World renowned for its architecture, the work ethic of its citizens and its picturesque situation on the shores of Lake Michigan, Chicago exists as an ideal as well as a physical place. When two cities wish to share the respective ideals of their environs, they become sister cities.
Sister city agreements are brokered for the purpose of creating cultural and economic ties between two towns. Chicago has forged bonds with 28 sister cities, ranging from Lahore in Pakistan to Durban in South Africa. Given Chicago’s ethnic history, it should come as no surprise what its first sister city was.
Warsaw: Embracing the Polish Tradition in Chicago
In 1960, Chicago found their first sister city with Warsaw, the capital of Poland. Chicago has long been a hub for Polish immigration, and with over 1.5 million people of Polish descent in the metropolitan area, Chicago has more Poles than any city in the world besides Warsaw. Warsaw is well known as the cultural and economic center of Poland. The city has seen a rapid revival following the fall of the Soviet Union.
Mexico City: Jewel of the Americas
Chicago’s large Mexican population has had a great influence on the culture of Chicago, from historically Mexican neighborhoods like Pilsen, to the ubiquitous taquerias dotting the city. Mexico City became a sister city of Chicago in 1991, and the partnership is natural. Like Chicago, Mexico City is well regarded for its numerous museums, delicious cuisine and vibrant art scene.
Galway: When Irish Eyes Are Smiling
One could safely assume that a city that dyes it main river green on St. Patrick’s Day would find a sister city in Ireland. Sure enough, Chicago and the West Ireland town of Galway linked up in 1997. Galway is a smaller city known for its charming, walkable streets and beautiful countryside scenery.