An Exhibition Dedicated to the Future Twin City from Germany Opened in Vinnytsia


On April 14, the Vinnytsia Museum of Transport Models opened the exhibition “Journey to Karlsruhe” dedicated to the future German sister city of Vinnytsia and presented a new exclusive postage stamp “There is no end to the passion for invention!”.

The stamp itself is dedicated to the first car with a gasoline engine, the Benz Patent-Motorwagen, created in 1885 by Karl Benz, a world-famous engineer and native of the Karlsruhe suburb. The brand’s name – “There is no end to the passion for invention!” – was inspired by a quote from Benz himself.

Postage stamp

This is the seventh stamp issued by Vinnytsia Tourism Office in partnership with Ukrposhta. It will launch a new series of exclusive stamps called Vinnytsia: From Ideas to Innovations. The stamp features the first Benz Patent-Motorwagen and a porcelain doll symbolizing the inventor’s wife Bertha Benz (née Ringer). It was she who in 1888 made the first-ever long-distance car trip, traveling 106 kilometers from Mannheim via Karlsruhe to Pforzheim, where her mother lived.

The ceremony of the special redemption of the stamp “There is no end to the passion for invention!” was attended by Vinnytsia Mayor Serhii Morhunov, Rector of Vinnytsia National Technical University Viktor Bilichenko, Chairman of the Vinnytsia Museum of Transport Models, Retro Vehicles, Collections, and Miniatures Oleksandr Vdovychenko and Director of the Vinnytsia Directorate of Ukrposhta Volodymyr Shalovinskyi.

Next week, one of the labeled copies of the stamp block will be sent with the Vinnytsia delegation to Karlsruhe, where it will be handed over to Mayor Frank Mentrup on the occasion of the signing of the twinning agreement.

“Since the beginning of the full-scale war, the city of Karlsruhe has expressed a desire to establish partnership and twinning relations with us. And since then, it has been helping us more than any other German city. For example, green tents, mobile “invincibility points”, of which there were 10 in Vinnytsia, were a gift from Karlsruhe. That is why, prior to signing the twinning agreement, we decided to issue and redeem a thematic stamp with the help of Ukrposhta, because Karl Benz is a rather important figure not only for the city of Karlsruhe but also for the whole world. Especially with his wife, who was the first female driver in history, – said Vinnytsia Mayor Serhii Morhunov.

– It is very valuable that Oleksandr Vdovychenko’s team had the idea to make a miniature of the Karlsruhe railway station and a moving model of the German railway, which reproduces the mountainous surroundings of Karlsruhe. If you look at it, even here we have a lot in common: a tram, a double-decker tourist bus, and a tower… These symbolic coincidences show that we are similar in many ways. And most importantly, we are similar in that we want to live in a European democratic society, without war, according to the relevant European standards, with economic development, innovation, tourism, and quality education”.

Exhibition “Journey to Karlsruhe”

In parallel with the special stamp cancellation ceremony, the Journey to Karlsruhe exhibition was opened to the public.

The exhibition featured a moving model of the German railroad, which recreates the station and the mountainous surroundings of Karlsruhe, with authentic models of railway, tram and funicular cars of the city. The total area is approximately 7 square meters and the scale is 1:87. The exhibition also features original maps and postcards from Karlsruhe and the Baden region and a collection of Mercedes-Benz (formerly Daimler-Benz) car models.

Oleksandr Vdovychenko, director of the Vinnytsia Museum of Transport Models, said that work on this project began last fall. It was supposed to be dedicated to Germany, and when the collectors found out that Vinnytsia and Karlsruhe were planning to become sister cities, they studied the history of this city in more detail and made the installation with German houses and a railway track more thematic.

“For example, this funicular is only in Karlsruhe. This is the oldest operating funicular in Germany (1888). We also bought models of Karlsruhe trams at auctions: 30s, 60s, and a modern one. We bought one in Germany, and the other took a long time to get from France. The tram of this city, by the way, is interesting because its tracks are connected to the railroad tracks (you can travel up to 150 kilometers from the city center). We also have a model of the Karlsruhe football club bus, which we have been looking for for a very long time. This is a popular team in Germany, for which a very cool goalkeeper Oliver Kahn, who was born in Karlsruhe, played”, – said Oleksandr Vdovychenko.

The museum director also said that the Journey to Karlsruhe model will become part of the permanent exhibition, not a temporary installation. However, it will be completed within a month (it is now 75-80% complete). During this time, the Karlsruhe Tower, a German medieval castle, will be completed, trees will be planted, and the area will be populated with human figures, etc. And museum visitors have a unique opportunity to observe this process.

“As for the layout of the train station, it is now illuminated and is to be painted dark gray. There will be a bicycle parking lot next to it, because the first bicycle was also created by an inventor from Karlsruhe, Karl Drais, in 1817. And the most important thing is the figure of Karl Benz, who patented the world’s first gasoline-powered car. There is even a small monument to this car on our model. We bought it in the United States specifically for this project. Although there is no such monument in Karlsruhe. We wanted to surprise in this project with transport. I hope that visitors will appreciate it, including guests from Karlsruhe”, – said Oleksandr Vdovychenko.

You can see the exhibition at the Vinnytsia Museum of Transport Models (64 Soborna St.) every day from 12:00 to 20:00.