views updated

Saarland State in sw Germany on the borders with France (s) and Luxembourg (w); the capital is Saarbrücken. Belonging intermittently to France, the Saar was finally ceded to Prussia after the defeat of Napoleon I in 1815. France administered the region after World War I but in a 1935 plebiscite 90% of the people voted for German administration. French forces again occupied the Saar after World War 2. Saarland finally gained the status of a West German state in 1967. The valley of the River Saar includes many blast furnaces and steel works, which exploit local coal and nearby iron ore. There is little agriculture, and some market gardening. Area: 2570sq km (992sq mi). Pop. (1999) 1,071,501.