A Unique world cultural heritage sites, underground castle complexes, large-scale graffiti art and Germany's oldest monastery - there's a lot of exciting art and culture to experience in Saarland. We present ten Saarland attractions that you should not miss.

1

Experience festivals

Good mood at the Rocco del Schlacko
Good mood at the Rocco del Schlacko © Christian_Walter

The cultural and festival landscape of the Saarland is innovative and diverse. Year after year, for example, the Rocco del Schlacko Greats from rock, alternative music and hip-hop on the Köllertaler Sauwasen in the tranquil town of Püttlingen. Only a maximum of 29 minutes long and by filmmakers up to the age of 29 years - these are the criteria for participation in the Federal festival of young filmthe biggest short film festival for German-speaking young talents in St. Ingbert. Cabaret at its best is what you get at the "St. Ingbert pan"On each of the four competition evenings, three candidates perform a 45-minute program. For more than 40 years, the Max Ophüls Prize Film Festival for the discovery of young talents from Austria, Germany and Switzerland. And you can experience German-French stage art at the Festival Perspectives experience. The program includes productions from the fields of contemporary theater, dance and new circus.

2

Discover castles and palaces

Saarbrücken Castle houses the exhibition rooms of the Saar Historical Museum © Eike Dubois

Among the most interesting magnificent buildings of the Saarland belongs to the Saarbrücken Castle with its glass central building between the completely renovated baroque wings. There you can see the permanent exhibition of the Saar Historical Museum, which is partly housed underground. In addition, the entrance to the underground fortifications is also located under the palace square. The palace garden, in turn, opens up fascinating views over the city.
Situated about 290 meters high on a ridge surrounded by the Saarschleife, the Montclair Castle is one of the most popular destinations in the region thanks to its cozy bistro and beer garden, interactive museum and magnificent view from the fortified towers.
Surrounded by an inviting park on the banks of the Saar River is Saareck Castle the guest house of Villeroy & Boch AG since 1954 and can also be rented for celebrations.
Neufelsberg Castle, built in the 14th century and partially restored from 1964, is popularly known as the Teufelsburg called. Worthwhile are the small castle museum and the magnificent view into the middle Saar valley up to the Schaumberg.
Garden art at the highest level presents the Dagstuhl Castle Garden. You should not miss the obelisks overgrown with roses and clematis in the center of the perennial beds symmetrically arranged on two levels and lined with hedges.
Europe's largest and man-made red sandstone caves - the Castle Hill Caves - can be found beneath the ruins of Hohenburg Castle in Homburg. The sandstone, colored in shades of yellow and red, forms mysterious corridors and imposing domed halls here.

3

Explore Saarland World Heritage

Völklingen Ironworks at the Blue Hour
The Völklingen Ironworks at blue hour © Günther Bayerl

One of the most unusual world heritage sites of UNESCO is the Völklingen Ironworks, the world's only completely preserved ironworks from the heyday of industrialization. The cultural site with its top-class exhibitions, concerts and events provides fascinating insights into the former work and life of many thousands of people in the region. In addition to the imposing backdrop with the gigantic blast furnaces, the highlights include the Ferrodrom® experimentation and hands-on ScienceCenter and the "Paradise" landscape garden.

4

Find French roots in Saarlouis

Saarlouis is known for its relaxed way of life with a "touch of France
Saarlouis is known for its relaxed lifestyle with a "touch of France" © Oliver Raatz

The former fortress city, Founded in 1680 by the French King Louis XIV, also sees itself as the "secret capital" of the Saarland. Saarlouis has made a name for itself as a city of festivals and fetes. In summer, the old town becomes one long open-air bar. Around the Great Market you can also stroll wonderfully through many stores. The historic casemates and numerous other buildings from French and Prussian times are worth seeing. The surrounding recreational area Saaraltarm and Stadtgarten is also an ideal destination for relaxing walks on pretty paths with numerous bridges, stairs and ramps.

5

Experience contemporary art

Great art - the Urban ArtWalk in Saarbrücken
Great art - the Urban ArtWalk in Saarbrücken © HONKPHOTO/Holger Kiefer

The Modern gallery of the Saarland Museum in Saarbrücken is one of the leading museums in southwestern Germany. Its focal points include the paintings of the Berlin Secession, German Expressionism, and the art of the École de Paris and Informel. The Moderne Galerie is already a work of art as a building: the word "Museum" stands out strikingly on the façade, exterior walls and forecourt. The pioneering museum building was designed by the St. Ingbert architect Hanns Schönecker and is listed as a historic monument due to its high status in architectural history. With its extension opened in 2017, realized by Kuehn Malvezzi / Michael Riedel, the Moderne Galerie can not only show its extensive collections on a much larger scale, but also open up more to contemporary art.

In 2017, 15 international artists transformed twelve facades in Saarbrücken's city center into large works of art - this is how the graffiti Gesamtkunstwerk Urban ArtWalk created. Since then, you'll keep coming across new house art in the streets of Saarbrücken. Geometric shapes, brightly colored surfaces, oversized works of art - with the Urban ArtWalk you can wonderfully walk through the city center of Saarbrücken with its old town quarters, alleys and the central St. Johanner Markt and get a good first impression of the city.

6

Getting to the bottom of Saarland history

Rectangular archway, cross with horizontal line, triangle or the Greek letter Lambda? Depending on the point of view and the angle, the Saar polygon looks different © Alois Schuhn

At Historical Museum Saar you can learn about the changing development of the border region since the Franco-Prussian War of 1870/71 until the annexation of the Saarland to the Federal Republic of Germany in 1957. Particularly exciting for families with children are the underground parts of Saarbrücken Castle. Fourteen meters below the Saarbrücken castle square, medieval fortifications hidden underground, the castle moat, a shooting chamber, casemates and a dungeon have been made accessible to the public again.

But also under the open sky remember everywhere in Saarland historical buildings, thematic paths and culinary specialties the history of mining, the time of the Romans and Celts or the work of baroque princes. The Saarpolygon, for example, stands for the era of Saarland coal mining, the BarockStraße adventure route connects the former places of activity of former princes, dukes and counts, and old varieties of fruit, vegetables and grain are processed into regional delicacies.

7

Bargains from the Villeroy & Boch Outlet

At the Villeroy & Boch outlet in Mettlach, you'll find a wide range of good deals © Manuela Meyer

Porcelain, crystal, cutlery and chic accessories - Mettlach has developed, not least thanks to the Outlet centers by the world-famous ceramics manufacturer Villeroy & Boch has become an insider tip for shopping lovers. In addition to Villeroy & Boch, you will also find products from other well-known manufacturers such as Bassetti, Vivo, Zucchi and WMF. The best conditions to browse to your heart's content and find a bargain or two. Tip: Rare and worthwhile individual items are always available in the outlet center's "treasure trove".

8

Travel to the time of the Romans and Celts

Villa Borg and its gardens are considered an outstanding testimony of Roman culture
Villa Borg and its gardens are considered an outstanding testimony to Roman culture © Manuela Meyer

Carefully reconstructed villa complexes and temples, ancient ruins or the remains of Celtic ring walls - in the Saarland you will always come across traces of the former Roman and Celtic life in the region. The Roman Villa Borg in the Moselle community of Perl is the only completely reconstructed domain of an ancient villa complex in the world. Among the highlights of the European Cultural Park Bliesbruck-Reinheim is the reconstructed burial mound of a Celtic princess. Also worth seeing is the mosaic floor of the Roman villa in Nennig, which consists of more than 3 million small stones. At the Roman Museum in Schwarzenacker, you can walk through the streets of a reconstructed Roman stage town, while the ring wall in Otzenhausen is considered the best-preserved Celtic monument in Germany.

9

Visit the state capital Saarbrücken

The
The "Gute Stube" of the city - the St. Johanner Markt in Saarbrücken © Eike Dubois

Traditional pubs next to new cool stores where young restaurateurs serve creations made from regional products - on the St. Johanner Markt, which is something of a "Gute Stube" (good room) Saarbrücken you can get a nice first impression of the capital of Saarland while enjoying a coffee with milk and a croissant. Along the Saar promenade, the trendy Nauwieser Viertel district and the lively Mainzer Straße, numerous small boutiques and beautiful stores await you. You should not miss a visit to the Ludwigskirche. The city's landmark is one of the most important Protestant Baroque church buildings in Germany. Other worthwhile destinations are the Saarbrücken Zoo and the Saarbrücken Castle.

10

Visit the oldest monastery in Germany

Small country, big culture: Saarland attracts with a variety of cultural sites and experiences
Small country, big culture: Saarland attracts with a variety of cultural sites and experiences © Josef Bonenberger

No other monastery is so old - the first documented mention of it in 634 A.D. Tholey Abbey is the oldest in Germany. Twelve monks between the ages of 25 and 75 still live here today. The abbey church is one of the earliest Gothic churches in Germany and is considered the only one in Europe whose windows have been completely redesigned this millennium. Thirty of its 34 windows were designed by Afghan artist Mahbuba Maqsoodi. The three choir windows - each measuring 9.30 by 1.95 meters - were designed by Gerhard Richter. Depending on the time of day, the light reflections falling into the otherwise rather plain interior of the church offer a remarkable spectacle. Otherwise, the church has high-quality works by the church goldsmith Fritz Schwerd from 1963. The wooden choir stalls in the main choir of the abbey church date from 1704. Several times a day, there is also a very special atmosphere here: then the monks sing Gregorian chorales during their prayer times (6:00, 7:15, 12:00 , 17:30 and 19:30).

Cover photo: Saarbrücken landmark in baroque style - the Ludwigskirche © Carsten - stock.adobe.com

In collaboration with Saarland Tourist Board

A third of our smallest federal state is covered in fragrant forests, so it's clear that hikers and other nature lovers rejoice here. Certainly also at the sight of the Saar Loop, with which the river makes an elegant U-turn at Mettlach and is a bestseller on Instagram. The fact that savoir vivre plays a leading role alongside lots of sun and culture has also been noticed by Michelin testers - their starry skies sparkle over seven restaurants here. Our tips for your Vacation in Saarland.

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