Saarkran – a wooden port crane on the octagonal stone base in Saarbrücken- takes a special place in the architectural heritage of Friedrich Joachim Stengel. It is on the banks of the Saar River near Wilhelm-Heinrich-Brücke bridge. The crane is topped with a gilded statue of an eagle with open wings. This is the replica of the original crane that worked in 1762-1852. Prince Wilhelm Heinrich von Nassau-Saarbrücken personally attended the groundbreaking ceremony of the crane, held in 1761.
The port crane is an important detail in the life of Saarbrücken. The Saar port that is popular due to its location needed such a construction to accelerate the unloading of ships, so the costs were not considered. The construction of the crane required a total of 5,000 guilders. In 1852, the wooden parts of the crane were replaced with a steel structure, but in 1865 it was dismantled, because the construction was no more needed thanks to the development of railways and the construction of the new port.
The crane was forgotten for almost one hundred years. But in the early 1960s workers stumbled upon the stone base of the crane during the construction of a new highway. It took enthusiasts another 30 years to convince the city authorities of the need to return Stengel’s creation to Saarbrücken. The restoration work, which ended in 1991, was financed mostly by donations of citizens.