Saarland: Small country, complicated history


Small river, small country: the Saar near Saarbrücken

Small river, small country: the Saar near Saarbrücken

Small country, complicated history

The federal state in Germany's southwest is the smallest of the territorial states and the one with the most complicated political history. Parts of its territory belonged to Prussia in the 19th century, others to Bavaria. It had previously come under French influence. After the First World War the “Saargebiet” was administered by the League of Nations and only came to the Federal Republic of Germany in 1955. Because of this fragmentation, no magnificent centre has been able to emerge. But it is the undisputed leader when it comes to size comparisons. The 2500 square kilometer small federal state is often used to illustrate catastrophes and grievances: a dead spot (phone coverage) as big as the Saarland, a forest fire or flood area, which is twice as big, etc.

Attractions Saarland

Castle caves

Largest red sandstone cave in Europe

The red sandstone caves in the Schlossberg in Homburg are the largest red sandstone caves in Europe. The caves consist of twelve floors and extend over an area of 140 metres in length and 60 metres in width. They were man-made in the 17th century and were actually a mine where sand was extracted for glass making. It is possible that in the early Middle Ages escape corridors for the Hohenburg above were dug into the Schlossberg. During the French occupation they fell into oblivion and were rediscovered by children only in the 1930s. In World War II they served as air-raid shelters.

Further information:

Saar loop

Treetop path at spectacular river bend

The large Saar loop near Mettlach is one of the most famous sights in Saarland. The most beautiful view is from Cloef, a 180-metre-high vantage point in the Orscholz district of Mettlach. The shore is lined by rock faces, screes and small gorges. On the wooded ridge within the Saar loop are the church of St. Gangolf with a former monastery and the castle ruins of Montclair. The only village directly on the Saar loop is the village of Dreisbach, which can be reached by ferry. Above the vantage point, a treetop path leads to even more views. Our hiking suggestion leads from the Cloef down to the shore and back via a serpentine path. (round trip: 8.2 kilometers, 3 hours, up and down: 272 meters)

More Attractions Saarland


Romance and wine in an ancient cultural landscape

The longest tributary of the Rhine rises in the Vosges, forms the border between Luxembourg and Germany for a while, and then meanders leisurely in (...)

Upper Rhine

Splendid cities and natural reserves

The Upper Rhine extends from the Rhine knee near Basel to the Rhine knee near Mainz. The region includes the German-French-Swiss border area with Alsace, (...)

Curious about our tours?

Alle Germany Round Trips anzeigen