The museum

Video history castle + fortress follow-up links

The Historical Museum Saar

Unique in Saarland and Europe

Usually, a museum is 'just' a museum.
The Historical Museum Saar is more than that!

The Historical Museum Saar was founded in 1986. The spectacular edifice by the architect Prof. Gottfried Böhm is a landmark in its own right alongside Saarbrücken Castle.

The dimensions of the complex in terms of its depth are quite unexpected, and every bit as special as its architecture itself: the exhibition rooms merge into underground fortifications from the Middle Ages and extend over several levels below the castle and the Schlossplatz.

Our assignment: to make history come alive – responsibly.

The dark age of the Third Reich has left its traces too: a Gestapo cell beneath the north wing of the castle bears convincing witness to that phase of German history.

As well as permanent and special exhibitions on many different topics, we provide a deep insight into the Middle Ages on the Saar: the underground fortress is a journey that makes the past come alive.

As well as individual visits, guided tours and events are also possible: we specialise in touristic and school interests, so your visit to the museum can also be tailored to suit the curriculum. Talk to us about it and come and pay us a visit. We look forward to seeing you!


square metres

of exhibition space



below ground level



in the portfolio

Saarbrücken Castle and the historical museums

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© Markus Kecker, mk plus medienproduktion GmbH, Historisches Museum Saar und Aufbaugesellschaft Saarbrücker Schloss




Saarbrücken Castle – from the end of the age of princedom to modern conversion

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In 1986, the then Municipal Association of Saarbrücken inaugurated the 'Museum of Regional History' in the basement of Saarbrücken Castle.

The starting point of the first permanent exhibition was the discovery of a detention cell which the Gestapo had had built in the vaulted cellar of the castle after 1935. The idea was not only to make the cell, the walls of which are covered with the messages scratched by the victims in custody, accessible to broader sections of the public as a memorial, but also to integrate it into an exhibition on the history of National Socialism on the Saar.

On 9 November 1988, the 50th anniversary of the Night of Broken Glass, that first department of the museum was opened with the title 'Ten years, not a thousand. National Socialism on the Saar 1935-1945'.

As soon as 1989, the second department was added. It traced the history of Saarland from 1945 to the latter's reunification with Germany.

In 1993, together with the department covering the Territory of the Saar Basin in the First World War, a new museum building created by the internationally renowned architect Gottfried Böhm was officially inaugurated. With that extension, the museum was given a representative entrance area and the chance to present special exhibitions over a wide range of topics relating to the history of culture.

Accompanying programmes and a wide range of educational amenities for various different target groups rounded off the exhibition facilities.

On 1 January 1994, under the name 'Historical Museum Saar', the Museum of Regional History was converted into a local administration authority, for which the Municipal Association of Saarbrücken (known today as the Saarbrücken Regional Association) and the Federal State of Saarland assumed joint responsibility.

In the years 2004 to 2007, the remains of the underground fortress were dug out and rendered accessible from the museum. An exhibition area dedicated to the history of the fortress and the castle rounds off the subterranean complex.

Since 2008, with the newly arranged permanent exhibition, the history of Saarland from the Franco-German War of 1870/71 until the affiliation of autonomous Saarland to the Federal Republic of Germany in 1957/59 has been retraced from beginning to end.

The museum has a wide-ranging and continuously growing collection of objects which were manufactured in the Saar region, used here, or have some special relationship with its history.

Fortress and castle

Saarbrücken Castle sits enthroned on a natural sandstone rock above the Saar. It was built from 1738 to 1748 on the location of the buildings that preceded it, the mediaeval fortress and the renaissance castle. Saarbrücken Castle was created as the centre of what is now Alt-Saarbrücken by the baroque master builder Friedrich Joachim Stengel. The axes of this first urban plan, commissioned by Prince Wilhelm Heinrich, have been preserved to this very day and are clearly visible.

Having been burned down in the French Revolution, the castle underwent various different phases of construction and use in the two centuries that followed. Today, as a "citizens' castle", it is not only the regular place of work of the Saarbrücken Regional Association, but also a popular venue for cultural and other events.

Completely disembowelled in the 1980s, Saarbrücken Castle was redeveloped from the bottom up in the style of a baroque castle from the 18th century: unique and unmistakable with its post-modern glass central block, designed by Germany's only Pritzker Prize winner Prof. Gottfried Böhm. It is in this tract, in an area of over 400 square metres, that most of the function rooms are located. They are spacious and bathed in light.

With the museums, and the restaurants and cafés located around the Schlossplatz, Saarbrücken Castle is a popular destination.

The rooms in the modern central block are available for events of all kinds. (For more detailed information, visit the events organisation of the Saarbrücken Regional Association at