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Homburg

 

Homburg (in the local dialect Humborch) is the district town of the Saarpfalz district in Saarland. The university town is the third largest city in Saarland with 41,875 inhabitants (as of December 31, 2019).

 

History

The first settlements existed as early as Roman times in what is now the Schwarzenacker district as an important stop on two intersecting highways (Metz - Mainz and Trier - Strasbourg). In the same place there was also a settlement of the Mediomatriker. However, this reading is controversial today, especially after coin finds in the area.

In the 12th century Hohenburg was the seat of the Counts of Homburg. In 1330 they received city rights from Emperor Ludwig the Bavarian for their city at the foot of the Schlossberg, making it the second oldest city in Saarland after Saarbrücken, which received city rights nine years earlier (1321). After the death of the last Count of Homburg in 1449, the castle and town fell to the Counts of Nassau-Saarbrücken. In the second half of the 16th century they converted the castle into a renaissance castle.

During the reunification period, the French King Louis XIV had his fortress builder Vauban expand the castle and town into a strong fortress between 1679 and 1692. The basic structure of the old town dates from this time. The fortifications were finally razed in 1697 and after a reconstruction from 1705 in 1714. From 1981 the impressive ruins on the Schlossberg were uncovered and restored. Today they are a sight on the Baroque Street Saar-Palatinate.

In 1755 Homburg came from the county of Nassau-Saarbrücken to the Duchy of Palatinate-Zweibrücken by swapping territory. Between 1778 and 1788, Duke Karl II August von Pfalz-Zweibrücken had Karlsberg Castle (hist. Spelling Carlsberg) built on Buchenberg (today's Karlsberg) near Homburg. In 1779 he moved his residence to the Karlsberg. On July 28, 1793, this castle was destroyed by French revolutionary troops.

As a result, Homburg was occupied by French troops as part of the Left Bank of the Rhine. In the Peace of Campo Formio (1797), Emperor Franz II had provisionally recognized the Rhine as the future border between France and the German Empire in a secret treaty. The assignment under international law took place in the Peace of Lunéville (1801). Independently of this, the area was annexed by France and administratively incorporated into the French state in 1798.

After the regional division, which was reorganized according to the French model, Homburg became the capital of the canton of the same name in the arrondissement (sub-prefecture) of Zweibrücken in the Donnersberg department (department du Mont-Tonnerre).

In 1816 Homburg fell to the Rhine district under the Bavarian King Maximilian I Joseph, the younger brother of Duke Karl II August.

After the subdivision of the districts into land commissariats (1818) Homburg became the capital of the land commissariat of the same name. Since the cantons remained from the French territorial division in the Palatinate until 1852, Homburg was still a canton town of the canton Homburg.

At the end of 1831 the journalist and editor of the liberal-democratic newspaper Deutsche Tribüne Johann Georg August Wirth (1798–1848) moved from Munich to Homburg at the invitation of the former Homburg provincial commissioner Philipp Jakob Siebenpfeiffer (1789–1845), as there was a freer spirit there . The region around Homburg and the neighboring Zweibrücken was able to develop into a center of the democratic movement after the Congress of Vienna, since the Kingdom of Bavaria left the Rhine District its freedom rights introduced by the French Revolution of 1789, so u a. also benefit from tax laws that are advantageous for the state. Wirth and Siebenpfeiffer were the initiators of the Hambach Festival; the "Freedom Fountain" in Homburg has been a reminder of this since 1992.


The freedom fountain commemorates the Hambach Festival in 1832 and its initiators Johann Georg August Wirth and Philipp Jakob Siebenpfeiffer, who worked in Homburg.

The Palatinate in 1844. Homburg is at the bottom left of the map. The administrative structure is also recognizable.
In 1849 the Ludwigshafen-Homburg (1848) -Bexbach (Ludwigsbahn) railway was completed.

Due to the territorial provisions of the Versailles Treaty (1919), Homburg belonged to the Saar area from 1920 to 1935, which was placed under French administration for 15 years with a mandate from the League of Nations.

During the Second World War, Homburg suffered severe damage from air raids in 1944/45. In March 1945 one of the few refineries for the production of synthetic fuels was still operating in Homburg; In addition, there were a relatively large number of German troops around the Western Wall. The Western Allies fought their way to reach the Rhine.

 

On March 14, 1945, the Royal Air Force (RAF) and United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) carried out the heaviest air raid on Homburg. 220 people died. The Schlossberg caves served as an air raid shelter. After the conquest of Homburg there was looting.

After the war, the city of Homburg was initially in the French zone of occupation; from 1946 to the end of 1956 it became part of the Saar Protectorate.

On March 8, 1947, an Institut d’Études Supérieures de Hombourg was opened under the patronage of the University of Nancy, from which the Saarland University emerged in 1948. Today the Medical Faculty and the University Hospital of the Saarland University are located in Homburg.

In 1978 the old town renovation and inner city renewal began with the creation of pedestrian zones, squares and fountains.

Incorporations
In 1913 the previously independent municipality of Beeden-Schwarzenbach was incorporated. On April 1, 1936, the Erbach-Reiskirchen community was added, and on April 1, 1938, the Bruchhof-Sanddorf community. In the course of the regional and administrative reform, the communities Einöd, Jägersburg, Kirrberg and Wörschweiler were incorporated on January 1, 1974.