As starting point for exploring the city region, is how the town Herzogenrath sees itself with its 48,000 citizens, its economic power and its cultural understanding; as starting point with a high quality of life and openness.
With the special purpose association Eurode the German Herzogenrath has opened up towards the Dutch Kerkrade and has for more than ten years seen much more in this partnership than only a public corporation. Not only the affinity to riding by bicycle – in 2007 Herzogenrath was awarded the title “most bicycle-friendly town in NRW” – is a sign of this peaceful cohabitation.
In Herzogenrath the European idea is lived, every day and in many different ways; in business and in the spirit of friendship. The fact that the comprehensive school Herzogenrath has officially been appointed as European School, may symbolize the European spirit in Herzogenrath.
As regards the urban landscape Kerkrade and Herzogenrath form an integrated whole without borders. On a length of 8.5 kilometres the Western town boundary is identical with the national border. As a visible expression of the close relationship of the two towns towards each other, the Eurode Business Centre (EBC) was established, the first service centre in Europe which was built on a town boundary.
As a direct neighbour of Aachen, Herzogenrath is starting point for excursions into the Netherlands and Belgium, but also to the city regional partners. Well proven in living the European idea, Herzogenrath also in future wants to make an important contribution to the city region. As a vital city it has managed, to join factors e.g. living, working, sports and culture on a high level in its clearly evident demand for quality of life.
Regarding the economical point of view those responsible from politics and administration already in an early stage discerned the signs of the time and in 1989 reacted on the decline of the mining industry with the establishment of the Technology Park Herzogenrath (TPH) and further structural measures. Today the TPH has proved as economical history of success of which further chapters are to follow.
At places where people work and live, relaxation, culture and education are important cornerstones of social life. The offer in terms of education marks a pioneering role: besides the general education school types – from secondary school to academic high school – the professional school for economy and administration as well as the “Roda” and “Käthe-Kollwitz-School” for special education, are also resident as educational development facilities. Family centres and U3-child care institutions offer help at an early stage on the right educational way to sustainable education.
From its elevated position the historic castle Rode looks down on the centre of the town. Today, after an eventful history of 900 years, it serves as cultural meeting point with romantic ambience. There is, however, also the Eurode railway station, which accommodates an art and cultural forum, which attracts with sophisticated exhibitions and offers. Indoor as well as open-air swimming pools, saunas as well as sports facilities in the three districts Herzogenrath, Kohlscheid and Merkstein can be used for active recreation. Those who want to enjoy nature will find relaxation in the surrounding local recreation areas, the valleys Broichbachtal and Wurmtal, the nature park Worm, the Paulinenwäldchen or the Grube-Adolf-Park in Merkstein.
Herzogenrath offers a wide variety of attractive possibilities for leisure time activities – whether these are searched in cultural and sportive activities or in the educational offerings.
A visit of the border town with its diversified offer and European flair is in many respects rewarding also for the people in the new regional alliance.