Coat of arms of Saarbrücken
Saarbrücken is located in Germany
Coordinates 49°14′0″N 7°0′0″E / 49.233333°N 7°E / 49.233333; 7Coordinates: 49°14′0″N 7°0′0″E / 49.233333°N 7°E / 49.233333; 7
Country Germany
State Saarland
District Saarbrücken
City subdivisions 20
Mayor Charlotte Britz (SPD)
Basic statistics
Area 167.07 km2 (64.51 sq mi)
Elevation 230.1 m  (755 ft)
Population 175,741 (31 December 2010)[1]
 - Density 1,052 /km2 (2,724 /sq mi)
Other information
Time zone CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Licence plate SB
Postal codes 66001–66133
Area codes 0681, 06893, 06897, 06898, 06805
County of Saarbrücken
Grafschaft Saarbrücken (de)
Comté de Sarrebruck (fr)
Grofschaft Saarbrécken (lb)
State of the Holy Roman Empire
Bishopric of Metz
ca 1120–1797

Coat of arms

Capital Saarbrücken
Language(s) Rhine Franconian; see language of the Saarland
Government Principality
Historical era Middle Ages
 - Joined the Holy
    Roman Empire

 - Gained Imp. immediacy ca 1120 the 12th century
 - To Nassau-Weilburg 1353
 - Occupied by France 1793
 - Annexed by France 1797
 - Passed to Prussian
    Grd Dchy Lwr Rhine

9 June 1815

Saarbrücken (German pronunciation: [zaːɐ̯ˈbʁʏkən]; French: Sarrebruck, IPA: [saʁbʁyk]) is the capital of the state of Saarland in Germany. The city is situated at the heart of a metropolitan area that borders on the west on Dillingen and to the north-east on Neunkirchen, where 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 Saarland has declined, as the mining industry has become unprofitable.

Historic landmarks in the city include the stone bridge across the Saar (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 Saar territory under French 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).



Roman Empire

The Saar 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.

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 France 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 Province. 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 2 and 4 August 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 wanted to rejoin Germany but not while the Nazis were in power. This 'status quo' group voted for maintenance of the League of Nations administration. The Saar subsequently rejoined Germany.

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 1 January 1957 political reunion with the Federal Republic of Germany. Economic reintegration would however take many additional years.


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

Saarbrücken is also the home of the main campus of Saarland University (Universität des Saarlandes). Co-located with the University are several research centres including:



Climate chart (explanation)
Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation totals in mm
Source: 2007-12-01


Some of the closest big cities are Trier, Luxembourg, Nancy, Metz, Kaiserslautern, Karlsruhe and Mannheim. Saarbrücken is also connected by the city's public transport network to the town of Sarreguemines in France, allowing easy crossing of the border between one country and the other. It is also connected to the satellite town of Völklingen, where the old steel works were the first industrial monument to be declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1994 — the Völklinger Hütte.

International relations

Saarbrücken is twinned with Tbilisi, Georgia

Saarbrücken is a fellow member of the QuattroPole union of cities, along with Luxembourg, Metz, and Trier (neighbouring countries: Luxembourg and France).

Twin towns – Sister cities

Saarbrücken is twinned with:

Famous people

Honorary citizen

  • Willi Graf (2 January 1918 - 12 October 1943), member of the White Rose resistance group
  • Richard Becker (Politiker) (10 October 1884 - 11 April 1969), Politician and Businessman




External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

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