We Support Oulu2026: Portrait of Leverkusen

Leverkusen: Less than one hundred years old but known worldwide

Leverkusen is young, much younger than most other towns in Germany –the town became only 90 years in 2020: officially founded in 1930, but the set up for the later town already took place in 1860 with pharmacist Dr. Carl Leverkus establishing a company for the colour ultramarine. Being self-confident he named the growing surrounding housing estate with houses for the workers and social institutions close to his company „Leverkusen“. This name was taken over also by the company, which from 1891 on in a short period raised up to become one of the biggest and modern chemical plants in the world. Leverkusen then developed very fast from a rural town on the Rhine to a Global Player. This story still has a deep influence.

Well known as economy location

Coming from one of the motorways or over the bridge across the river Rhine you will nowadays see a large amont of industry buildings. Identified until today by the brand BAYER. Since 1912 their head office is located in Leverkusen and runs a worldwide acitive group from here. In the later developed CHEMPARK the Currenta GmbH markets suitable commercial properties for companies like Lanxess AG, Covestro AG, Momentive Performance Materials, Kronos Titan GmbH and many more. https://www.chempark.de/ .

University location and first class school education

Being the location of the faculty of applied sciences of the Technical University of Cologne since 2010/11 the faculty will move from the CHEMPARK to its own new campus area in 2021. It will offer study places for around 1000 students. https://www.neue-bahnstadt-opladen.de/ostseite/hochschulcampus/ .
But also the school infrastructure has its own profile: 24 primary schools, six secondary schools, five highschools, one elite school of sports, four vocational colleges, two comprehensive schools and three special schools offer best education.

International level in sports

The soccer players of Bayer 04 Leverkusen are well known and successful in the first German soccer league and also in the European Champions League. Many soccer stars played and play here. Also in athletics Leverkusen shows a lot of talent.

…and Culture

Cultural highlight of each year are the Leverkusen Jazzdays with international stars presenting their music and attract an audience from near and far away. Concerts are played in the cultural center as well as in different clubs ofthe town. The cultural center of Leverkusen, the Forum, invites up to 1.000 visitors also to theatre performances. Orchestras, dance companies, ensembles and different international artists like to come here. There is also space for exhibitions, fairs, meetings and events of companies, organisations and societies https://www.kulturstadtlev.de/home/ . Bayer also offers a wide cultural program https://www.kultur.bayer.de/ .
The local Museum Morsbroich ist he first museum in Northrhine-Westphalia, that shows modern art. Parallel to its exhibitions this museum offers an impressive collection of about 300 artworks of painting and sculpture as well as about 2.300 paperworks.
This special museum is located in an extensive park area. https://www.museum-morsbroich.de


Concerning Leverkusen´s long lasting friendly relationship with Oulu since 1968 it is not at least important to mention, that you will find over here a lake named after Oulu and also the street „Oulustrasse“ with a traffic light for pedestrians showing the figure of „Toripolliisi“ in the red and the green spot on it.

We support Oulu: Boden, Sweden

Boden is one of Oulus Twin Cities. In Boden we live by the terms of Närhetsliv. By that we mean the life where you are close to everything that is important and a little more – the children’s activities, your job, schools, cultural events, attractive house plots, shopping and experiences close to nature.

We say that Närhetsliv is for everyone. Regardless of age, gender, ethnicity or sexual orientation. Regardless of whether you come here from Luleå, Oulu or Somalia, we will create an inclusive climate where everyone feels a sense of belonging, security and an opportunity for development. Therefore, it is logical that people come here to start a business, study indie game development, to seek a new lifestyle or just to visit. We hope to see you here!


The development

Boden is an eco-municipality. Eco-municipalities strive to be role models and forerunners for other municipalities when it comes to sustainable development at the local level. We try to find a balance between nature and human needs. The municipality has, among other things, through the refining of decomposing gas from Svedjan’s biogas plant contributed to a local conversion to alternative renewable fuels and reduced environmental impact. All local buses in Boden run on biogas and also most of Boden’s company cars. Our upper secondary school, Björknäsgymnasiet, even has a biogas truck.

Boden is a municipality in an exciting development phase where a lot is happening. Boden Business Park in Sävast creates conditions for the business community to grow. In the area you will find, among other things, the Boden Type Data Center, which is part of the EU’s research and innovation program, Horizon 2020. The purpose is to build a prototype for the next generation of energy and cost-effective data centers. The prototype named Boden Type Data Center One is an experimental laboratory and demonstration facility that innovatively combines technologies. The purpose is to test and validate feasibility and usability for a highly efficient and environmentally friendly prototype in real operation.

In Boden, tomorrow’s digital creators are also trained at Boden Gamecamp, which is an integrated part of Boden’s Business Park – here in Norrbotten, students from all over the world apply for education with good conditions for a career in a digital future industry. The anchoring in the gaming industry has attracted attention both in the media and by well-known gaming studios around the world. This has meant that both international and national game studios such as House of How and Wanderword have established themselves in Boden to take part in the knowledge that is trained on site.

Art and culture

Right next to Boden Business Park, Filmpool Nord has its new recording studio, and if you look up at the hills around Boden, you can catch a glimpse of one of our forts that surround our city and which is part of our DNA. The garrison still characterizes Boden, even though some of the military buildings have now been turned into art galleries, museums, companies or housing for some of the asylum seekers who pass by. Boden has gone from a relatively closed city to an international community; in addition to the northern Swedish accent, more than 90 other languages are now spoken.

The Museum of Military Defense shows our important military history. There are both permanent exhibitions and new ones that all draw attention to society. Until 1997, large yellow signs with strong red frames prohibited foreigners to stay in the area around Boden. At another time, the same kind of signs called out “The Russian is coming” and invited to a mighty art exhibition in one of Boden’s most spectacular buildings, Havremagasinet County Art Gallery Boden, 2010 and Boden’s role as a military strategic lock to the east was over. The door to the world stood open. Havremagasinet had been transformed into one of Sweden’s largest art galleries and has since shown international contemporary art that deals with current themes, all of which, no matter how different the expressions have been and are, touch on topics such as democracy, human rights and freedom of expression.

We try to make the local life in Boden unique. It’s a place where the sun often smiles. Here we have just scratched the surface. There is more – much, much more. Come see for yourself!


We support Oulu2026: Odessa, Ukraine


Odessa has an official twinning agreement with Oulu since 1957. Oulu is the first and the oldest sister city of Odessa.

Odessa, a city celebrated in cinema and literature, is the top tourist destination of the Black Sea and the maritime capital of Ukraine. Thanks to its port system, Odessa is an international logistic hub.

With a population of almost exactly a million, Odessa is famous for its cultural heritage, the sophisticated gastronomy and the sparkly nightlife, which created the myth of the “Pearl of the Black Sea”. Above all, its worldwide fame is due to the cinema masterpiece “Battleship Potëmkin” (Ejzenstejn, 1925), with the unforgettable scene of the massacre on the stairway, which is still Odessa’s main landmark. Indeed, it was the Hollywood of Soviet Union.

READ ALSO: The Battleship Potemkin: a masterpiece of Soviet cinema and propaganda


The most intriguing characteristic of Odessa is the cosmopolitan soul due to the numerous nationalities contributing to the building of the city since its foundation: Italian, French, German, Greek, Turkish, British, Polish, Bulgarian, Romanian and Jewish.

Odessa was founded in 1794 by the Neapolitan officer José De Ribas, serving under Catherine the Great, who seized a local Turkish fort and scouted the harbour during the war with the Ottoman Empire. He choose the name of Odessa, from the legend of Odysseus. Thanks to him the first leading class of the city was composed by merchants and ship-owners from Naples, Palermo and Genoa.

READ ALSO: A musical masterpiece from Odessa: ‘O sole mio

After the immigration of Italians, the City’s business spine was integrated by Germans, Greeks and Jewish (more than one third of the population, before the Revolution). Odessa was the easiest place of the Russian Empire to become rich, due to its status of “Porto Franco” (tax exemption on trade). This reason created the legend of “Russian California”. The famous American writer Mark Twain visited Odessa in 1867 and wrote: “I stood in Odessa for the first time. It looked just like an American city”.


Odessa is the gastronomic capital of Ukraine because of the fusion of many food traditions: Greek- Jewish-Ukrainian cuisine with nuances from Armenia, Georgia, France, Italy, Bulgaria and Turkey. Given the trade relations developed in Odessa, you can get porcini mushrooms from Trans-Carpathian, tasty vegetables from Southern Ukraine, meat from the North and fresh fish from the Black Sea.


In July, Odessa hosts the main cinema happening of Black Sea region, the window of new productions of Eastern European countries. It is also the most exclusive social event of the Ukrainian high society, which gathers in the sunny Odessa for the red carpet ceremony and for the sparkly night parties.


Ukrainians are the highest portion or seafarers of the world, after the Filipinos. The biggest quota of captains and officers of the worldwide merchant fleet are graduates in the Navy Academies of Odessa. The city has the highest number of crewing and shipping management agencies in the world.

READ ALSO: Marcello Mastroianni at the Odessa Film Festival


  1. Beautiful architecture and ironic monuments: Potemkin Stairway, Opera Theatre, Passage (monumental arcade) and the catacombs are the city’s most famous touristic sites. There are also amazing courtyards, museums and funny monuments (“Orange the Tsar”, “Policeman with birds”, the 12th Chair, the Sailor’s wife, etc.), which create the atmosphere of a movie setting.
  2. Gastronomy: Odessa is the capital of Ukrainian-fusion cuisine. In its dishes is present the influence of Bessarabian, Jewish, French, Georgian, Genoese, Turkish and Mongolian cuisine. Odessa’s restaurants are very cosy, with a sophisticate taste for interior design.
  3. Beaches and nightlife: Odessa beach clubs are famous as well as the City’s nightlife. The low cost compared with quality of entertainment is very competitive for exciting summer holidays.
  4. A house in Odessa: expatriates in Odessa have the feeling to live in a city with mixed ingredients: European style, maritime atmosphere, ironic and charming people. The City broadcasts love vibes, due to literature references and local beauties. Many foreigners buy apartments in Odessa for personal use or investment (they are cheaper than in other European cities).
  5. Business: Odessa is the sea gateway of Ukrainian agriculture export to Middle and Far East, North Africa and Europe markets, and a logistic hub connecting trade from the Black Sea to the Baltic Sea and Central Europe, through railway routes. An ideal place for foreign investors, looking for opportunities in Port infrastructure, logistics services and agriculture machineries.
  6. Rich cultural life: the city is a mixture of history, multicultural traditions and modern art.

READ ALSO: The economic role of Odessa in the world supply chains


Oulu is the first and the oldest sister city of Odessa. They are both members of Eurocities network. The main events of the twinning:

  1. March 1993. Members of the friendship society “Ukraine-Finland”, headed by A. Nizov, visited the Municipality of Oulu.
  2. May 1993. The Odessa friends Association delegation from Oulu, headed by Eino Laaksonen, visited Odessa.
  3. August 1997. Oulu delegation visited Odessa to realize the Oulu days in Odessa for the celebration of 40 years sister cities relationships and the participation in the EU programme.
  4. May 2005. The folklore group of Odessa Music School No. 4 participated in the school festival for the celebration of the 400 years of Oulu foundation.
  5. August 2005. Visit to Oulu by the delegation of Odessa City Council delegation, guided by Deputy Mayor L. Losuk, during the celebration of Oulu day.
  6. January 2006. Cooperation agreement signed by Odessa Mayor Eduard Gurvits and Oulu Mayor Kari Nenonen. The parties agreed on the mutual collaborations within the Oulu-11 development project, aimed was to support Oulu as a candidate to European cultural capital of 2011.
  7. On July 14th, 2006, the Ambassador of the Finnish Republic in Ukraine, Laura Reinilya visited the Odessa Mayor Eduard Gurvits to coordinate the celebration of the 50 anniversary of Odessa–Oulu relations. She was accompanied by Khanni Khuvarinin, press officer of the Finnish Embassy.
  8. On April, 22–26, 2007, Odessa Mayor Eduard Gurvits launched the celebration for the 50th anniversary of the twinning agreement. Events calendar: official meeting with “Oulu Friends in Odessa” society, Finnish literature evening, exhibition dedicated to Odessa-Oulu relations, concert of bands from Odessa and Finland. Moreover, the two cities’ delegations discussed the renewal of the exchange programme between Oulu University and Odessa State University “Mechnikov”.
  9. On November, 21–26, 2007, participation of Odessa to Oulu’s celebration of the 50th anniversary of the twinning, with a performance of Odessa’s artists “Malvy” bandura players trio.



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