Saarlouis is a city in the Saarland of Germany located on the river Saar. The city was named after Louis XIV of France and built as a fortress in 1680. With the Treaty of Paris in 1815, Saarlouis along with parts of the surrounding region became Prussian. Following the First World War, French troops occupied Saarlouis and the region became a protectorate of the League of Nations for a 15 year period. During the later part of this 15 year period many anti-Nazi Germans fled to the Saar as it was the only part of Germany not controlled by the Third Reich. Despite these groups campaigning heavily to remain under League of Nations control, a plebiscite was held in January of 1935 with an overwhelming majority wishing to rejoin Germany. From 1936 to 1945, Saarlouis was named as Saarlautern in an attempt to Germanize the town name.
After World War II, the region was again occupied by France. However, in a plebiscite in 1955, a majority of the poeple in the Saarland opted for reunification with the Federal Republic of Germany and the region became the 10th federal state of West Germany in 1957. Saarlouis was famous for its nearby steel and iron ore production.
Ludwigskirche of Saarlouis
The Ludwigskirche (St. Louis Church) in Saarlouis has gone through so much transformation that not much remains of the original baroque church built at the time of the city's founding. The nave was demolished for the first time in 1864 due it its unsafe condition and was replaced with a neo-Gothic nave. After a fire destroyed most of the church in 1880, a neo-Gothic tower was built to compliment the style of the nave. Again, in 1965 the nave had to be demolished as the groundwater level had fallen and caused structural instability. The new monolithic nave was completed in 1970. The only parts of the church remaining from the original baroque church are the two small corner buildings.