city, Rhineland-Palatinate Land (state), southwestern Germany. It lies between the Haardt Mountains (Pfalzer Wald) and the Saar-Nahe-Bergland (Nordpfalzer Bergland), northeast of Saarbrucken. It is surrounded by the Pfalzer Wald Nature Park. A royal residence existed there in the Carolingian period (after 751). The place-name is derived from Lauter (a local stream) and from the emperor (kaiser) Frederick I (Frederick Barbarossa), who built a palace on the site in the 12th century. It became an imperial city in 1276 but fell under the rule of the electoral counts palatine by 1375. The city was the focal point of the Palatinate democratic revolution in 1848-49. By 1900 it had developed into one of the largest industrial centres in the Palatinate, with ironworks and cotton mills.
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