Garmisch-Partenkirchen (German pronunciation: [ˈɡaʁmɪʃ paʁtn̩ˈkɪʁçn̩]) is a mountain resort town located in the province of Bavaria, southern Germany with a population of approximately 30,000 people. The town is situated at the northern end of the European Alps near the borders of Austria & Switzerland. Close by is Germany’s highest mountain, Zugspitze, at 2,962 m (9,718 ft.).
Gretl Uhl and her husband, Sepp, moved from Garmisch-Partenkirchen to Aspen, Colorado in 1953. After learning of President Eisenhower’s development of Sister Cities International, Gretl felt that a sister city relationship between her home town and her new home would be a perfect fit. In September of 1966 exchange visits happened, new friends were made, gifts were exchanged, and papers were signed, making Garmisch-Partenkirchen Aspen’s first sister city. Gretl was the first city coordinator for Aspen and Garmisch-Partenkirchen followed by Wolf Gensch, who moved to Aspen in 1970, and who also was from Garmisch.
Aspen and Garmisch-Partenkirchen have much in common. They are both leading summer and winter resorts in their countries. They face similar challenges of tourism, housing, traffic, marketing, and planning for the future. They are both beautiful beyond belief. They both have many foreign workers, without whom the resort would struggle to provide services to visitors from near and far. For over 50 years the Sister City connection between Aspen and Garmisch-Partenkirchen opened many doors for youth and adults from Garmisch to visit, work, and live in Aspen