Zweibrücken (tsvĪˌbrüˈkən) [key], Fr. Deux-Ponts, city (1994 pop. 35,704), Rhineland-Palatinate, W Germany, near the Saarland border. Zweibrücken is a transportation center and has ironworks, steelworks, and factories that produce leather goods, wood products, machines, and textiles. It is also a noted horse-breeding center, horse races are held there. Zweibrücken was chartered in 1352 and passed (1385) to the Palatinate branch of the Bavarian house of Wittelsbach. In 1410 it became the seat of the counts (later dukes) palatine of Zweibrücken under a cadet line of the Palatinate branch. Charles X of Sweden was the nephew of John II, duke palatine of Zweibrücken; his son, Charles XI of Sweden, inherited Zweibrücken in the late 17th cent., and the duchy remained in personal union with Sweden from 1697 until the death (1718) of Charles XII. The Zweibrücken line continued until 1731, when the related Palatinate-Birkenfeld line acceded. The duchy of Zweibrücken was annexed (1797) to France. It was restored to Bavaria at the Congress of Vienna (1814–15) and since then has shared the history of the Rhenish Palatinate. It was virtually demolished in World War II but has since been reconstructed.
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