Saarbrücken is the capital and largest city of the state of Saarland, Germany. Saarbrücken is Saarlands administrative, commercial and cultural centre. The city is situated next to the French border at the heart of the metropolitan area of Saarland. Saarbrücken was created in 1909 by the merger of three towns, Saarbrücken, St. Johann, and Malstatt-Burbach. It used to be the industrial and transport centre of the Saar coal basin. Products included iron and steel, sugar, beer, pottery, optical instruments, machinery, and construction materials. Historic landmarks in the city include the stone bridge across the Saar, the Gothic church of St. Arnual, the 18th-century Saarbrücken Castle, and the old part of the town, the Sankt Johanner Markt . Twice in the 20th century Saarbrücken was separated from Germany: in 1920–35 as capital of the Territory of the Saar Basin and in 1947–56 as capital of the Saar Protectorate.