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Worldly Relations: Exploring Phoenix’s Sister Cities

From Eastern Europe to Northern Mexico, our city’s reach is far and wide.

By Carly Scholl

In 1972, Phoenix joined the national Sister City movement in an effort to connect culturally and diplomatically with other municipalities around the world. Forty-six years later, we have flourishing relationships with 10 “sisters”: Hermosillo, Mexico; Himeji, Japan; Taipei, Taiwan; Chengdu, China; Ennis, Ireland; Grenoble, France; Calgary, Canada; Catania, Italy; Ramat Gan, Israel; and Prague, Czech Republic. Join us on a journey outside our own city limits, as we explore these far-flung locales two at a time in search of home design inspiration with global flair.

PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC

Sister City since 1991


Against a historical background of Gothic spires and the enchanting medieval Old Town, progressive Modernist and Cubist design forms blossom in this spectacular Bohemian capital city.

Old Town Square with Church of Our Lady before Týn in the distance (top); “Dancing House” (above)

Prewar designer Jindrich Halabala’s vintage furnishings, newly upholstered by Morentz, are whimsical and wondrous examples of early Modern style. Starting at $2,950. (1stdibs.com)

Made in the Czech Republic, Moser glassware exemplifies the luxe quality of Bohemian crystal. $305 for six shot glasses. (maindishaz.com)

These textured placemats from Finell are reminiscent of the Cubist Kovarovic Villa (far right), an example of innovative Czech architecture. $90/set of two. (forthepeoplestore.com)

HERMOSILLO, MEXICO

Sister City since 1975


Just south of our border, Hermosillo dazzles as the capital of the Sonora state. Discover Moresque, Native American and Spanish influences in the architecture, art and design, and a city full of life.

Plaza Zaragoza and the Hermosillo Cathedral

Decorative metal lanterns embody the essence of the Moresque-style bandstand in the city center, Plaza Zaragoza. $160-$420 (tierradellagarto.com)

Local artist Gennaro Garcia, a Sonora native, paints expressive works in the style of the vibrant murals at the Palacio de Gobierno de Sonora (top). “Zule,” acrylic, 40″H by 30″W. $2,500 (artegennaro.com)

Prevalent in the Hermosillo arts scene, carved ironwood sculptures make a dramatic statement. “El Venula” by Dwight Bennett, ironwood and silver, 40″H by 10″W. $25,000 (thesignaturegallery.com)

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