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Evening view of Saarbrücken Castle

Saar-Palatinate Baroque Route – Baroque and garden delights

The approximately 100 km long Saar-Palatinate Baroque Route, which includes the former ducal towns of Saarbrücken, Blieskastel, Zweibrücken and Ottweiler, takes you on a journey through the lands of former kings, princes, dukes and counts and the Baroque style from 1650 to 1800. The magnificent 18th century residential palaces and marvellous artworks found along this route can truly be considered masterpieces.

You will be astonished at the Baroque treasures waiting to be discovered along this themed route near the French border. Saar Palatinate is a district in the south-eastern corner of Germany with four former ducal towns: the neat Baroque town of Ottweiler, princely Zweibrücken, Blieskastel in Bliesgau, which was the former residence of the Dukes of Palatinate-Zweibrücken and Count von der Leyen, and Saarbrücken. These, together with vestiges from the region's three, closely entwined dynasties – the Dukes of Palatinate-Zweibrücken, Count von der Leyen – form the main stopping points on the route.

A Baroque tour between Saar and the Palatinate

The Baroque era is generally associated with celebrities and artists such as Johann Sebastian Bach, Andreas Gryphius, the Baroque architect Friedrich Joachim Stengel, the painter and plasterer Johann Baptist Zimmermann, magnificent buildings, stylish gardens, elaborate ceiling paintings and dainty furniture. It is also an age that has left its mark on the Saarland and the surrounding area.

Baroque in all its forms

In Europe the Baroque was an age of splendid palaces and innovative garden design. This was also the case in the Saarland and in the south-west of Rhineland-Palatinate. Many secular and spiritual leaders modelled their gardens after the French style to create their own miniature versions of the Palace of Versailles. The terraces of the grounds at Saarbrücken Castle originally stretched right to the banks of the Saar river. The gardens of the Baroque era were usually lined with box trees and accented with ornamental flowerbeds which surrounded a central focus point such as a fountain or statue.

Sublime art, sumptuous forms and delicate lines

In some locations, the range of large Baroque architectural pieces is no longer as rich or as varied as it once was, which has unfortunately led to some substantial gaps along the route. A visit to these once spectacular sites is nonetheless worthwhile as their history and stories of the events that once took place there are so interesting and varied. Whether guided by "historical figures" such as countesses, maids, the Baroque architect Stengel, or travelled at your own pace, the Saar-Palatinate Baroque Route takes you on a journey through the wonders of Baroque architecture and gardens, jewels, secluded places and the culinary delights of the period.

Saar-Palatinate Baroque Route

Length: approximately 100 km

Theme: Baroque, countryside, culture

Blieskastel: historical old quarter, museums, the Gollenstein megalithic standing stone
Homburg-Jägersburg: Gustavsburg Palace
Hornbach: abbey, abbey gardens
Ottweiler: Baroque old quarter, museums, the Widow's Palace (Witwenpalais)
Saarbrücken: palace, the Stengel tour, St. John's Basilica (Basilika St. Johann)
St. Ingbert: St. Engelbert's Church
Sulzbach/Saar: historical salt houses (Salzhäuser)
Zweibrücken: castle, rose garden