Located at the heart of the Saar-Lor-Lux region next to the French border, Saarbruecken is the capital city of the state of Saarland in Germany. It is composed of three towns: Saarbrücken, St. Johann, and Malstatt-Burbach. Saarbruecken is the administrative, commercial, and cultural centre of Saarland.
The term “Saarbruecken” means Saar bridges, with Saar coming from the Celtic term “sara,” which means streaming water, and “saravus,” the Roman name of the river.
What to see & do
Saarbruecken is a small cultural city that is filled with historical buildings and Baroque architecture. It is strongly influenced by its proximity to France, as well as the history of a French-German border town. Head to the Castle Wall to get a panoramic view of the city and discover what it has to offer. One of Saarbruecken’s oldest structures is the Alte Brücke or Old Bridge. Erected in 1546 by Charles V, it connects Alt-Saarbruecken and St. Johann.
The city has several churches that feature great architectural style. Visit Basilica St. Johann, an 18th-century Baroque structure that was granted the title “Basilica Minor” by the Pope. Its bronze portal and entrance area were designed by Saarbruecken artist Ernst Alt. Ludwigskirche, or Ludwig’s Church, is considered as one of the most stylish Protestant Baroque churches in Germany. It was completely destroyed during World War II but was successfully restored. From the church, visitors can see the opposite bank of Saar. Another Baroque structure in Saarbruecken is the Schlosskirche (Castle Church). It was also destroyed during WWII but was restored in the 1950s. It is now a museum called Foundation for the Cultural Heritage of the Saarland (Stiftung Saarländischer Kulturbesitz).
See the Invisible Memorial Square by Jochen Gerz and students from the local Art Academy. In 1993, more than 2,000 flagstones on the way to the castle were dug up and names of Jewish cemeteries were engraved on them to build the square.
For those who are into opera, theatre, and ballet, go to Saarland State Theatre. Sparte4 is a performance location that stages a range of shows and readings.
Saarbruecken also holds annual events including the Max Ophüls Film Festival created for up-and-coming directors. For teenagers, a popular event is the Halberg Open Air Concert at Halberg Hill. This free concert features rock bands and is hosted by local broadcasting company Saarländischer Rundfunk.
How to get around
With city buses and a tram line, it is very easy to get around Saarbruecken. Walking from one point of destination to another is also possible.
How to get there
Visitors travel to Saarbruecken by air and land. Saarbruecken Airport is situated about nine miles from the centre of the city. From the international airport, tourists can ride the regional bus that will take them to the main railway station.
By car, go to Autobahn A6 near the French border. It is a two-hour drive from Mannheim located in the southwestern part of Germany. From Koblenz, visitors can reach the city on the A1, while people coming from Stuttgart can take the A8.
Saarbruecken can also be reached by train. It is connected to the Deutsche Bahn’s ICE and IC/EC network (German Railways). People from Frankfurt can ride the train directly going to the city.
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