Saarbrücken zär˝brük´ən [key], Fr. Sarrebruck, city (1994 pop. 190,902), capital of Saarland, W Germany, on the Saar River near the French border. It is the leading industrial center of the Saar coal basin and an important road and rail junction, with an airport nearby. Manufactures include optical instruments, machinery, clothing, processed foods, paper, soap, cement, lime, metal goods, printed materials, and beer. There are also major industries in iron and steel. Located on the site of earlier Celtic, Roman, and Frankish settlements, Saarbrücken was chartered in 1321. It was the capital of the counts of Nassau-Saarbrücken, a dependency of the Walramian counts of Nassau, from 1381 until its occupation (1793) by the French. The city passed to Prussia in 1815. From 1919 to 1935 and again from 1945 to 1957, Saarbrücken was included in and was the capital of the French-administered Saar Territory (see Saarland). Although badly damaged in World War II, the city retains the 15th-century late Gothic Castle Church, the old city hall (1750), and a baroque church, the Ludwigskirche (1762–75). The city is the site of the Univ. of the Saarland.

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