Map of SaarlandFlag of Saarland
















The Celts and Germanic Franks were the earliest known inhabitants of the area, which subsequently became part of the Carolingian empire and the eastern Frankish empire. By the Middle Ages the Saar consisted of several small territories, the largest of which was centred on the city of Saarbrücken. From 1381 to 1793 Saarbrücken was ruled by the counts of Nassau-Saarbrücken. The territory around Saarbrücken, though inhabited by German-speaking people, was much influenced by France in the 150 years following the Treaty of Westphalia (1648). The Saar became a French province in 1684 under the Truce of Regensburg, but in 1697 France was forced to surrender all of the Saar except the town of Saarlouis under the Treaty of Rijswijk. From 1792 to 1815 France again occupied the Saar, together with the entire west bank of the Rhine. With the final defeat of Napoleon in 1815, France was forced to cede most of the Saar to Prussia, which made the area part of its Prussian Rhine province. When Alsace-Lorraine was added to the German empire in 1871, the Saar ceased to be a boundary state and experienced rapid industrial development based on its own coal deposits and the iron-ore deposits of Lorraine.


After World War I the Saar coal mines were awarded to France, and the Saarland was placed under the administration of the League of Nations for 15 years, at the end of which time a plebiscite would permit the inhabitants to choose between being part of France or Germany. In the actual plebiscite held on 13 January 1935, more than 90 percent of the inhabitants of the Saar voted for its return to Germany, which was duly accomplished.


In 1945, following World War II, French military forces occupied the Saar, and two years later the first Saar state Parliament adopted a constitution that called for an autonomous Saar in an economic union with France. By 1954, however, West Germany's renewed prosperity was attracting the sympathies of most Saarlanders, and in that year France and the Federal Republic of Germany agreed to a statute that provided for the Saar's autonomy under a European commissioner. The new status was to be approved by a referendum, however, and in the event (23 October 1955) 68 percent of the Saar's voters rejected the statute and, by implication, the separation of the Saar from Germany. The French subsequently agreed (l956) to the return of the Saar to West Germany, and on 1 January 1957, the Saarland finally achieved its present status as a federal Land of Germany.


The French franc was kept as the currency in Saarland until the (West) German mark was introduced on 6 July 1959. From 1 January 1957 to that date several West German stamps were issued in French currency with the extra country name 'Saarland'.



Capital:                      Saarbrücken

Government:              state of the Federal Republic of Germany

Area:                         2.569 km²

Population:                 1.019.100 (1957)

Currency:                   Saar franc (100 centimes) (until 6 July 1959)

UN country code:         -

Internet TLD:              -

Dialling code:             -


Member of:                no international organizations






Saarland in Wikipedia.

Flag of Saarland in Flags of the World.




Stamp catalogue


International Letter Writing Week

date:                   5 October 1957

designer:             Wilhelm Neufeld

printer:               Bundesdruckerei, Berlin, Germany

perforated:          14:13¾

sheet:                 50

extra:                 first day cover


1     15 F             two carrier pigeons with letters, text "INTERNATIONALE / BRIEFWOCHE / 1957"

                          black, red

                          (cat. Michel 408/SG 405/Yvert 390)


Saarland - stamp as described above









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last revised: 1 September 2010