Divalent metal phosphonates are promising hybrid materials with a broad field of application. The rich coordination chemistry of the phosphonate linkers enables the formation of structures with different dimensionalities ranging from isolated complexes and layered structures to porous frameworks incorporating various functionalities through the choice of the building blocks. In brief, metal phosphonates offer an interesting opportunity for the design of multifunctional materials. Here, we provide a short review on the class of divalent metal phosphonates discussing their syntheses, structures, and applications. We present the advantages of the recently introduced mechanochemical pathway for the synthesis of divalent phosphonates as a possibility to generate new, in certain cases metastable compounds. The benefits of in situ investigation of synthesis mechanisms as well as the implementation of sophisticated methods for the structure analysis of the resulting compounds are discussed.