Mrs Britz, what is special about your city?
The state capital of Saarbrücken combines its idyllic location on a river with the distinctive charm of a border region. It’s a city of short distances where everything is within easy reach. Here you can find first-class restaurants, shop in our large shopping malls or exclusive boutiques, go to theatres and festivals, or enjoy a coffee in the sun on the St. Johann Markt. And everything is easily reachable within a few minutes even on foot. Then too Saarbrücken is the main centre of the Saar-Lor-Lux-Region. This is where people work, where they shop and where political and media institutions have their headquarters. Another unique feature of our city in Saarland is its big, young creative scene.
What do you see when you look out the window of your office?
St. John’s Church. It was built in the neo-Gothic style and survived the Second World War with almost no damage. At St. John’s not only worship services are celebrated but cultural events also take place. From my window I also see the marvelous flower arrangements in the City Hall forecourt created by which our staff. In addition, in front of the City Hall there’s a stop of our Saarbahn, a train service connecting Germany and France.
Where in your city do you like to be most?
In the St. Johann Markt, in the heart of the city. Many Saarbrückers think of this square, with its pubs, boutiques, restaurants and bistros, as their living room. As soon of the first rays of sun come out, there’s really a lot going on in the St. Johann Markt. Absolutely the place in Saarbrücken.
What figure in your city to you value most?
I wouldn’t want to specify a particular person. I value all the people in my city who show their engagement in voluntary work, no matter in what area, and help make our city tolerant and humane: they represent Saarbrücken’s cosmopolitanism.
What place would you like to show tourists?
The natural surroundings of our city – for example, the Brunnenweg (Well’s Path) in the Ensheimer Gelösch, which has been awarded the German hiker’s seal. It connects eleven wells in the Ensheim Valley, and you can quietly soak up the beauty of the landscape on this hike.
Where can you best get to know the people of your city?
The numerous restaurants in the Nauweiser quarter are real contact exchanges. But on a downtown shopping tour you also meet nice people who are glad to give you tips. Worth a visit are the major summer festivals: the “Saar Spectacle” alone draws 280,000 visitors to our city. A highlight of the year for film enthusiasts is the biggest festival for young directors, the “Max Ophüls’s Prize” in January. For a week the city is full of young film fans.
And where do you most like to spend your holidays?
My favourite destinations are islands, because there, with the vastness of sea’s horizon before you, you can bury yourself in your thoughts without any distractions.