The City of Arlington is celebrating the 60th anniversary of its sister city relationship with Bad Konigshofen, Germany by hosting a group of visitors from the small Bavarian town who are touring the city and state this week.
What began as a simple gesture in 1952 by Mayor Tom Vandergriff, to help refugees living there between what was then East and West Germany has developed and grown into an educational and cultural exchange between two modern municipalities.
In fact, the relationship between The City of Arlington and Bad Konigshofen is now the most enduring American-German sister city relationship on record. On Thursday the Bad Konigshofen delegation gathered in downtown Arlington to meet with city officials as the Bad Konigshofen flag was raised at City Hall.
The group tour will include a concert at the Levitt Pavilion and some authentic Friday night football at Maverick Stadium, when the Arlington Colts take the field at 7 p.m.
Bad Königshofen, a town with 6,949 inhabitants, is located in the northern part of the state of Bavaria and is about a hundred-mile drive east and slightly north of Frankfurt/Main.
The town has a long history, dating back over 1250 years to the year 741. In 1896 mineral springs were discovered in the town, but in those first years the healing properties of the water became known only to the local people.
It would be many years before the full development of health resort facilities there, leading to the change in name from Königshofen to Bad Königshofen in 1974.