Newcastles of the World
Have you ever searched for something about “our” Newcastle on the internet and ended up finding info about Newcastle upon Tyne or some other place called Newcastle even further afield? You are probably not alone!
There is a whole project dedicated to finding and linking towns and cities around the world that share the name. John Nicolaou, an arts manager based in Newcastle upon Tyne started the initiative in 1996. So far, more than 100 Newcastles have been identified.
While it’s easy to find towns called “Newcastle” or “New Castle” in the English speaking world, things start to get a bit more challenging once you broaden your search to other languages.
The mayor of the Japanese city of Shinshiro, another Newcastle, even organized a global summit in 1998 with attendees from South Africa (Newcastle), Germany (Neuburg-an-der-Donau), Switzerland (Neuchâtel) the US (New Castle, Indiana, New Castle, Pennsylvania), the UK (Newcastle-under-Lyme) and France (Neufchâteau) joining their hosts in Japan. The summit triggered the initiative “Newcastles of the World” with the aim was to foster links of friendship, culture, education and tourism, hopefully leading to economic links and benefits.
There have since been subsequent events including in Neuburg, Germany in 2008, the Czech Republic (Nové Hrady) in 2014, Newcastle, Ontario, Canada in 2016 and a 20th anniversary conference in Shinshiro, Japan in 2018. Akhaltsikhe (Georgia), Jaunpils (Latvia), Newcastle, Ontario (Canada) and Newcastle, New South Wales (Australia) attended for the first time in 2012, as well as Nové Hrady. Nyborg (Denmark) attended for the first time in 2014, Nové Zamky (Slovakia) for the first time in 2016 and Herceg Novi (Montenegro) for the first time in 2018
It had been planned that the next conference would be held again in Neuchâtel, Switzerland in 2020, but the worldwide coronavirus caused its postponement until 2022.