SAARBRUCKEN, a town of Germany, in the Prussian Rhine Province, on the left bank of the Saar, a navigable tributary of the Mosel, is situated 49 m. by rail N.E. of Metz, at the south end of one of the most extensive coal-fields in Europe, to which it has given its name. Pop. (1885) 10,453; (i9s) 26,944. With the towns of St Johann, immediately opposite on the right bank of the river, and Malstatt-Burbach, Saarbrucken forms a single community, the three places having been united in 1909. Saarbrucken has four Protestant churches, a Roman Catholic and an Old Catholic church, and a town hall adorned with paintings by Anton von Werner, illustrating episodes of the war of 1870. Other buildings are the castle, until 1793 the residence of the princes of the house of Nassau-Saarbriicken; a gymnasium, founded in 1615, and a celebrated mining academy. The industries of St Johann-Saarbrticken include wool-spinning, brewing, and the manufacture of leather, tobacco, chemicals and iron wares. The trade is chiefly connected with the produce of the neighbouring coal-mines and that of the numerous important iron and glass works of the district. The Saarbrucken coal-fields extend over 70 sq. m., are estimated to yield about 10,000,000 tons annually, and give employment to nearly 50,000 men.
Saarbrucken owes its name to a bridge which existed in Roman times. Its early lords were the bishops of Metz, the counts of the lower Saargau, and the counts of the Ardennes. From 1381 to 1793 it belonged to the counts of Nassau- Saarbriicken, and then, after having been in the possession of France from 1801 to 1815, it passed to Prussia. In the Franco-Prussian War Saarbrucken was seized by the French on the 2nd of August 1870, but the first German victory on the heights of Spicheren, 3 m. to the south, relieved it four days later.
See Kollner, Geschichte der Stddte Saarbrucken und St Johann (Saarbrucken, 1865); Ruppersberg, Geschichte der ehemaligen Grafschaft Saarbrucken (Saarbrucken, 1899-1903); and H. Kniebe, Bilder aus Saarbruckens Vergangenheit (Saarbrucken, 1894).
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)