ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Visiting Saarburg, Germany: picturesque town on the Saar River with perceived, multiple identities

Updated on December 5, 2012
Flag of Germany
Flag of Germany | Source
Waterfall in Saarburg
Waterfall in Saarburg | Source
Map location of the Trier-Saarburg district, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany
Map location of the Trier-Saarburg district, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany | Source

History gushes past

This picturesque town in Germany's Rhineland Palatinate has a fairly complex 20th century history. If one walks through the Downtown area of Saarburg, it is as if the the stream known as the Leukbach is the main artery, with streets and sidewalks in ancillary roles. Quaint cafés overlook the stream's gushing waters, the path of which negotiates an 18-metre waterfall in the Downtown area.

As long as the traveller is content to walk up some steep slopes, Downtown Saarburg is ideal for a leisurely stroll, during which its scenic qualities can be enjoyed from many angles.

The ruined castle of of Count Siegfried of Luxembourg is at Saarburg, dating from 964. The town was given a charter in 1291.

But wait a minute: even the visitor unfamiliar with the town might ask: doesn't the name Saarburg sound vaguely familiar? The town does indeed take its name from the Saar River, which rises in France and flows through the German state of Saarland, although this state lies close to the town.The Saar River flows into the Mosel River not far from the town.

However, after World War Two, Saarburg was not actually incorporated into the Saarland. Therein also lies a tale.

In Saarburg (amazingly enough) one is in an area of Germany which, after World War Two, formed part of Luxembourg's zone of occupation. Luxembourg? Did the Allied Powers really agree to give to Luxembourg a zone of occupation as well as to the United States, the Soviet Union, Great Britain and France? Well, the answer is: no, they didn't. But the Saarburg district was within the French zone of occupation and the French government in turn gave a small area of its zone to the safe keeping of military of Luxembourg (which introduced conscription, after liberation from the Nazi German occupiers).

So just an interesting but insignificant footnote of history: the area was left to the safe keeping of the Luxembourg authorities? Well, not exactly. It depends what is meant by 'safe'. One of the Saarburg area's most important historical artifacts was the grave of John the Blind (1296-1346), Count of Luxembourg and King of Bohemia who died at the battle of Crécy in 1346. At a chapel in Kastel-Staadt, near Saarburg, is the ornate grave of John the Blind. But the grave is empty.

Why is the grave empty? Because during the period of occupation by troops from Luxembourg, the Grand Ducal authorities removed the bones of Count John the Blind of Luxembourg and re-interred them in Luxembourg City, thereby enhancing the historical sense of the people of Luxembourg. The Grand Duchy had indeed suffered much at the hands of the Nazi German occupiers and after World War Two its government was in no mood to hesitate in the face of the cultural sensibilities of the German authorities; indeed, western Germany had no Federal Government until 1949. (This, at least, was an historical subtlety which Supreme Allied Commander General Dwight D. Eisenhower could not have been expected to anticipate.)

Saarburg, then, may be perceived to have multiple identities: part of the Rhineland Palatinate, but near the Saarland (1) and Saar River; with longstanding historical associations with Luxembourg.


(1) The Saarland did not revert formally to Germany until 1956.

Also worth seeing

Nennig , Germany (distance: 17 kilometres) has a Roman villa well-preserved mosaic.

Trier , Germany (distance: 24 kilometres) has many interesting, historic buildings, including the Roman Porta Nigra.

Luxembourg City (distance: 47 kilometres), the Grand Duchy's photogenic capital has many visitor attractions, including the Grand Ducal palace and the Pétrusse valley.


How to get there: Lufthansa flies to Frankfurt-am-Main, from where car hire is available. The nearest large international airport to Saarburg is Luxembourg (Aéroport de Luxembourg ), at Findel. For North American travellers arriving via London, England, airlines flying to Luxembourg include Luxair (from London Heathrow Airport and London City Airport) and CityJet (from London City Airport). Please check with the airline or your travel agent for up to date information. You are advised to appropriate consular sources for any special border crossing arrangements which may apply to citizens of certain nationalities.

MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada.

For your visit, these items may be of interest


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)