Saumur, France

Population: 27,486

Area: 25.58 sq mi

Leadership: Jackie Goulet, Maire de la Ville de Saumur et Président de la Communauté d’agglomération Saumur Val de Loire

Saumur, France has been affiliated with the City of Asheville since 1996. Many exchanges, delegations, projects and events have taken place over two and a half decades of friendship! To learn more about Saumur or to learn how to get involved with the committee, please email

  • Annual Bastille Day celebrations happen each year as a fundraiser for the committee.
  • February 2020, Asheville received 32 high school students from France in partnership with local high schools like the Franklin School of Innovation to home host for two weeks
  • 2019, ASCI participated in Saumur’s “Summer of the Horse” photo exhibition
  • Summer 2019, UNCA student, Diana Casillas, interned at the Chateau de Saumur at the invitation of the Mayor of Saumur
  • September 2018, ASCI received international relations head, Caroline Rabault, and former mayor and Equestrian Federation head, Jean-Michel Marchand, during the World Equestrian Games
  • June 2017, a delegation of 25 ASCI committee members traveled to France in at the invitation of Mayor Marchand to attend Saumur’s annual Anjou Velo Vintage Festival
  • June 2011 delegate, Jerry Plotkin, met with Saumur Mayor Apchin and several members of the Saumur City Council
  • 2010 internship for engineering student, François de Clarens, with Asheville Public Works, directed by Cathy Ball
  • 2007 ASCI sent a delegation to Saumur
  • Visit by jewelry crafts students from Haywood Technical Community College to Saumur
  • Saumur culinary students from the Lycée Jean Bertin Culinary School have created projects on exchange with Asheville restaurant
  • An inter-university agreement exists between UNCA and the Université Catholique de l’Ouest (UCO) near Saumur and Warren Wilson College also developed a partnership with UCO through sister cities’ help
  • April 1999 and 2000 Asheville team participation in Saumur’s Jeanne d’Arc International Basketball Tournament
  • May 29, 2000 official visit of six Saumur city officials to Asheville
  • Built on the banks of the Loire River in the Loire River Valley
  • Current mayor as of 2020 is Jackie Goulet
  • 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 originally constructed in the 10th century
  • Home to the Cadre Noir, the National School of Horsemanship, as well as the Armored Brands and Calvary Training School
  • Tuffeau stone was mainly used to build the city and many caves, called Troglodytes, remain around the town in use as galleries and cellars.