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Saarbrücken ( ; ) is the capital of the state of Saarlandmarker in Germanymarker. The city sits at the heart of a metropolitan area that bounds westwards to Dillingenmarker and northeastwards to Neunkirchenmarker, in which most of the people of the Saarland live.

Saarbrücken used to be the industrial and transport centre of a great coal basin. Production included iron and steel, sugar, beer, pottery, optical instruments, machinery, and construction materials. However, over the past decades the industrial importance of Saarlandmarker has declined, as the mining industry has become unprofitable.

Saarbrücken is a smallish city with approximately 190,000 inhabitants and hence a pleasant size. Picturesque rural attractions and places of historic interest offering the perfect destination for a hike or a daytrip are in the close vicinity and even within the town itself. The cultural palette attracts visitors from far and wide.Saarbrücken has experienced a diverse past in its over 1,000-year history. In 999 Emperor Otto III gave the royal seat “Sarabrucca” to the bishops of Metz as a gift. This is the first documented evidence of the town now known as Saarbrücken.The 18th century buildings designed by the architect Friedrich Joachim Stengel were erected during the heyday of the Baroque period. His constructions moulded the face of the town and set the scene for its consequent architectural development.The Saarland has frequently changed hands between France and Germany during the last 200 years. Since 1957 the region has been an integral part of the Federal Republic of Germany, but the common passion for all things French is unmistakable. A certain “savoir vivre”, a “live and let live” mentality permeates the region’s atmosphere.This is reflected by the local hospitality and predilection for food and drink. The proximity to France can also be detected in the region’s cuisine: for many years renowned food critics have granted restaurants here distinguished awards.Visitors exploring the town on the river Saar will be lead past the mediaeval castle and will soon discover works of the great baroque architect Friedrich Joachim Stengel at every turn. He shaped the look and feel of the town like no other. The three prettiest squares in Saarbrücken are the Schlossplatz, Ludwigsplatz and the St. Johanner Market Square. They act as focal points in Stengel’s urban concept. The bourgeois buildings from the Gründerzeit, the so-called “Founding Epoch” in Germany, form a contrast to the baroque castle. The Neo-Gothic Rathaus St. Johann, Saarbrücken’s town hall, was designed by the architect Georg von Hauberisser and boasts an impressive 50-metre high tower.

Historic landmarks in the city include the stone bridge across the Saarmarker (1546), the Gothic church of St Arnual, the 18th century Saarbrücker Schloss (castle) and the old part of the town, the St. Johanner Markt. In 1815 Saarbrücken came under Prussian control, and for two periods in the 20th century (1919–35 and 1945–57) it became part of the Saarmarker territory under Frenchmarker administration. For this reason, coupled with its proximity to the French border, it retains a certain French influence.

In modern German Saarbrücken literally means Saar bridges, and indeed there are about a dozen bridges across the Saar river. However the name actually predates any bridge at this spot by at least 500 years. The historical name of the town is actually Sarabrucca, derived from the Old High German word Brucca, which became Brocken in High German (rock or boulder in English).


The brief history of Saarbrücken is outlined as below.The state capital of the Saarland region reaches a major milestone in its long and somewhat chequered history as it celebrates a very special anniversary this year.

The state capital of the Saarland region reaches a major milestone in its long and somewhat chequered history as it celebrates a very special anniversary this year. In 1909 the baroque town of Saarbrücken merged with the market town of St. Johann and the industrial town of Malstatt/Burbach to create the city of Saarbrücken.But the history of Saarbrücken goes back much further. First the Celts, then the Romans settled in the area. A pagan mithraic temple was discovered at the foot of the Halberg Mountain and now remains preserved as a ruin. A Celtic hillfort was unearthed on top of the Sonnenberg Hill. On the River Saar, to the east of the present-day town, lay the crossroads of two main trade routes: one running between Metz and Worms, the other between Trier and Strasbourg. In the third century a flourishing Roman settlement (vicus) used to stand on this site and a bridge protected by a fort once crossed the Saar River. The existence of Saarbrücken was first documented in 999 under the name “Castellum Sarabrucca”.

Roman Empire

The Saarmarker area was incorporated into the Roman Empire in the 1st century BC, and later came under the control of the Franks.In 925 it became part of the Holy Roman Empire, but a strong French influence continued.

Middle Ages to 18th century

From 1381 to 1793 the counts of Nassau-Saarbrücken were the main local rulers.Often a prize contended for by its stronger neighbours, the area came under French domination in the 16th century and was incorporated into Francemarker in the 1680s. France was forced to relinquish the Saar in 1697, but from 1793 to 1815 regained control of the region.

19th century

After 1815 much of the area was part of the Prussian Rhine Provincemarker. During the 19th century the coal and iron resources of the region were developed. At the start of the Franco-Prussian War the area was the first target of the French invasion force, and was occupied between August 2 and August 4, 1870, during this war.

20th century

Under the Treaty of Versailles (1919) the Saar coal-mines were made the exclusive property of France for a period of 15 years as compensation for the destruction of French mines during the First World War. The treaty also provided for a plebiscite, at the end of the 15-year period, to determine the territory's future status, and in 1935 more than 90% of the electorate voted for reunification with Germany, while only 0.8% voted for unification with France. The remainder felt that they wanted to rejoin Germany however, not while the Nazis were in power. This 'status quo' group voted for maintenance of the League of Nations administration. The Saar subsequently rejoined Germanymarker.

World War II

Heavily bombed in World War II and made part of the French Zone of Occupation in 1945, the area was made a separate zone in 1946. In 1947, France created the nominally–politically-independent Saar protectorate and merged it economically with France in order to exploit the area's vast coal reserves. Political pressure on France by West Germany and others, as well as the 1955 rejection by the Saarlanders of the compromise solution of Europeanisation of the area, led to the January 1, 1957 political reunion with the Federal Republic of Germanymarker. Economic reintegration would however take many additional years.


The city is served by the Saarbrücken Airportmarker (SCN) and starting in June 2007 ICE high speed train services along the LGV Est line provide high speed connections to Parismarker from Saarbrücken Hauptbahnhofmarker. Uniquely, Saarbrücken's "Saarbahn" (modelled on the Karlsruhe model light rail) crosses the French–German border, connecting to the French city of Sarregueminesmarker

Saarbrücken is also the home of the main campus of Saarland Universitymarker (Universität des Saarlandes). Co-located with the University are several research centres including: as well as well as the Botanischer Garten der Universität des Saarlandesmarker (a botanical garden), and the Korea Institute of Science and Technology Europe Research Society.




Some of the closest big cities are Triermarker, Luxembourgmarker, Nancymarker, Metzmarker, Kaiserslauternmarker, Karlsruhemarker and Mannheimmarker. Saarbrücken is also connected by the city's public transport network to the town of Sarregueminesmarker in France, allowing easy crossing of the border between one country and the other. It is also connected to the satellite town of Völklingenmarker, where the old steel works were the first industrial monument to be declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCOmarker in 1994 — the Völklinger Hüttemarker.

International relations


Twin towns — Sister cities

Saarbrücken is twinned with:Saarbruecken is twinned with:

Famous People

Honorary citizen


File:Saarbruecken-Ludwigskirche.jpg|The Ludwigskirche (Ludwig Church)File:SaarbrückenStJohann1.jpg|St. John's BasilicaFile:Saarbrucken saar 0126.jpg|The Wilhelm-Heinrich-Bridge with a reconstructed river craneFile:Saarbruecken-alte-brucke2.jpg|The Alte Brücke (Old Bridge)File:Saarbruecken-StaatsTheater.jpg|The Staatstheater (theatre)File:Tbilisser-platz-saarbruecken.jpg|The Tbilissi SquareFile:Saarbrücken Halberg Mithrashöhle.JPG|A Mithras shrineFile:Saarbahn johanniskirche.jpg|The Saarbahn tramwayFile:Saarbruecken-campus.jpg|The campus of the Saarland UniversitymarkerFile:DFKI 2.JPG|The Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz (DFKI), the German Research Center for Artificial IntelligenceFile:Saarbrücken Hbf 001.jpg|The central stationFile:Flughafen Saarbruecken 001.jpg|The Saarbrücken Airportmarker


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