Many newcomers to Neunkirchen (Saar) may find themselves counting here. As they pass one of several beautiful churches, they are trying to discover if there are really nine, as the town name “neun” “kirchen” might suggest.
They will be disappointed to learn the name comes not from number nine, but from the phrase “an der neuen.” So Neunkirchen is not the city “of nine churches,” but the city “by the new church.”
Apart from its new church, the city of Neunkirchen had a strong connection to steel and coal industries. Its ironworks building was particularly famous, with good and bad consequences resulting from that renown.
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The good was that Germany’s iconic writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (author of Faust) paid a visit to Neunkirchen and wrote about his time here. The bad was that during the Second World War, the Allied Powers had also heard of this impressive industrial structure, and so bombed Neunkirchen quite heavily as a result.
Today it is still possible to find unexploded bombs that had malfunctioned during the air raids. (So watch your step! ;-)
The ironworks is no more these days in this town. And the last coal mine was closed in 1968. The city has pivoted from an industrial center to a shopping mecca. The ironworks has since been converted into an expansive mall.
Many former industrial sites have seen a similar fate as the ironworks. The old barren land that was once the seat of industry in Neunkirchen is now a park that mingles old machinery and natural greenery. Many monuments remain as a testimony to this city’s industrial history.
With its industrial ways in the past, there is more nature that can be seen today. One highlight is the “Daring Meadow Park.” Located about two kilometers outside the center, you will find playgrounds, indoor swimming pools, nature trails and a lovely rose garden.