Coat of arms
|Coordinates: 49°15′N 7°22′E|
|• Mayor||Marold Wosnitza (SPD)|
|• Total||70.64 km2 (27.27 sq mi)|
|Elevation||300 m (1,000 ft)|
|• Density||480/km2 (1,300/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)|
The town was the capital of the former Imperial State of Palatinate-Zweibrücken owned by the House of Wittelsbach. The ducal castle is now occupied by the high court of the Palatinate (Oberlandesgericht). There is a fine Gothic Protestant church, Alexander's church, founded in 1493 and rebuilt in 1955.
From the end of the 12th century, Zweibrücken was the seat of the County of Zweibrücken, the counts being descended from Henry I, youngest son of Simon I, Count of Saarbrücken (d. 1182). The line became extinct on the death of Count Eberhard II (1394), who in 1385 had sold half his territory to the Count Palatine of the Rhine, and held the other half as his feudal domain. Louis (d. 1489), son of Stephen, founded the line of the counts palatine of Zweibrücken (Palatinate-Zweibrücken). In 1533, the count palatine converted Palatinate-Zweibrücken to the new Protestant faith. In 1559, a member of the line, Duke Wolfgang, founded the earliest grammar school in the town (Herzog-Wolfgang-Gymnasium), which lasted until 1987.
When Charles X Gustav, the son of John Casimir, Count Palatine of Kleeburg, succeeded his cousin, Queen Christina of Sweden, on the Swedish throne, Palatinate-Zweibrücken was in personal union with Sweden, a situation that lasted until 1718.
Starting in 1680, Louis XIV's Chambers of Reunion awarded Zweibruecken and other localities to France, but under the 1697 Treaty of Rijswijk, "The Duchy of Zweibruecken was restored to the King of Sweden, as Count Palatine of the Rhine."
In 1731, Palatinate-Zweibrücken passed to the Palatinate-Birkenfeld-Zweibrücken branch of the counts palatine, from where it came under the sway of Bavaria in 1799. It was occupied by France in 1793 and on 4 November 1797, Zweibrücken became a canton centre in department of Mont Tonnerre. At the Peace of Lunéville in 1801, the French annexation of Zweibrücken was confirmed; on its reunion with Germany in 1814 the greater part of the territory was given to Bavaria, the remainder to Oldenburg and Kingdom of Prussia. The town of Zweibrücken became part of the Palatine region of the Kingdom of Bavaria.
The last prominent social event before the First World War was the inauguration of the Rosengarten (rose garden) by Princess Hildegard of Bavaria in June 1914. As a consequence of the First World War, Zweibrücken was occupied by French troops between 1918 and 1930. In the course of the Kristallnacht in 1938, Zweibrücken's synagogue was destroyed. On the outbreak of the Second World War the town was evacuated in 1939-1940, as it lay in the ‘Red Zone’ on the fortified Siegfried Line. Shortly before the end of the war, on 14 March 1945, the town was nearly completely destroyed in an air raid by the Royal Canadian Air Force, with the loss of more than 200 lives. On 20 March, American ground troops reached Zweibrücken. The town became part of the new state of Rhineland-Palatinate after the war.
In 1993, the town underwent a major change. With the departure of the Americans, the military area became free, which corresponded altogether to a third of the entire urban area. Unemployment increased to approximately 21%, leading to a decrease in demand in the retail trade of approximately 25%.
Mayors and Lord Mayors
- 1895–1904 Wolff
- 1905–1905 Freudenberg
- 1905–1932 Roesinger
- 1932–1945 Karl Ernst Collofong (SDAP)
- 1945–1959 Ignaz Roth (1894-1972) (SPD)
- 1959–1969 Oskar Munzinger (1911-1983) (SPD)
- 1969–1979 Helmut Fichtner (SPD)
- 1980–1992 Werner von Blon (1929-2009) (SPD)
- 1993–1999 Hans Otto Streuber (born 1949) (SPD)
- 1999–2004 Jürgen Lambert (born 1936) (CDU)
- 2004–2012 Helmut Reichling (CDU)
- 2012–2018 Kurt Pirmann (1955-2018) (SPD)
- since 2018 Marold Wosnitza (born 1965) (SPD)
Weaving, brewing and the manufacture of machinery, chicory, cigars, malt, boots, furniture and soap were the chief industries before World War II. Nowadays Terex cranes and bulldozers and John Deere harvesting equipment are the chief industries.
The Hochschule Kaiserslautern , one of the largest universities in the Rhineland-Palatinate, with more than 6,000 students is also located in Zweibrücken.
Culture and sights
The city of Zweibrücken is represented at various cultural events by the Rose Queen, who is elected every two years.
The Zweibrücken City Museum has a permanent exhibition in the former residence of court gardener Ernst August Bernhard Petri, documenting the eventful history of Zweibrücken. In addition, special exhibitions take place regularly, e.g. on the occasion of the 200th anniversary of the State Stud.
The Bibliotheca Bipontina Zweibrücken is a scientific regional library in Zweibrücken, whose holdings mainly go back to rescued parts of the ducal libraries and therefore partly houses very valuable first editions from the 16th century. It is part of the Landesbibliothekszentrum Rheinland-Pfalz (Rhineland-Palatinate State Library Centre) and one of the most important old holdings libraries in the state. The Bibliotheca Bipontina is housed in the building of the Helmholtz-Gymnasium Zweibrücken. The Zweibrücken City Library, which has existed since 1903, is housed in an adjoining building of the town hall and has a stock of around 50,000 volumes. Branches are the youth library and the Rimschweiler branch.
- Schloss – Das Herzogschloss Zweibrücken – built in its present form in 1725 - is the largest Palatine secular building in the Baroque style of Nordic coinage. It was built in 1720-1725 by master builder Jonas Erikson Sundahl and is the former residence of the Dukes of Zweibrücken. Destroyed in World War II, it was rebuilt in 1965 and is now the seat of the Palatinate Higher Regional Court.
- Herzogvorstadt – The so-called Herzogvorstadt consists of several baroque buildings built between 1762 and 1772. The entire complex is based on plans by Christian Ludwig Hautt. The buildings, which were not destroyed during the last war, house the city administration, the district court, the city archive and the city museum.
- Alexanderskirche – The Alexanderskirche is a late-Gothic Protestant hall church whose construction began in 1493 and the oldest church in Zweibrücken.
- Karlskirche – The Karlskirche was built between 1708 and 1711 by the architect Haquinus Schlang from Sweden on behalf of the Swedish King Charles XII in his capacity as Duke of Zweibrücken. After its destruction in the Second World War, it was rebuilt as a community centre on the basis of the original plans and reopened on 1 November 1970.
- Heilig Kreuz Kirche – The third church in the inner city is the Heilig-Kreuz-Kirche, which was built much later than the other two churches.
- Gasthaus „Zum Hirsch“ – The former guesthouse is the oldest building in the city centre.
- Villa Ipser – Built in 1908 for a shoe manufacturer, Villa Ipser is situated on the Rothenberg and features typical late historicist architecture with clear Art Nouveau influences.
- Zweibrücker Stollen und Felsenkeller
- Himmelsbergstollen – The Himmelsbergstollen is a cellar complex carved into the sandstone on the Himmelsberg, in the southern part of the city centre.
- Zweibrücken Observatory - an observatory at the university
Zweibrücken Air Base
On the outskirts of the town, Zweibrücken Air Base was for many years home to U.S. airmen and their families. Prior to being a USAFE base, the base was operated by the Royal Canadian Air Force. It was known as #3 Fighter Wing, part of #1 Canadian Air Division with headquarters in Metz, France. During the years 1953 to 1968, it was the home to 413, 427 and 434 Fighter Squadrons flying F-86 Sabre jets, and 440 Squadron, which flew the CF-100 Canuck, then the CF-104 Starfighter. The RF-4C was stationed at Zweibruecken AB from the 1970s to 1991 under the 38th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron of the 26th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing. These were photo-reconnaissance aircraft with missions all over Europe and used in Desert Storm.
The Short C-23 Sherpa, a small prop-driven transport plane, also flew out of the base in the 1980s under the 10th Military Airlift Squadron, a tenant Military Airlift Command unit. The squadron's mission was to deliver high-priority aircraft parts to bases in USAFE to ensure a maximum number of aircraft were combat-ready. Today Zweibrücken Air Base has been transformed into the modern Zweibrücken Airport , an international airport with flights to Palma de Mallorca, Antalya, Gran Canaria, Teneriffe, Rhodos, Heraklion and Fuerteventura (TUIfly), Istanbul (Pegasus Airlines)
On the other side of the town was Kreuzberg Kaserne, home to various units of the United States Army. Only one combat unit was located there: Battery A, 2nd Battalion, 60th Air Defense Artillery, with its Headquarters and Headquarters Battery (HHB) at Ramstein Air Base. The 3d Battalion, 60th ADA was a subordinate unit of the 32nd Army Air Defense Command. Major tenants at Kreuzberg Kaserne were USAISEC-EUR (Information Systems Engineering Command - Europe) and the USA MATCOMEUR (Material Command, Europe), later renamed the US Army Material Management Agency, Europe.
Climate in this area has mild differences between highs and lows, and there is adequate rainfall year-round. The Köppen Climate Classification subtype for this climate is "Cfb" (Marine West Coast Climate/Oceanic climate).
Twin towns - sister cities
- Jonas Erikson Sundahl (1678-1762), Swedish-born architect who designed Schloss Zweibrücken
- Georg Christian Crollius (1728–1790), historian and librarian
- Johan Ludvig Mansa (1740–1820), Danish gardener and castellan
- Friedrich Wilhelm Schultz (1804–1876), pharmacist and botanist
- Carl Heinrich Schultz (1805–1867), physician and botanist
- Philipp Ludwig von Seidel (1821–1896), mathematician and astronomer
- Eugene W. Hilgard (1833–1916), soil scientist, geologist and agronomists
- Carl Bersch (1834–1914), artist
- Hermann Dingler (1846–1935), botanist
- Gustav Aschaffenburg (1866–1944), psychiatrist
- Maximilian Schuler (1882–1972), engineer, mechanical engineer and physicist
- Emil Oberholzer (1883–1958), Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst
- Johann Fortner (1884–1947), officer of the Armed Forces
- August Heinrich Bruinier (1897–1970), violinist
- Otto Bradfisch (1903–1994), economist, a lawyer and Obersturmbannführer and commander of the state police and the SD in Litzmannstadt (Łódź) and Potsdam
- Otto Carius (1922–2015), pharmacist, tank-commander in WW II
- Peter Fleischmann (born 1937), film director
- Simon Rodriguez (born 1957), American-born Renowned Behavioral-Cognitive Psychologist, Studied at Zweibrücken American High School
- Charlotte Lehmann (born 1938), concert singer and singing teacher
- Ron MacLean (born 1960), Canadian sportswriter
- Rainer Schönborn (born 1962), ice dancer
- Larry Mitchell (born 1967), ice hockey player
- Julia Wilhelm (born 1980) author and journalist
- Nico Zimmermann (born 1985), football player
- Christin Hussong (born 1994), javelin thrower
Personalities who have worked on site
- Hieronymus Bock (1498-1554), significant physician and botanist
- Pantaleon Candidus (1540-1608), reformed theologian, historian and author
- Nicolas Appert (1749-1841), confectioner and inventor
- Jakob Weis (1879-1948) prison pastor in Zweibrücken 1909-1921, divisional chaplain in World War I, an author, 1925-1940 study professor at the secondary school or at school, 1940-1948 Emeritus in Zweibrücken, there he also died
- "Bevölkerungsstand 2018 - Gemeindeebene". Statistisches Landesamt Rheinland-Pfalz (in German). 2019.
One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Zweibrücken". Encyclopædia Britannica. 28 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 1060–1061.
- Crane Brinton, "France", in William L. Langer, ed., (1948), An Encyclopedia of World History, Rev. Edition, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, pp. 443-445.
- Climate Summary for Zweibrücken
- "Weatherbase.com". Weatherbase. 2013. Retrieved on July 6, 2013.
- "Partnerstädte". zweibruecken.de (in German). Zweibrücken. Retrieved 2019-12-04.
- Ammerich, Hans, Zweibrücken. Die alte Herzogsstadt in Geschichte und Gegenwart, Zweibrücken 1983
- Bartz, Günther, Zweibrücken. Frühe Kunde – Herzogliche Zeiten – heute, Speyer 1960
- Lehmann, Johann Georg, Vollständige Geschichte des Herzogthums Zweibrücken und seiner Fürsten, der Stamm- und Voreltern des k. bayer. Hauses, Munich, 1867
- Molitor, Ludwig, Vollständige Geschichte der ehemals pfalz-bayerischen Residenzstadt Zweibrücken von ihren ältesten Zeiten bis zur Vereinigung des Herzogtums Zweibrücken mit der Bayerischen Krone, Zweibrücken 1884