|A horse, a rose, and two bridges are the symbols of 600 year old Zweibrücken. The name of the
town refers to the two brooks running through town. Notoriously beautiful roses grow in profusion,
and horses have been bred and raised in Zweibrücken since 1744 and are known throughout Europe
and the world. Christian IV released a decree that regulated the access of stallions, owned by the
duke, at stud farms on the outskirts of the dukedom of Zweibrücken. Duke Karl II August, 1775–
1795, his nephew and successor, continued the program according to the high standards of the past.
The Zweibrückener horsed was so well thought of that 150 stallions and almost 200 broodmares
were once purchased by the Prussian king. Although there was settlement in the Zweibrücken area
very early, the actual foundations of the city were laid in 1350, when the Counts of Saarbrucken
established a custom-house at Zweibrücken. After the counts sold the city to the Electors of Palatine,
the independent line of the Dukes of Zweibrücken began. Like so many unique little German
Dukedoms, Zweibrucken has a long and colorful history.
Zweibrücken was defended by the Swedish under Gustav Adolph during the Thirty Years War, but
left damaged. In fact, three Swedish kings were descended from the Zweibrücken Ducal line, Karl X,
Karl XI, and Karl XII, who married a Swedish princess. Since the Swedish crown couldn't pass to a
woman, he became the Swedish king, and Zweibrücken in effect became a Swedish province.
The ancestral castle of the house of Wittelsbach was in Zweibrücken, and the Alexanderkirche held
the Wittelsbach Royal crypt. The architecture of the heart of the city once reflected a unique blend of
Swedish Renaissance and Baroque. Karlsberg Castle, built by Duke Karl August, was once the most
impressive in the Palatinate and rivaled those of Ludwig II of Bavaria. This magnificent castle was
completely destroyed by the invading French in 1794. The church by the British in 1945.
The Zweibrücken Regiment, or "Royal Deux-Ponts" under the command of Wilhelm von
Zweibrücken-Forbach during the American Revolutionary War stormed and captured Yorktown,
Virginia, losing twenty-nine men in the process. However, the assault resulted in the surrender of
8,000 British troops under the command of Cornwallis. Von Zweibrücken was wounded in battle and
promoted to Colonel, while his brother, Christian, the regimental commander, was promoted to
General. Three diaries kept by officers of the regiment are still in existence. The British got even later:
|Historic and beautiful Zweibrücken was almost completely destroyed by Allied bombs.
The royal castle, before and after, above