Zweibrücken is a city in Rhineland-Palatinate
Rhineland-Palatinate is one of the 16 states of the Federal Republic of Germany. It has an area of and about four million inhabitants. The capital is Mainz. English speakers also commonly refer to the state by its German name, Rheinland-Pfalz ....

, Germany, on the Schwarzbach
Schwarzbach (Blies)
The Schwarzbach is a river in southwestern Germany, left tributary of the Blies. Its source is in the Palatinate Forest, near Trippstadt. It flows through the states Rhineland-Palatinate and Saarland. Towns along its course are Waldfischbach-Burgalben, Contwig and Zweibrücken...



Zweibrücken appears in Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 texts as Geminus Pons and Bipontum, in French
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

 texts as Deux-Ponts. The name derives from Middle High German
Middle High German
Middle High German , abbreviated MHG , is the term used for the period in the history of the German language between 1050 and 1350. It is preceded by Old High German and followed by Early New High German...

 Zweinbrücken (literally twin-bridge, double-bridge, two bridges). In modern German the name means two-bridges.


The town was the capital of the former Palatinate-Zweibrücken
Palatinate-Zweibrücken is a former state of the Holy Roman Empire. Its capital was Zweibrücken.-Overview:→ History before 1394 see main article County of Zweibrücken→ History before 1444 see main article County of Veldenz...

. The ducal castle is now occupied by the chief court of the Palatinate (Oberlandesgericht). There is a fine Gothic
Gothic architecture
Gothic architecture is a style of architecture that flourished during the high and late medieval period. It evolved from Romanesque architecture and was succeeded by Renaissance architecture....

 Protestant church, the Alexander-Kirche, founded in 1493.

Since the end of the 12th century, Zweibrücken was the seat of the County of Zweibrücken
County of Zweibrücken
The County of Zweibrücken was a territory in the Holy Roman Empire named for Zweibrücken in the contemporary Land Rhineland-Palatinate...

, the counts being descended from Henry I (Heinrich 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 domaine. Louis (d. 1489), son of Stephen
Stefan, Count Palatine of Simmern-Zweibrücken
Stephen of Simmern-Zweibrücken was Count Palatine of Simmern and Zweibrücken from 1410.He was the son of King Rupert of Germany and his wife Elisabeth of Nuremberg. After the death of Rupert the Palatinate was divided between four of his surviving sons...

, founded the line of the counts palatine of Zweibrücken (Pfalz-Zweibrücken). In 1533, the Counts palatine converted Pfalz-Zweibrücken to the new Protestant faith. In 1559, a member of the line, Duke Wolfgang, founded the earliest grammar school of the town (Herzog-Wolfgang-Gymnasium), which existed until 1987.

After Charles X Gustav
Charles X Gustav of Sweden
Charles X Gustav also Carl Gustav, was King of Sweden from 1654 until his death. He was the son of John Casimir, Count Palatine of Zweibrücken-Kleeburg and Catherine of Sweden. After his father's death he also succeeded him as Pfalzgraf. He was married to Hedwig Eleonora of Holstein-Gottorp, who...

, the son of John Casimir, count palatine of Pfalz-Zweibrücken, succeeded his cousin Queen Christina of Sweden
Christina of Sweden
Christina , later adopted the name Christina Alexandra, was Queen regnant of Swedes, Goths and Vandals, Grand Princess of Finland, and Duchess of Ingria, Estonia, Livonia and Karelia, from 1633 to 1654. She was the only surviving legitimate child of King Gustav II Adolph and his wife Maria Eleonora...

 on the Swedish throne, Pfalz-Zweibrücken was in personal union
Political unions involving Sweden
Sweden has for political and dynastic reasons been in union with other kingdoms and princely states, ostensibly personal unions.-Norway and Skåneland:In 1319 the infant Magnus Eriksson was crowned as king of both Sweden and Norway...

 with Sweden until 1718.

In 1731, Pfalz-Zweibrücken passed to the Palatinate-Birkenfeld-Zweibrücken
Palatinate-Birkenfeld-Zweibrücken was a state of the Holy Roman Empire based around the Duchy of Zweibrücken in modern Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany....

 branch of the counts palatine, from where it came under the sway of Bavaria
Bavaria, formally the Free State of Bavaria is a state of Germany, located in the southeast of Germany. With an area of , it is the largest state by area, forming almost 20% of the total land area of Germany...

 in 1799. At the Peace of Lunéville in 1801 Zweibrücken was ceded to France; on its reunion with Germany in 1814 the greater part of the territory was given to Bavaria, the remainder to Oldenburg
Oldenburg (state)
Oldenburg — named after its capital, the town of Oldenburg — was a state in the north of present-day Germany. Oldenburg survived from 1180 until 1918 as a county, duchy and grand duchy, and from 1918 until 1946 as a free state. It was located near the mouth of the River Weser...

 and Kingdom of Prussia
Kingdom of Prussia
The Kingdom of Prussia was a German kingdom from 1701 to 1918. Until the defeat of Germany in World War I, it comprised almost two-thirds of the area of the German Empire...

. The city of Zweibrücken became part of the Palatine region of the Kingdom of Bavaria
Kingdom of Bavaria
The Kingdom of Bavaria was a German state that existed from 1806 to 1918. The Bavarian Elector Maximilian IV Joseph of the House of Wittelsbach became the first King of Bavaria in 1806 as Maximilian I Joseph. The monarchy would remain held by the Wittelsbachs until the kingdom's dissolution in 1918...


At the ducal printing office at Zweibrücken the fine series of the classical editions known as the Bipontine Editions was published (1779 sqq.).

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
Kristallnacht, also referred to as the Night of Broken Glass, and also Reichskristallnacht, Pogromnacht, and Novemberpogrome, was a pogrom or series of attacks against Jews throughout Nazi Germany and parts of Austria on 9–10 November 1938.Jewish homes were ransacked, as were shops, towns and...

in 1938, the Zweibrücken synagogue was destroyed. With the outbreak of the Second World War the city was evacuated in 1939-1940, as it lay in the ‘Red Zone’ on the fortified Westwall (Siegfried Line
Siegfried Line
The original Siegfried line was a line of defensive forts and tank defences built by Germany as a section of the Hindenburg Line 1916–1917 in northern France during World War I...

). Shortly before the end of the war, on 14 March 1945 the city was nearly completely destroyed from bombing by the Royal Canadian Air Force, with the loss of more than 200 lives. On 20 March American ground troops reached Zweibrücken. The city became part of the new state of Rhineland-Palatinate
Rhineland-Palatinate is one of the 16 states of the Federal Republic of Germany. It has an area of and about four million inhabitants. The capital is Mainz. English speakers also commonly refer to the state by its German name, Rheinland-Pfalz ....

 after the war.

In 1990 the city underwent a major change. With the departure of the Americans, the military area became free, which corresponded altogether to a third of the entire city surface area. Unemployment increased to approximately 21%, leading to a decrease in demand in the retail trade of approximately 25%. These events led to rapid, creative decisions on the part of the city, with the resultant changes becoming the model for other communities. Within the core of the city, a small pedestrian precinct was completed, which includes some restored historic buildings.


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 tractors are the chief industries.

Zweibrücken Air Base

On the outskirts of the city, Zweibrücken Air Base
Zweibrücken Air Base
Zweibrücken Air Base was a NATO air base in West Germany . It was located 35 miles SSW of Kaiserslautern and 2 miles mi SE of Zweibrücken. It was assigned to the Royal Canadian Air Force and the United States Air Forces in Europe during its operational lifetime.The facility was closed in...

 was for many years home to U.S. Airmen
United States Air Forces in Europe
The United States Air Forces in Europe is the United States Air Force component of U.S. European Command, a Department of Defense unified command, and is one of two Air Force Major Commands outside of the continental United States, the other being the Pacific Air Forces...

 and their families. Prior to being a home for the USAFE, the base was operated by the Royal Canadian Air Force
Royal Canadian Air Force
The history of the Royal Canadian Air Force begins in 1920, when the air force was created as the Canadian Air Force . In 1924 the CAF was renamed the Royal Canadian Air Force and granted royal sanction by King George V. The RCAF existed as an independent service until 1968...

. It was known as #3 Fighter Wing which was part of #1 Canadian Air Division which had its headquarters in Metz, France. During the years 1953 to 1968, it was the home to 413, 427 and 434 Fighter Squadrons which flew F-86 Sabre jets, and 440 Squadron which flew CF-100 Canuck, then the CF-104 Starfighter. The RF-4C was stationed there from the 1970s to 1991 under the 26th TRS. The RF-4C aircraft were photo-reconnaissance aircraft with missions all over Europe. They were also used in Desert Storm.
The C-23 "Sherpa", a small prop driven transport plane, also flew out of the Air Base in the 1980s. Today Zweibrücken Air Base has been transformed into the modern Zweibrücken Airport
Zweibrücken Airport
Zweibrücken Airport , or Flughafen Zweibrücken in German, is an airport in Zweibrücken, Germany. After Frankfurt-Hahn Airport, it is the second biggest airport in Rhineland-Palatinate.In 2010 264.247 passengers used the airport...., an international airport with flights to Palma de Mallorca
Palma de Mallorca
Palma is the major city and port on the island of Majorca and capital city of the autonomous community of the Balearic Islands in Spain. The names Ciutat de Mallorca and Ciutat were used before the War of the Spanish Succession and are still used by people in Majorca. However, the official name...

, Antalya
Antalya is a city on the Mediterranean coast of southwestern Turkey. With a population 1,001,318 as of 2010. It is the eighth most populous city in Turkey and country's biggest international sea resort.- History :...

, Gran Canaria
Gran Canaria
Gran Canaria is the second most populous island of the Canary Islands, with a population of 838,397 which constitutes approximately 40% of the population of the archipelago...

, Teneriffe
Tenerife is the largest and most populous island of the seven Canary Islands, it is also the most populated island of Spain, with a land area of 2,034.38 km² and 906,854 inhabitants, 43% of the total population of the Canary Islands. About five million tourists visit Tenerife each year, the...

, Rhodos
Rhodes is an island in Greece, located in the eastern Aegean Sea. It is the largest of the Dodecanese islands in terms of both land area and population, with a population of 117,007, and also the island group's historical capital. Administratively the island forms a separate municipality within...

, Heraklion
Heraklion, or Heraclion is the largest city and the administrative capital of the island of Crete, Greece. It is the 4th largest city in Greece....

 and Fuerteventura
Fuerteventura , a Spanish island, is one of the Canary Islands, in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Africa. It is situated at 28°20' north, 14°00' west. At 1,660 km² it is the second largest of the Canary Islands, after Tenerife...

 (TUIfly), Berlin-Tegel (Air Berlin), Istanbul
Istanbul , historically known as Byzantium and Constantinople , is the largest city of Turkey. Istanbul metropolitan province had 13.26 million people living in it as of December, 2010, which is 18% of Turkey's population and the 3rd largest metropolitan area in Europe after London and...

 (Pegasus Airlines)

On the other side of the city was Kreuzberg Kasern, home to various units of the United States Army; however, only one combat unit, Alpha battery 2nd Battalion, 60th Air Defense Artillery, was headquartered on the Ramstein Air Base. Major tenants were USAISEC-Eur (Information Systems Engineering Command - Europe) and the USA MATCOMEUR (Material Command, Europe) later renamed the US Army Material Management Agency, Europe.


Barrie, Ontario
Barrie, Ontario
Barrie is a city in Southern Ontario, Canada, located on the western shore of Lake Simcoe, approximately 90 km north of Toronto. Although located in Simcoe County, the city is politically independent...

, Canada since 1996 Boulogne-sur-Mer
-Road:* Metropolitan bus services are operated by the TCRB* Coach services to Calais and Dunkerque* A16 motorway-Rail:* The main railway station is Gare de Boulogne-Ville and located in the south of the city....

, France since 1959 Nyakizu (formerly Runyinya), Rwanda
Rwanda or , officially the Republic of Rwanda , is a country in central and eastern Africa with a population of approximately 11.4 million . Rwanda is located a few degrees south of the Equator, and is bordered by Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo...

 since 1982 Yorktown, Virginia
Yorktown, Virginia
Yorktown is a census-designated place in York County, Virginia, United States. The population was 220 in the 2000 census. It is the county seat of York County, one of the eight original shires formed in colonial Virginia in 1634....

, United States since 1978

Further reading

  • 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

External links

Page with Photos and Information Page about Outlets Zweibrücken
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