A hint of France hovers over the Saarland in many places, which is reflected above all in culinary terms, but also in the vocabulary. In Saarlouis, however, it is more. French serenity and pleasure are simply part of life here. The city center resembles an eternally long stage with café, pub and bistro tables, parasols and ornate street lamps. In addition to Saarland classics like dibbelabbes and lyonerpfanne, you'll find typical French dishes like tarte flambée or filled crêpes on many menus here.
Saarlouis just maintains its Francophile inclination. Perhaps also because the city was once founded by the French Sun King Louis XIV, whose name it bears. One senses that the relaxed way of life simply suits Saarlouis. This is certainly helped by the fact that the distances in the city center and between the baroque fortress walls are short. You can get a good first impression of the most important sights during a city walk. This will take you from the imposing central market square to the former defensive fortifications, the casemates, over the lock bridge into the city garden and to the remains of the fortress walls in the Saaraltarm recreation area, and finally back to the old town with its main business center.
From the Great Market and the many owner-operated stores - such as the Pieper department store, the Mia Gergen fashion boutique, or the Bock & Seip bookstore - you are in the middle of greenery in just a few minutes. And on an island that bears the name Vauban. This French master builder once designed Saarlouis as a fortified town on the ground plan of a star with six bastions. The once spectacular fortress still determines the layout of the city center today. Strictly geometrically laid out, it corresponds in many ways to the architectural ideals of the Baroque period of an aesthetically beautiful and functional city. Especially worth seeing are the historic casemates and numerous other buildings from the French and Prussian periods. You can get more information at the Tourist-Info Saarlouis or in the Municipal Museumwhere, in addition to numerous exhibits, a model of the fortress can be seen.
The Vauban Island is not only a green and quiet oasis of relaxation, where the deck chairs are unfolded in summer and live music is often played. From March to October, the "Saarlouis Fortress Days" also take place here, a series of events with concerts, exhibitions and wine evenings. From the island you have a great view of the well-preserved remains of the fortress, Ravelin V and Bastion VI. The surrounding recreation area Saaraltarm and Stadtgarten is also an ideal destination for relaxing walks on pretty paths with numerous bridges, stairs and ramps. Fishing is even allowed along the five 5 km long lakeside path.
A whole new perspective to the Saarlouis surrounding countryside offers the Saarpolygonwhich crowns the top of the tailings pile in Ensdorf. Since 2016, the gigantic walk-in monument has been a reminder of coal mining in the Saar region. The new landmark weighs 250 tons and is intended to commemorate the era of coal mining in the Saarland that came to an end in 2012. Via 132 steps you reach a large platform with a spectacular view at a height of 30 meters. The polygon is also exciting from the ground: depending on the time of day and the viewer's location, the Saarpolygon changes in a variety of ways. Natural plays of light and shadow enliven the construction during the day, while bands of light on the stairway structure at night illuminate the interior of the Saarpolygon radiate from the inside out.
Cover photo: On the menus you will find typical French and Saarland specialties © Eike Dubois
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