Twinned Since: 1963 (Felling) and 1974 (The Borough of Gateshead)
Location and Geography: St Etienne is situated on the outskirts of the city of Rouen in Northern France. Rouen is famous as the city where Joan of Arc was burnt at the stake and is one of the cultural centres of France. St Etienne is approximately 40 miles from the port of Dieppe and 80 miles from the Normandy beaches. It is also 80 miles from Paris. It is close to the River Seine and the rural outskirts of Rouen which is a mixture of forests and farmland.
Economics: Like much of France, St Etienne has suffered from high unemployment in the last few years. As there are no major industries in the town itself many residents have to commute to the surrounding area and Rouen to work.
Mayor: The mayor of St Etienne is Hubert Wulfranc.
Symbol: Marianne is the town’s symbol (logo) and is also the national symbol of France. She symbolises liberty, equality and fraternity – reflecting the strong tradition of republicanism in St Etienne.
Local Cuisine: Local gastronomy is both classical and modern, including Normandy Sole, Rouen’s Sheep Foot and the renowned cheeses of Normandy. Apple tarts and soufflés are a speciality and are accompanied by bottled cider or the famous apple liqueur, Calvados.
Culture: The Normandy area has a rich cultural heritage. Numerous buildings can be found dating back to the Norman period and stained glass has been produced to the very highest standard in the area for nearly 800 years.