Sarrebourg (French pronunciation: [saʁbuʁ]; also German: Saarburg, pronounced [ˈzaːɐ̯bʊʁk]; Lorraine Franconian: Saarbuerj; older Latin: Pons Saravi) is a commune of northeastern France.

The former town hall in Sarrebourg
The former town hall in Sarrebourg
Coat of arms of Sarrebourg
Location of Sarrebourg
Sarrebourg is located in France
Sarrebourg is located in Grand Est
Coordinates: 48°44′N 7°03′E / 48.74°N 7.05°E / 48.74; 7.05
RegionGrand Est
IntercommunalitySarrebourg - Moselle Sud
 • Mayor (2020–2026) Alain Marty[1]
16.40 km2 (6.33 sq mi)
 • Density750/km2 (2,000/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)
INSEE/Postal code
57630 /57400
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.

In 1895 a Mithraeum was discovered at Sarrebourg at the mouth of the pass leading from the Vosges Mountains.



Sarrebourg is located in the department of Moselle, Lorraine, administrative region of Grand Est.

It lies in on the upper course of the river Saar. The Vosges mountains are located about 10 kilometers south of the locality.

To the northwest, the Oberwald forest massif - where the state forest of the municipality is located.

It is 54 km away from Strasbourg, 64 km from Nancy, 77 km from Metz and 345 km from Paris (orthodromic distance).

Lines of communication and transport


Sarrebourg station has rail connections to Paris, Strasbourg, Metz and Nancy.

The commune is on the route of the Route nationale 4.

Sarrebourg is the departure point of several departmental roads: D 27 to Morhange, D 43 to Sarre-Union, D 44 to Le Donon and Schirmeck, D 45 to Dabo and Walscheid.

The agglomération de Sarrebourg has a public transport network called iSibus. It was inaugurated by the Communauté de communes de l'agglomération de Sarrebourg on 16 September 2009.[3] The network has two regular bus connections.

Bicycle paths and walking trails


The EuroVelo 5 cycling route passes to the south of the municipality.[4] It is possible to reach Strasbourg, via Lutzelbourg and Saverne, by following the Marne–Rhine Canal.

The old railroad tracks in the direction of Abreschviller and Troisfontaines have been converted into bicycle paths.[4] Other bicycle paths have been created towards Bébing, Haut-Clocher and Sarraltroff.[4]

The circulaire de la Sarre walking trail is located on the municipality territory.[5]

The commune is the starting point of the GR 533 footpath.[6]


Historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.
1968 11,413—    
1975 12,615+1.44%
1982 12,699+0.09%
1990 13,311+0.59%
1999 13,330+0.02%
2007 12,786−0.52%
2012 12,386−0.63%
2017 12,045−0.56%
Source: INSEE[7]





The first mention of a settlement on the present site of Sarrebourg was found in the Tabula Peutingeriana. The town is referred to as Ponte Saravi,[8] located between Ad Decem Pagos (Tarquimpol) and Tabernis (Saverne) on the edge of the Silva Vosagus, the present-day Vosges mountains

The Antonine Itinerary, a second, later Roman source, refers to the place as Ponte Sarvix.

From a toponymic aspect, the meaning of 'Ponte Saravi' and 'Ponte Sarvix' is "a bridge over the Saar". This is why scholars have named the ancient city of Sarrebourg "Pont de la Sarre", i.e. Pons - the Latin nominative for "bridge" - and Saravi - the Latin genitive of "Saravus", the name given by the Romans to the river that nowadays flows across the commune.

At that time, the town was located on the via salinensis,[9] an important Roman road linking Divodurum (Metz) to Argentorate (Strasbourg) via the Saverne pass and part of the great itinerary from Gesoriacum (Boulogne-sur-Mer) to Argentorate (Strasbourg) via Samarobriva (Amiens) and Durocortorum (Reims).

The ancient town of Pons Saravi developed around the Sarre, thanks to a wooden bridge. It was of an estimated width of eight meters and connected the current halls to the street of the Lieutenant-Bildstein. Its last version was dated from 247 AD.[10]

Medieval period


At the beginning of the Middle Ages, Sarrebourg was a fortified town, located on the edge of the Lorraine and Rhine regions. It became the centre of a territory on the fringes of the influence zones of the neighbouring Lorraine and Alsatian powers. The existence of a saroensis pagus has been documented since the end of the 7th century; at that time the city had, among other things, a mint workshop.[11] The Treaty of Meerssen, which concluded in 870 the division of Lotharingie between Charles the Bald and Louis the Germanic, refers to the county Sarachuua subterior, also known as Oberer Saargau. The latter stretched from the springs of the Saar to Sarreguemines and Sarrebourg was its capital, however it quickly disappeared.

From the 12th century to the 15th century, Sarrebourg is governed by the Bishopric of Metz, which makes a Christianization zone facing Alsace. However, at the end of the 12th and beginning of the 13th century, the Counts of Dabo and the Counts Palatine of Metz possessed Sarrebourg and the upper Saar valley. It was not until the death of Gertrude de Dabo and the extinction of the Dabo-Moha lineage that the bishops of Metz again exercised authority over the city.[12] Between the 12th and 14th centuries, Sarrebourg underwent significant urban development. The city asserts itself as a commercial center and extends its influence on the surrounding countryside.[12]

During this period, several religious buildings were created or developed. In 1173 the bishop of Metz established a hospice near the western gate of the city.[13] In 1222 the management of this place and the leprosery of Hoff, was ensured by the Teutonic commandery. The latter had just settled near the market place, at the time.[14] Bishop Jacques de Lorraine turned the church of Saint-Étienne into a collegiate church by installing a chapter of canons. In 1265-1266 Franciscan monks settled in Sarrebourg and built the chapel of the Cordeliers; between 1250 and 1276 the Dominican convent of Weyerstein was founded. On the military level, the bishop of Metz Jean d'Apremont undertook the consolidation of the city’s fortifications and the construction of new walls between 1230-1240 which would be completed by his successor Jacques de Lorraine.

Kauffmann Sarburg, the Burgundian wars and the integration into the Duchy of Lorraine


Kaufmannstadt Saarburg


The urban development of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries as well as the economic expansion of the city, with the strengthening of commercial links with Alsace, earned Sarrebourg the nickname of Kaufmannstadt-Saarburg. As Sarrebourg became a merchant city, the bourgeois emancipated themselves from the episcopal tutelage. In 1464 they met in the chapel of the Cordeliers and decided to pledge allegiance to the Duke of Lorraine in the context of the Burgundian Wars that were about to take place. However, the city did not join the bailiwick of Germany and remained autonomous within the duchy.

Burgundian Wars


In 1463, Ludwig von Lichtenberg and the authorities of Saarbrücken passed on military information to the magistrate of Strasbourg concerning war preparations made by the Duke of Burgundy and Ferry II, Lord of Blâmont and ally of the Burgundians.[15]

In 1475, Charles the Bold conquered Lorraine and forced Duke René II to flee in Champagne. Of all the nobility of the duchy, only the counts of Bitche and the city of Sarrebourg refused to pay tribute to the invader. The latter was defended by a garrison of Strasburgers who wanted to protect the access to the Saverne pass, the main road to Alsace and the Rhine from the Lorraine plateau. In addition, the free city of Strasbourg was itself part of a military alliance against the Duke of Burgundy - the Lower Union also called the Alemannic League - formed in the spring of 1474 by the free imperial cities of Strasbourg, Basel, Colmar and Selestat, joined by the Confederation of the VIII swiss cantons and the Archduke of Austria, Sigismund of Habsburg.[16]

At the same time, the Duke of Lorraine sought to join the forces of the Lower Union after his retreat at Joinville in Champagne. He asked King Louis XI of France for an escort to get to Switzerland through Lorraine in the absence of the Duke of Burgundy's troops. René II and the French hid their plan by pretending to take the duke back to Germany so that he could retire there after the loss of his duchy.[17]

Annexations, revolutions and wars


The town suffered greatly from the Thirty Years' War, from 1618 to 1648, and its population declined considerably.

In 1661 with the Treaty of Vincennes, Louis XIV linked the city to the Kingdom of France.[18]

Sarrebourg opened its railway station on 29 May 1851, thanks to the construction of the line between Strasbourg and Paris.

In accordance with the Treaty of Frankfurt of 1871, which ended the war against Prussia and its allies, the city of Sarrebourg was annexed, like the rest of Alsace-Lorraine, to the new German Empire.

Between 18 August and 20 August 1914 thousands of soldiers died around Sarrebourg during the Battle of Lorraine, one of the first major battles of World War I.

Cultural, historical and architectural heritage


It is possible to observe the old medieval ramparts of Sarrebourg. These remains are part of the city’s fortifications erected in the middle of the 13th century by Jean d'Apremont, bishop of Metz.

The Musée du pays de Sarrebourg (Museum of Sarrebourg and its surroundings) was created in 1905. Originally it was only an archaeological museum. It now includes a space dedicated to Marc Chagall and an exhibition of earthenware and porcelain from the Niderviller manufacture.

The sculptures trail, includes about twenty works scattered in the city center.

National necropolises


Sarrebourg includes the national necroplis of Sarrebourg - Buhl and the national necropolis of prisoners of war (1914 - 1918).

Green spaces, parks and forests


A large leisure area has been built around Lévêque Pond, an old gravel pit in the southwest of the city. It includes a supervised swimming area, a playground, a mountain bike track, a minigolf, sports fields, an arboretum and a hamlet of cottages. The aquatic centre and tennis club are also located next to the leisure area.[19]

To the north-west lies the state forest of Sarrebourg.

Twin towns and sister cities


Sarrebourg is twinned with:

Notable people linked to Sarrebourg


See also



  1. ^ "Répertoire national des élus: les maires" (in French)., Plateforme ouverte des données publiques françaises. 13 September 2022.
  2. ^ "Populations légales 2021" (in French). The National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies. 28 December 2023.
  3. ^ "10 ans que ça roule pour iSibus" (in French). Républicain Lorrain. 14 September 2019.
  4. ^ a b c "Se déplacer à vélo". Communauté de communes Sarrebourg Moselle Sud (in French).
  5. ^ "Circulaire de la Sarre à Sarrebourg" (PDF). Pays de Sarrebourg (in French).
  6. ^ Roth, Philipp (6 August 2022). "Hiking the GR 533 in the Vosges – The Trek". Barometer news.
  7. ^ Population en historique depuis 1968, INSEE
  8. ^ "Tabula Peutingeriana, Section 2: Vosges Mountains and Rhine River".
  9. ^ Sedlbauer, Simon; Asselin, Guillaume (2016). "ZAC du Winkelhof" Des indices de fréquentation durant la fin du Néolithique, une occupation rurale du début du Premier âge du Fer et des vestiges modernes révélés dans le Pays de Sarrebourg. RAPPORT FINAL D'OPERATION (in French). Pôle Archéologie Préventive de Metz Métropole.
  10. ^ Meyer, Nicolas (2017). Les agglomérations de Sarrebourg/Pons Saravi (Moselle) et de Saverne/Tabernis‑Tres Tabernae (Bas-Rhin) : deux destins de part et d'autre des Vosges durant l'Antiquité tardive (in French). CNRS Éditions.
  11. ^ Dominique Heckenbenner, « Pons Saravi, un pont sur la Sarre », dans Jean-Luc Massy, Les agglomérations secondaires de la Lorraine romaine, Presses universitaires de Franche-Comté, 1997, 435 p.
  12. ^ a b Fray, Jean-Luc (2006). Villes et bourgs de Lorraine : réseaux urbains et centralité au Moyen Âge. Clermont-Ferrand: Presses universitaires Blaise Pascal. ISBN 2-84516-238-3. OCLC 758342848.
  13. ^ Michel Parisse, Actes des princes lorrains, 2e partie, les princes ecclésiastiques, Nancy, Presses Universitaires de Nancy, 1976.
  14. ^ "CHAPELLE SAINT-ROCH". 16 June 2021.
  15. ^ "Correspondances des souverains, corps d'État, gouverneurs et autres personnages avec la commune". Archives de la ville de Strasbourg.
  16. ^ Sieber-Lehmann, Claudius; Martin, Pierre-G. "Basse-Union". Dictionnaire historique de la Suisse DHS.
  17. ^ Pfister, Christian (1896). Histoire de Nancy. Tome premier. Depuis les origines jusqu'à la mort de René II (1508) (Edition de la Lorraine-artiste ed.). Imprimerie administrative Louis Kreis.
  18. ^ Lepage, Henri (1862). Dictionnaire topographique du département de la Meurthe. Paris: Imprimerie impériale.
  19. ^ "ZONE DE LOISIRS SARREBOURG". Tourisme Sarrebourg Moselle Sud. 17 September 2022.