If you would like to be added to the Saumur Committee newsletter or to learn how to get involved with the committee, please email committee chair, Jessica Coffield at [email protected]
Saumur, located in the Loire Valley of Central France, has been affiliated with Asheville in 1996. Want to get involved with the Saumur committee? We meet the 4th Wednesday of each month at 5:30pm at Metro Wines (unless otherwise noted in our newsletter), and all are welcome!
- Population is approximately 30,000
- Well known for its beautiful centuries-old homes and churches, fine wines, and mushroom caves
- Famous for its role in inspiring the ‘Edict of Nantes’, creating religious equality under Henri IV
- The birthplace of Coco Chanel
- Site of the famous Château de Saumur
- Annual Bastille Day celebrations happen each year as a fundraiser for the committee.
- May 29, 2000 official visit of six Saumur city officials to Asheville.
- Both local boys’ and girls’ basketball teams participated in Saumur’s Jeanne d’Arc International Basketball Tournament over the Easter weekend of 1999 and 2000.
- Several groups of international guests have been home hosted.
- An inter-university agreement exists between UNCA and the Université Catholique de l’Ouest (UCO) near Saumur. Warren Wilson College also developed a partnership with UCO through sister cities’ help.
- Saumur culinary students from the Lycée Jean Bertin Culinary School have created projects on exchange with Asheville restaurants.
- Visit by jewelry crafts students from Haywood Technical Community College to Saumur.
- Asheville Sister Cities sent a delegation to Saumur on a very successful visit in 2007.
- In mid-2010 the office of the Mayor of Saumur contacted Asheville Sister Cities with a request – could we find an intership opportunity for a young man who is in the middle of his undergraduate studies? The Saumur committee was happy to oblige. An engineering student from Saumur, François de Clarens interned with Asheville Public Works, directed by Cathy Ball. He arrived in late September 2010 and was in Asheville until January 2011. A perfect fit for his department, François was involved in sidewalk design, surveying, sewer renovation and other Asheville projects. François was hosted by four successive ASCI Saumur committee families, and with them, visited many of the attractions in and around Asheville.
- During his visit to Saumur in June, 2011, Saumur Committee Chair Jerry Plotkin met with Saumur Mayor Apchin and several members of the Saumur City Council.
- A delegation of 25 committee members traveled to France in June of 2017 at the invitation of Mayor Marchand to attend Saumur’s annual Anjou Velo Vintage Festival. The group stayed a week and met with the Mayor and his team to renew communications as well as enjoy all that the area had to offer.
- Plans are in the works for a delegation from Saumur to visit Asheville during the World Equestrian Games in September 2018.
- The Saumur Committee is working in conjunction with other ASCI committees to bring to life World Wide Wednesdays to grow awareness and foster educational opportunities for the cultures of Asheville’s Sister Cities.