Geography and nature
The Saarland is one of the sunniest parts of Germany as well as a region with a rich natural environment. Its varied terrain results in a similarly wide variety of landscapes, that were dominated by agriculture until well into the time of industrialisation. The proportion of woodland is very high, not least around the Saarland’s highest mountain, the Dollberg, which is almost 700 metres above sea level and located in the far north of the state.
State, politics and history
The Saarland has produced important politicians who have earned fame and recognition even beyond the boundaries of Germany. Successful people from the world of economics, which is closely related to politics, like Peter Hartz, also come from here.
Constitution - Landtag of the Saarland - Elections - Saarland state government - Constitutional court
Minister presidents of the Saarland (chronological):
Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer - Peter Müller - Reinhard Klimmt - Oskar Lafontaine - Werner Zeyer - Werner Klumpp - Franz Josef Röder - Egon Reinert - Hubert Ney - Heinrich Welsch - Johannes Hoffmann
Other politicians (selection):
Julius Adler - Peter Altmeier - Christoph Hartmann - Reinhold Jost - Johann Klein - Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer - Wilhelm Kratz - Jo Leinen - Heiko Maas - Nadine Müller - Hubert Ney - Doris Pack - Karl Rauber - Isolde Ries - Hubert Rohde - Manfred Schäfer - Franz Schneider - Ottmar Schreiner - Gerhard Schröder - Klaus Töpfer - Christina Weiss
Against the backdrop of the Saarland constantly changing hands between two of the great powers of Europe, not only has a typical Saarland dialect developed, but outsiders may also be surprised by the sensitivities and mentality of the Saarlanders. The roots of East German leader, Erich Honecker, led to a string of inner-German town twinnings even before German reunification and before other West German towns followed suit.
History of the Saarland - Otzenhausen hill fort - Roman excavations in the Saarland - County of Nassau-Saarbrücken - Département de la Sarre - Sarre (department) - Saargebiet - Saar statute - Saar Treaty - Principality of Lichtenberg - Palatinate-Zweibrücken - Electorate of Trier - Saar Protectorate - Bridge of Friendship - more ...
It is not widely known that the Saarland is the state with the highest proportion of Roman Catholics. Also interesting are the boundaries of the dioceses and parishes of both Christian denominations that sometimes run through the middle of counties and even individual municipalities. For example, the former Royal Prussian part of the state capital of Saarbrücken belonged to the Bishopric of Trier, whilst the Saarbrücken elements of Ensheim and Eschringen, as former Royal Bavarian settlements, belonged to the Bishopric of Speyer and the Evangelical Church of the Palatinate.
Among the largest churches in the state are Dillingen's Saar Cathedral of the Holy Sacrament, St. Michael's Church in Saarbrücken-St. John's Church and St. Ingbert's St. Joseph's Church.
The art-historically most important church in the state capital of Saarbrücken is the Protestant St. Louis' Church, built in the Baroque style. Popular piety also resulted in pilgrimage sites being established such as the former Gräfinthal Abbey with its miraculous picture of Our Dear Lady with the Arrows, the Oranna Chapel in Berus, St. Wendel's Basilica in St. Wendel or the shrine to Mary in Marpingen's Härtel Forest.
Education, research and culture
An effective college system was established in the Saarland earlier than in other states after the Second World War with the assistance of France. For decades there has been a regular exchange with France in the areas of culture and education. The Saarland was the second state to have Abitur after twelve years.
Economy, media and transport
The smallest non-urban state in Germany by area has undergone enormous structural change since the demise of the coal mines and the massive reduction in the iron and steel industries. That has been reflected in the conversion of transport routes: Until the 1960s, the Saarland had the most railway lines per km². Today it has the most roads per inhabitant of all the non-urban states. It is also notable that in no other state are there so many home-owners as in the Saarland.
Flag of the Saarland Olympic team
As a result of the independence achieved by the Saarland in the 1950s, it made its own Olympia bid for the games in Helsinki 1952. Saarland’s once so successful teams in ball games no longer contend in the top national leagues . But Saarland’s sportsmen and women are well to the fore in some of the minor sports such as Ringen or table tennis.
Tourism, sights und cuisine
Saarland’s many sights are often undiscovered. Not until recent years has tourism developed. This has resulted in an extensive network of well-signed cycleways and footpaths. The premium footpaths are a particular attraction for first time visitors to the Saarland, as are the cultural monuments and local cuisine.
- Born in the Saarland (alphabetic)
Ingrid Caven - Sandra Cretu - Helene Demuth - Volkmar Gross - Boris Henry - Erich Honecker - Philipp Humm - Michael Jakosits - Eduard von Knorr - Patrik Kühnen - Werner Kuhn - Wilfried Loth - Michel Ney - Max Ophüls - David Oppenheimer - Ingrid Peters - Christian Rach - Gustav Regler - Sebastian Reinert - Walter Rilla - Ulrike Rosenbach - Rainer Rupp - Werner Schramm - Bruno Simma - Otto Steinert - Gunter Thielen - Paul Tholey - Kurt Wagner - Andreas Walzer - Christian Weber - Christiane Weber - Albert Weisgerber - Joseph Wendel - Peter Wust - Marc Ziegler
- Worked in the Saarland (alphabetic)
Gerd Boder - Elizabeth of Lorraine - Frank Farian - Joelle Franzmann - Heinrich Konietzny - Louis II of Nassau-Weilburg - Johann Christian von Mannlich - Saint Oranna - Klaus Steinbach - Carl Ferdinand Freiherr von Stumm-Halberg - Hermann Wedekind - Saint Wendelin