various fields of activity.