10 largest cities in Germany
Berlin
Hamburg
Munich
Cologne
Frankfurt am Main
Hanover
Dusseldorf
Leipzig
Bremen
Dresden

 

Saarbrücken

 

Saarbrücken (in the neighboring Moselle Franconian dialect area Saabrekgen, French: Sarrebruck) is the state capital of Saarland. Today's university town and only major Saarland city lies on the Saar and was created in 1909 from the merger of the three previously independent cities of Saarbrücken (city survey 1322), St. Johann a d. Saar (city survey 1322) and Malstatt-Burbach (city survey 1874). Saarbrücken is the center and regiopolis of a metropolitan area that extends beyond the border between Saarland and Lorraine, and in terms of population it ranks 42nd among the largest cities in the Federal Republic of Germany.

Saarbrücken is the political, economic and cultural center of Saarland and the seat of the Saarbrücken regional association, a special kind of local authority association.

 

History

Prehistory and early history
A prehistoric settlement is suspected in the core area of ​​St. Johann, but it is covered by today's buildings, so that only incidental finds are made. Hunting remains (aurochs horn cones) from the Paleolithic were found in Burbach. Stone blades and ceramics were found in St. Johann from the Neolithic Age. A barrow in Brebach-Fechingen and a homestead in Güdingen with significant remains (e.g. a bronze wheel needle) date from the Middle Bronze Age. Neck and arm rings from the Iron Age were discovered at a burial site in St. Johann.

Antiquity
In the area of ​​old Saarbrücken there was already a settlement of the Mediomatriker in pre-Roman times. A Celtic hilltop castle with a princely seat was located on the Sonnenberg. Upstream from the current city center, in the St. Arnual district and in the area of ​​the wholesale market at the foot of Halberg, remains of Roman settlements have been found. The place name of the settlement on Halberg, documented on a milestone, was Vicus Saravus (Saarort). With this vicus, a settlement center emerged for the first time in what is now Saarbrücken's urban area. Two highways crossed here (Metz – Mainz, Strasbourg – Trier).

A Roman settlement on the flood-free terrace in today's St. Johann is suspected, a stick dam in the area of ​​today's Dudweilerstrasse and Gerberstrasse has been proven. The first development of the Vicus Saravus arose in the early imperial period parallel to the course of the Saar. A cemetery of the settlement was inside, one outside of the town development at the foot of the Halberg. The sources of the Schwarzenberg were brought into the settlement with the help of an above and below ground water pipe since the middle of the 2nd century AD. There is evidence of a Merkur temple on Eschberg and a Mithras sanctuary on Halberg.

Hypocaust heating and finds of medical equipment suggest a certain comfort and medical care. The road connection to the other bank of the Saar was originally ensured by a ford, later by a bridge, which was probably usable until the high Middle Ages and the remains of which were blown up in 1863 in the course of the Saar sewer system. Other bridges were located above today's Güdingen and were usable until the 17th century. The previous buildings on the site of today's Gothic collegiate church Sankt Arnual are also of Roman origin. Further finds are suspected in the area of ​​St. Arnualer Markt and in the former abbey district.

The prosperous Vicus Saravus was completely burned down in the year 275/6 AD during an invasion of the Alemanni. After the reconstruction, the settlement probably fell victim to a German invasion in AD 350, which resulted in the rapid decline of the place.

In late Roman times, the construction of a fort (Saarbrücken Roman fort) on an irregular hexagonal ground plan had begun to protect against invasions. It formed a bridgehead and included the road and the Saar Bridge. Four corners of the fort, which offered space for a small Roman garrison, were secured by round towers. The presumably associated vicus Saravus fell with the last Germanic storms at the beginning of the fifth century or with the passage of the Huns on their way to Metz. To the left of the Saar, around the collegiate church of Sankt Arnual, there was evidence of a Roman settlement with a larger villa. Further Roman settlements were found throughout the present city.

Middle age
From around 520 the Franconian population settled next to resident Gallo-Romans. In the ruins of the Roman villa in today's St. Arnual district, the first church was built in Merovingian times as the burial place of the Metz bishop Arnual. This church was the center of a clerical community in what was then the village of Merkingen, which was later renamed after St. Arnual. The church is said to be a gift from the Merovingian King Theudebert II. From around 830 onwards, the Merkingen clergy community developed into a collegiate foundation.

The oldest places mentioned in a document that today belong to the state capital Saarbrücken are Fechingen (777), Eschringen (893), Dudweiler (977) and Malstatt (960).

 

In the Treaty of Verdun in 843, when the Carolingian Empire was divided, the Saar region became part of the Middle Empire of Emperor Lothar (Lotharii Regnum). A castle that was owned by the king was probably built around this time on the Saarfelsen, where Saarbrücken Castle is today.

This castle was in a deed of gift from Emperor Otto III. on April 14, 999 first mentioned as the royal castle "castellum Sarabrucca", which was given to the Metz bishop Adalbero II. King Heinrich IV confirmed in a document dated April 3, 1065 that Saarbrücken Castle was awarded to the Bishop of Metz, Adalbero III. from Luxembourg.

In the period of 1085/1088 the Saargaugrafen were enfeoffed with the Saarbrücken castle. Since 1118 and 1123 the Saargaugrafen named themselves after the castle "Counts of Saarbrücken".

On December 1, 1145 Pope Eugene III. in Vetralla called for a second crusade with the first "cruise bull" Quantum praedecessores. After a sermon on this by Bernhard von Clairvaux, the French King Louis VII solemnly declared his participation in the crusade on March 31, 1146 in Vézelay. Ludwig was to receive the supreme command of the crusade, which now more and more volunteers, not only from France, but also from Flanders, England and northern Italy joined. The French contingent of the Second Crusade arrived in St. Arnual in 1147 under the leadership of King Ludwig VII. A Roman bridge made it possible to cross the Saar for a larger army on the way from Metz to Worms. On the first Sunday after Trinity, the monastery of St. Arnual and the Bishop of Trier Albero von Montreuil organized a banquet for the French king and the later Count of Champagne, Henry the Generous, and provided them with travel provisions.

On the orders of Emperor Friedrich I ("Barbarossa"), the Saarbrücken castle was partially destroyed. After 1171 the castle complex was rebuilt and a small settlement was established west of the castle, in which castle men, traders and people seeking protection settled in the vicinity of the castle; the settlement of (old) Saarbrücken developed. In 1227 by Simon III. the German Order Coming St. Elisabeth was founded, which received charitable tasks and limited jurisdiction and gained considerable prestige and influence in the following generations. The chapel, built in the 13th century as an infirmary, is considered to be the oldest still existing medieval building in Saarbrücken.

From around 1250–1270 the old collegiate church of St. Arnual was replaced by a new Gothic building that still exists today. Around this time the Saar crossing was moved from St. Arnual to today's city center. A ferry connection between Saarbrücken and the neighboring settlement of St. Johann ensured transport from bank to bank. The opening of the Gotthard Pass after 1220 led to an increase in south-north trade, which took an important route via Saarbrücken. A settlement called Hendung near today's Südfriedhof was first mentioned in a document in 1252. However, it fell in the third quarter of the 15th century. Shortly after the naming of Hendung, the settlement of Breitenbach was mentioned in 1259, near today's Deutschmühlenweiher. It also fell in a desolate manner after 1452.

After 1261, the construction of the St. Nicholas chapel began on the site of today's castle church. The existence of the village of St. Johann with its Johanneskapelle was first mentioned in 1265. Today's Saarbrücken district of Burbach was first mentioned in a document around 1290.

The new Gothic building of the St. Arnual collegiate church was completed around 1390.

In 1322, Count Johann I von Saarbrücken-Commercy granted Saarbrücken (today's district of Alt-Saarbrücken) and St. Johann city rights in a letter of freedom. The Eschberg settlement was first mentioned in 1393.

In 1353 Saarbrücken fell to the House of Nassau (Walramische Linie), who owned the city and county until the French Revolution and the Congress of Vienna. In 1398, King Wenzel the Lazy granted the right to mint to the Saarbrücken Count Philip I of Nassau-Saarbrücken-Weilburg. The Saarbrücken craftsmen organized themselves into guilds before 1412. The Saarbrücken countess Elisabeth von Lothringen pioneered the prose novel in early New High German in the first half of the 15th century. She translated and edited four French courtly novels (Chanson de geste) around 1437: "Herpin", "Sibille", "Loher and Maller" and "Huge Scheppel".

 

In 1459 a new fortification of the castle was made by Count Johann III. started and the castle chapel was relocated in the following years. From 1462 onwards, the Saarbrücken city court had its own seal. This seal is still part of the Saarbrücken city arms.

From around 1470–1480, the old Nikolauskapelle in Saarbrücken was replaced by today's late Gothic castle church. Probably at the instigation of Emperor Charles V, the construction of today's Old Bridge over the Saar was started by Count Philip II in the years 1546–1548. From this time on, Reformation ideas began to spread in the county of Saarbrücken, starting from the St. Arnual Collegiate Foundation, which was dissolved in 1569.

Reformation and early modern times
In 1574, the County of Nassau-Saarbrücken fell by inheritance to Count Philip III, who introduced the Reformation according to the Lutheran confession. In 1577, construction of the count's summer house on the castle wall above the Saar began in the castle area. The medieval castle was redesigned into a renaissance castle in the years 1602–1617 by the master builder Kempter von Vic. Today's Ludwigsgymnasium was founded in 1604. The Sankt Arnual Abbey already had a collegiate school in 1223. After the dissolution of the monastery in 1569 and the introduction of the Reformation in 1575, Philip III formed. from Nassau-Saarbrücken it became a Latin school in the 16th century. In 1604, Count Ludwig II of Nassau-Saarbrücken finally founded a high school as an educational center for Nassau-Saarbrücken, which was financed by the income of the St. Arnual Abbey. The first rector was Wilhelm Ursinus. In accordance with the church tradition of the grammar school and its main purpose during the Baroque period, namely to prepare the country’s young pastors and officials for studying theology or law, the teachers and rectors of the grammar school were also Protestant pastors.

The Thirty Years War devastated Saarbrücken terribly. In 1627 there was the first serious war raid in the county. The count's family fled to Metz in 1635. Further decimated by the outbreak of the plague, only 70 people lived in the destroyed city in 1637.

The French King Louis XIV had Saarbrücken burned down in the Franco-Dutch War in 1677; The entire city was destroyed except for eight houses. As part of the French reunification policy, Saarbrücken was annexed to the Kingdom of France shortly after the end of the war in 1680, but returned to the Holy Roman Empire in the Peace of Rijswijk in 1697.

After Wilhelm Heinrich came to power in 1741, the city experienced an unprecedented economic boom, coal mines were nationalized and iron smelters were established. In addition, the baroque residential palace Saarbrücken, built by Friedrich Joachim Stengel, and numerous other buildings were built that transformed Saarbrücken into a closed baroque city with numerous lines of sight and baroque streets. In 1775 the Ludwig Church was completed, one of the most important baroque buildings in Germany and a symbol of the city of Saarbrücken. The erection of the Saarkranen in 1762 documented the upswing of the Saarbrücken merchants. Under the rule of Prince Ludwig von Nassau-Saarbrücken, the princely residence was further expanded and Ludwigsberg Palace was laid out under the spell of Malstatter.

French Revolution, the rule of Napoleon, transition to the Kingdom of Prussia
In 1792 the city was occupied by French revolutionary troops who looted and occupied the baroque palace. In the ensuing battles with the Prussian federal troops, in whose ranks the Hereditary Prince Heinrich von Nassau-Saarbrücken also served as an officer, the castle caught fire in 1793 and was partially destroyed. The princely family had previously fled to the area on the right bank of the Rhine.

Through the Peace of Campo Formio in 1797 and the Peace Treaty of Lunéville in 1801 Saarbrücken came under the rule of Napoleon Bonaparte to France. As early as 1798, Saarbrücken and the neighboring town of St. Johann were incorporated into the French Département de la Sarre and the city administration (Mairie) was redesigned in 1801 based on the French model. Numerous men from Saarbrücken had to do military service on all battlefields in Europe during the Napoleonic Wars.

 

After Napoleon Bonaparte had been forced to abdicate, was with the Bourbon Louis XVIII. the first Treaty of Paris concluded on May 31, 1814, according to which France was restricted to the state borders of 1792. Exceptions were the cities of Saarbrücken, Saarlouis and Landau, which were to remain with France.

After Napoleon's return and his final defeat at Waterloo on June 18, 1815, as well as his exile on the island of St. Helena, Saarbrücken was separated from France again in the Second Peace of Paris and handed over to the Kingdom of Prussia. Several petitions from merchants from Saarbrücken and St. Johann and a signature campaign under the leadership of Saarbrücken Mayor Heinrich Böcking, which aimed to join the Saarorte to the Kingdom of Prussia, played a not insignificant role.

When the question of the future state affiliation of the Saar places was discussed in the course of the wars of liberation in 1814/15, Böcking was, alongside Philipp Fauth, the most outstanding advocate of incorporation into Prussia. Böcking belonged to various delegations, in particular the deputation sent to the Paris Peace Conference in the summer of 1815. There was very close contact with the Prussian negotiator in the Paris peace negotiations in 1815, Karl August Freiherr von Hardenberg.

On November 30, 1815, the Prussian government officially took possession of Saarbrücken and the rest of the Saar locations through an official ceremony by the Prussian government in the Saarbrücker Ludwigskirche.

The Saarbrücken mayor's office was established in the Saarbrücken area with the municipalities of Saarbrücken and St. Johann and the rural municipalities of Malstatt, Burbach, Brebach and Rußhütte. In 1816, Saarbrücken became the seat of a district within the Trier administrative district of the Grand Duchy of the Lower Rhine province, which became part of the Rhine province in 1822. A mining authority was set up to manage the state coal mines in the area. The Saarbrücken Regional Court was founded in 1835.

Various civic associations took part in petitions and demonstrations in the context of the revolution of 1848. Democratically minded officials were reprimanded by the Prussian authoritarian state. A vigilante group was set up as a preventive measure against French looters or against possible revolts by the dispossessed lower class, which suffered particularly from the economic misery of the 1840s. The vigilante groups were equipped with weapons and uniforms, the civic daughters sewed a black, red and gold tricolor and embroidered the German double-headed eagle. After the failure of the revolution, the 1848 tradition lived partly in the shooting society founded in 1848 and still in existence. According to the statutes of 1848, it was the aim of the association "to receive training through continuous practice - in order, as part of the people's armament, to be useful to the fatherland in times of danger".

Industrial boom
With the construction of the train station in St. Johann in the years 1850–1852 and the resulting connection to the German and French railway network, far-reaching economic growth was initiated. In 1856, the Burbach ironworks went into operation, and within a few years it developed into the largest company in the entire area. In 1859 St. Johann was granted the right to form its own city administration, which ended the centuries-old joint administration of Saarbrücken and St. Johann. After 1860, a Saar harbor was built in the border area between Malstatt and St. Johann, in the area of ​​today's congress hall and the Bürgerpark. With the completion of the Saar-Kohlen Canal in 1866, Saarbrücken was connected to the French waterway network.

Franco-German War

At the beginning of the Franco-Prussian War, in August 1870, the Battle of Spichern took place directly on the city limits, which was associated with great losses for both sides. After the declaration of war by the French Emperor Napoleon III. against Prussia on July 19, 1870, the Prussian troops had initially withdrawn from Saarbrücken, so that the French army could take Saarbrücken on August 2nd. The French built extensive and skilful border fortifications on the Spicherer Heights (on French territory). Nevertheless, on August 6, 1870, the German troops attacked and after heavy losses (almost three times as many soldiers fell on the German side than on the French), they were able to conquer the heights. The Germans celebrated the battle with great propaganda effort, although it was not of decisive importance for the outcome of the war. In the town hall of Saarbrücken, today's Old Town Hall, a patriotic memorial was set up with the Saarbrücken town hall cycle by Anton von Werner in memory of the war events. The Winterberg Monument was also erected.

Saarbrücken in the German Empire
The communities Malstatt and Burbach united in 1875 and were elevated to the status of town. Rapid population growth began in the city, which is characterized by industrial companies. In 1897 St. Arnual was incorporated into Saarbrücken. Between the years 1897 and 1900, the neo-Gothic St. Johann town hall was built according to plans by Georg von Hauberrisser, and after 1909 it became the town hall of Saarbrücken.

By contract of December 5, 1908, the independent cities of Saarbrücken, St. Johann and Malstatt-Burbach were united with effect from April 1, 1909 into one city with the name Saarbrücken. The previous city of Saarbrücken has been called Alt-Saarbrücken since then. The new city of Saarbrücken had around 105,000 inhabitants when it was founded, making it the fifth largest German city on the left bank of the Rhine. At the same time, the city of Saarbrücken left the Saarbrücken district and became an independent city. According to the city archives, it is a rumor that the dispute over the city name to be chosen, Saarbrücken or St. Johann, led to a gun duel between the mayors. There was such a duel, but already in 1894 and at that time it was not about the name of the new city, but about the location of the district command, i.e. a military authority. How it ended is not clear. The fact is: The district command was in St. Johann on Landwehrplatz and the mayors were confronted with legal consequences because of the duel.

First World War and First Saar Territory Period
During the First World War, Saarbrücken played an important strategic role in supplying the armies at the front. With the exception of a few air strikes, the civilian population was spared the fighting. Nevertheless, people's lives were marked by suffering and hardship. In November 1918 the victorious French troops marched in.

After the First World War, as a result of the provisions of the Versailles Peace Treaty, the Saar region and with it the city of Saarbrücken were placed under the administration of the League of Nations. Saarbrücken became the capital of the Saar area and is developing into the economic, political and cultural center of the region. The first Saarbrücken airport was opened in St. Arnual in 1928. During the League of Nations mandate over the Saar area (1920–1935) there was also a domain school in Saarbrücken. Heinrich Rodenstein also taught at this school in Talstrasse for a short time.

National Socialism and World War II
In the referendum on January 13, 1935, determined by the Versailles Treaty, the majority of the population (90.8%) of the Saar area decided to reintegrate into the German Empire. Numerous citizens were forced to emigrate because political and racially motivated persecution by the Nazi system began immediately after the vote.

The new "Gautheater (Westmark)" was built in the years 1937 and 1938 according to designs by Paul Otto August Baumgarten in neoclassical style. It was officially "given" to Saarland by the then National Socialist government for the result of the vote in 1935, with which the Saarlanders had decided to become part of the German Reich, although a large part had to be financed by the city of Saarbrücken. According to the will of the rulers on the border of the German Empire, the building was to serve as a “bulwark” against France.

In the same year the synagogue in St. Johann was burned down during the so-called Reichskristallnacht and there were anti-Semitic excesses of the local SS units.

 

In 1939 Saarbrücken, which was integrated into the fortifications of the Siegfried Line and was located in the red zone, was cleared at the beginning of the Second World War. The population was brought to safety in an evacuation operation in other parts of the German Reich. The city was only allowed to be repopulated in 1940 after the French campaign ended victoriously. Saarbrücken became the NSDAP district capital and the seat of the state administration for the Palatinate, Saarland and the annexed Moselle department. The Mayor of Saarbrücken also managed the neighboring French town of Forbach. On October 21 and 22, 1940, the last Saarbrücken Jews were transported to the Gurs internment camp as part of the Wagner-Bürckel campaign (after Gauleiter Josef Bürckel). From here most of them had to make their way to the extermination camps in 1944.

Apart from artillery fire and fighter-bomber attacks, Saarbrücken suffered a total of 30 air raids by the Allied air forces between 1939 and 1940. The first bombing raid on the city took place on the night of July 29-30, 1942.

In 1943 the Gestapo camp Neue Bremm was established. The camp existed until the Allied troops marched in in the winter of 1944/45. The prisoners (including those from France, the Soviet Union, Poland and Great Britain) were mostly transported from there to concentration camps. The number of those murdered is estimated at a few hundred, the total of the inmates at around 20,000.

In the course of the war Saarbrücken was badly damaged by bombing raids by the British and American air forces. The heaviest attack occurred on the night of October 5-6, 1944, when 325 British bombers dropped over 350,000 incendiary bombs over the city. 361 people were killed and 45,000 were left homeless. Old Saarbrücken was almost completely destroyed. Another evacuation of the city was ordered.

The last air raids on Saarbrücken took place on January 13, 1945, ten years after the Saar referendum, when the British Air Force flew a mission with 274 aircraft, and on January 14/15. March 1945, before American troops marched into the almost deserted Saarbrücken on March 21, 1945. The urban area was 90% destroyed in the center and 60% in the outskirts. The main areas of destruction were on both sides of the Saar and the railway line and extended from the Bismarck Bridge to Malstatt-Burbach. Of the residential buildings, 43% were totally destroyed, 35% were slightly to moderately damaged and only 21% remained undamaged. The latter were in the quarters to the left of the Saar in the direction of St. Arnual, Feldmannstrasse and the Hohen Wacht and to the right of the Saar on the Rotenbühl.

Post war period
On March 21, 1945, US troops captured the so-called "Saarbrücken Fortress" from two sides. In Saarbrücken only about 7,000 inhabitants were counted (from about 130,000 before the war). On July 29, 1945, the city, like the entire Saar area, was placed under French military rule.

In the first months of the occupation by US troops, when the refugee population of Saarbrücken gradually returned, mainly rubble was cleared away and makeshift security work was carried out on repairable buildings. Only after the establishment of the French military government was the systematic clearing and reconstruction of public buildings and the Saarbrücken churches started in cooperation with the administrative commission. Because of the considerable extent of the war damage, the French military government appointed the urban planner Georges-Henri Pingusson, who with the “Equipe des Urbanistes de la Sarre” presented an important reconstruction plan for a modern, car-friendly urban complex with wide street openings and huge apartment blocks. The realization of this plan failed, however, because massive expropriation actions with compensation for the previous landowners would have had to be carried out. The city's entire, almost intact underground infrastructure network should have been given up. In addition, the long-term Pingusson plan was controversial as there was an immediate need for apartments, schools, administrative buildings and churches. The reconstruction of the necessary buildings was carried out with constant compromises. A conglomerate of rebuilt houses and multi-story modern high-rise buildings emerged. But even at the end of the 1950s there were numerous emergency quarters, war-related vacant lots and rubble plots in the urban area.

 

During the reconstruction, as in other war-torn cities, some potentially preservable historical buildings and urban structures were demolished. One of the most extensive interventions in the historic Saarbrücken city plan is the construction of the A 620 city motorway. To enable the A 620 to be built through the city center of Saarbrücken along the Saar, the front - younger - castle wall of Saarbrücken Castle was torn down and by several meters offset to the rear. The old bridge, which had been connected to the front wall until then, had become “too short”, the newly created gap above the new motorway was spanned by a steel footbridge (popularly known as the “bottleneck”). The historic Oberamtshaus on the castle wall, built by Friedrich Joachim Stengel, was completely demolished, as was the row of houses that closed off Neumarkt on the Saar side. The former rectangular square of the Neumarkt, which until then had a comparable function for old Saarbrücken as the St. Johanner Markt on the opposite side of the Saar, has not been recognizable as such since then and is characterized by the busy Wilhelm Heinrich Bridge.

Two years after the end of the Second World War, in 1947, Saarland became an autonomous state with Saarbrücken as its capital. The Saarland University was founded in 1948 with French support. It emerged from the Institut d’Études Supérieures de Hombourg, which was initially affiliated to the Nancy Université. On March 8, 1947, the first institute of the Saarland University was inaugurated in Homburg as a branch of the University of Nancy. Saarbrücken had already become a trade fair city with the Saarmesse in 1950. At the beginning of the 1950s, the city applied for the seat of the European Coal and Steel Community.

In 1955 there was a vote on the Saar Statute, which had been strongly propagated by the government of Prime Minister Johannes Hoffmann. In the Saarland referendum held on October 23, 1955, 30,858 people in the then urban area of ​​Saarbrücken voted for this statute and 48,063 people against. (The national average of the no-sayers was 67.7%; 663,970 people were entitled to vote, which corresponds to approx. 66% of the total population.).

Thereupon the government of Prime Minister Johannes Hoffmann resigned and Saarbrücken and the Saarland were politically and economically in 1959 ("Day X") attached to the Federal Republic of Germany. Saarbrücken thus became the capital of the tenth federal state (West Berlin was not officially a federal state) of the Federal Republic of Germany.

After 1960, Saarbrücken was connected to the German motorway network with the construction of the city motorway, which destroyed numerous buildings in the city.

With the territorial and administrative reform in Saarland in 1974, Saarbrücken was enlarged with eleven surrounding cities and communities; the population almost doubled to over 200,000 people, the urban area tripled. At the same time, the previously independent city was merged with the Saarbrücken district to form the Saarbrücken city association. This was the first time in Germany that a local association of a special kind was created that is comparable to a district. Partnerships have been concluded with Nantes, Tbilisi (Georgia) and Cottbus. In 1999 the city of Saarbrücken celebrated the 1000th anniversary of its first documentary mention.

21st century
On April 1, 2004, Saarbrücken's mayor Hajo Hoffmann, who was also convicted of infidelity in the second instance, resigned after he had been suspended from his post in August 2002. The case made headlines nationwide, as he initially did not pay bills for construction work and the construction of the garden himself for the construction of his private house, but these were paid by the urban settlement company.

Since October 2004, Charlotte Britz (SPD) has headed the administration as Lord Mayor. During this time, some projects were started in the city: the city developed a new urban quarter Eurobahnhof in the immediate city center on the former railway site, in which commercial and cultural facilities were to be decisive, and in 2009 the city center on the river project, which was not undisputed among the population, started. The aim is to relocate the city motorway (A 620) running through the center of the city into a tunnel.

On January 1, 2008, the city association was transformed into the Saarbrücken regional association. Ulf Huppert has been appointed acting regional association director. In June 2009, Peter Gillo (SPD) was elected regional association director in a primary election in the second ballot; he took office in August 2009.