Merzig, a city of about 30 000 citizens, lies right between Saarbruecken and Trier, and is from each city about 50 km away, just like its distance of 50 km to France (Metz) and Luxembourg. Merzig's urban area extends from Merziger basin (valley) along the Saar river. It's a lovely, little, green town famous for wine growing, and so called Viez production.
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Ok, so not the most typical place I would recommend, as it's quite little and not as much to see as in other places. But in any case Bildstock is a cute little town with a quite impressive church, and great parks and places to wander about if you want to spend some quiet time around nature! Bildstock is right next to Friedrichsthal (they have the same cityhall), and it's about 20 minutes away from Saarbrücken. The town got it's name becasue supposedly many years ago a drawing of the virgin was found on a wood stick.
If you are around the Saarbrücken area a nice day trip might be to Neunkirchen (nine churches). From the name of the city you can well imagine that there are plenty little churches that you can visit. However Neunkirchen is also a very young and active town, there's usually plenty of people just having a walk, or shopping. What I also found very interesting is that they have transformed former factories (this was a very industrial area) into bars/discos and even cinemas. Definitely a nice place to see if you have a few hours to walk around. It's about 30 minutes away from Saarbrücken with the train or car.
A few minutes out of town is the magnificent rusting hulk of a disused ironworks, now a UNESCO protected site. The heart of Saarland is its industrial heritage, and you won't find it better preserved, exhibited or manifested any better than in Volklinger Hutte. In fact, you'd be hard pressed to find a better example of a 20th century industrial landscape anywhere in Germany or even Europe. It's a quality site and well worth a visit.
To get there, just take a local train from the station in the direction of Trier.
The University of Music (Hochschule fuer Musik Saar) is conveniently located right behind the theater. And right next to the modern art gallery, if that is any help.
Classical music and jazz concerts and recitals by students, faculty and guests are held every few days either here or in nearby churches or former churches, and are usually open to the public, either at no cost (in the case of student recitals) or at a cost of 5 or 6 Euros.
Second photo: Bicycles at the University of Music.
The Adult Education Center (vhs) is right up on the Schlossplatz next to the palace. The building has been nicely modernized, with attractive state-of-the-art classrooms and assembly rooms. I have been invited here twice thus far to do presentations for the English teachers, in 2003 and 2004.
Second photo: Entrance to the Adult Education Center (vhs).
As a former working-class city (there used to be numerous mines and factories in this area, most of which have now closed down) Saarbruecken is one of the few (West) German cities that has a street named after Karl Marx (1818-1883), the founder of scientific socialism.
Marx was born in Trier, which is maybe a hundred or so kilometers downstream from Saarbruecken, just past the place where the Saar flows into the Mosel.
As you can see if you enlarge the photo, it is not a particularly glamorous street, even though the two young ladies are doing their best to feel glamorous in their new underwear. French cigarettes are being advertised on the left, and the cigarette machine on the right is -- typically -- mounted low to the ground so that small children will not have to stand on tiptoes to become addicted.
Do not miss the exciting scenery near Saarbrucken! The hills look amazingly green, and when the weather is fine (to do justice to the place I must say that I have never seen bad weather in that part of Germany, but I've been there only in summer) they look just fantastic set against the blue sky.