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Zweibrücken is a city of Germany in Rhineland-Palatinate, on the Schwarzbach River at the border of the Palatine Forest. Population 38,464 (2001).

The town was the capital of the former duchy of Zweibrücken, and the Alexander-Kirche (founded in 1493) contains the tombs of the dukes. The ducal castle is now occupied by the chief court of the Palatinate. There is a fine Gothic Catholic church. Weaving and brewing and the manufacture of machinery, chicory, cigars, malt, boots, furniture and soap are the chief industries.

Zweibrücken (" two bridges ") is the Latin Bipontinum; it appears in early documents also as Geminus Pans, and was called by the French Deux-Ponts.

The independent territory was at first a countship, the counts being descended from Henry I (Heinrich I.), youngest son of Simon I, count of Saarbrücken (d. 1182). This line, the Walramides, became extinct on the death of Count Eberhard (1393), who in 1385 had sold half his territory to the count palatine of the Rhine, and held the other half as his feudatory. Louis (d. 1489), son of Stephen, count palatine of Zimmern-Veldenz, founded the line of the dukes of Zweibrücken, which became extinct in 1731, when the duchy passed to the Birkenfeld branch, whence it came under the sway of Bavaria in 1799. At the peace of Luneville Zweibrücken was ceded to France; on its reunion with Germany in 1814 the greater part of the territory was given to Bavaria, the remainder to Oldenburg and Kingdom of Prussia.

At the ducal printing office at Zweibrücken the fine edition of the classics known as the Bipontine Editions was published (1799 sqq.).

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original text from an old 1911 encyclopedia - please update as needed