Saarlouis is a city and district (Kreis) in Saarland. With close to 200,000 inhabitants, it is the second most populous district in Saarland after neighbouring Saarbrücken, though only about 35,000 live in the city of Saarlouis itself. The rest of the population is quite evenly distributed among other cities, towns and municipalities, which are generally concentrated around steel mills and other industrial plants. Saarlouis itself has been serving mainly as workers' accommodation for one, and today is the seat of one of the largest Ford assembly plants in the world.
Saarlouis was founded by Louis XIV, the "Sun King" of France (hence the name, which was originally spelt the French way as Sarrelouis) as a fortress in the border region of Saar that had always been a conflict zone between France and the various German states. The 17th-century hexagonal fortress shape and the rectangular street grid can still be seen in the city centre.
Apart from Saarlouis itself, the district contains two more towns with city rights - Dillingen, which is practically an extension of Saarlouis downstream along the Saar and centred around a huge steel mill Dillinger Hütte, and Lebach, a town of nearly 20,000 with some historic buildings.
See the Saarland article for which airports to use and below for how to get from the airport to Saarlouis
The easiest way to get to Saarlouis is via Saarbrücken, which lies on the Frankfurt-Paris high-speed railway line and has direct connections to many other German cities, as well as an international airport. There are multiple regional trains every hour between Saarbrücken and Saarlouis. Other destinations with direct regional train connections to Saarlouis include smaller municipalities in both Saarbrücken and Saarlouis districts, other districts in Saarland, as well as the Mosel-Saar-Express running every two hours to Trier and Koblenz in Rhineland-Palatinate.
There are two railway stations with passenger service in the district of Saarlouis - the Saarlouis Hauptbahnhof (main station), and the station in the city of Dillingen.
- 1 Grosser Markt (Large Market). Focal point of the old town of Saarlouis
- 2 St. Ludwig catholic church.
- 3 Deutsches Tor.
- 1 Bahnhof-Hotel Saarlouis, Dr.-Manfred-Henrich-Platz 4, ☏ .
- 2 Hotel Ratskeller, Kleiner Markt 7, ☏ .