Saarbrücken is the capital of the state of Saarland in Germany. Saarbrücken is Saarland's administrative, commercial and cultural centre. The city is situated next to the French border at the heart of a metropolitan area where most of the people of Saarland live.Saarbrücken was created in 1909 by the merger of three towns, Saarbrücken, St. Johann and Malstatt-Burbach and used to be the industrial and transport centre of the Saar coal basin. Products included iron and steel, sugar, beer, pottery, optical instruments, machinery, and construction materials.Historic landmarks in the city include the stone bridge across the Saar (1546), the Gothic church of St Arnual, the 18th-century Saarbrücken Castle and the old part of the town, the St. Johanner Markt (Sankt Johann market).Two times in the 20th century Saarbrücken was separated from Germany, in 1920–35 as capital of the Territory of the Saar Basin and in 1947–56 as capital of the Saar Protectorate.ToponymyIn modern German, Saarbrücken literally means Saar bridges, and indeed there are about a dozen bridges across the Saar river. However the name actually predates the oldest bridge in the historic center of Saarbrücken, the Alte Brücke, by at least 500 years.The name Saar stems from the Celtic word sara (streaming water), and the Roman name of the river, saravus.However, there are three theories about the origin of the second part of the name Saarbrücken.