Güdingen Lock and Weir
Lock: in 1806, Napoleon dictated the canalisation of the river Saar by imperial decree in order to facilitate the transportation of coal from the Saarland to France. Between 1806 and 1813, locks were built from Sarreguemines to Saarbrücken. After the construction of the Saar Canal was decided upon in an 1861 contract between Prussia and France, the old locks were demolished and re-utilised as building material during the construction works from 1862 until 1866. 31 locks were built, 30 of which in France. The first German lock is situated 1 km below the Franco-German border, in Saarbrücken-Güdingen. Built in 1863, it originally consisted of a lock for ships with a length of 38,5 m and a width of 5,05 m and a needle dam with two fields to regulate the water level. At the time of péniche navigation (péniche = working barge), Güdingen was the only lock with an electric drive propulsion system.
Weir: between 1937 and 1939, the Güdingen needle dam was replaced by a modern weir. To reach the flood-free pier pillars, a steel footbridge was mounted, which linked the two lifting jacks via the middle pillar. During the past 30 years, the Güdingen lock and weir has had to endure a few modernising measures, such as, for instance, the installation of electric safety switches and appropriate propulsion devices for the rack and pinions