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Location in Germany
Basic Information
German State: Baden-Württemberg
Administrative District: Districtless
Conurbation: North Black Forest
Area: 98.03 km²
Population (City of Stuttgart): 118,985 (June 30, 2004)
Population Density: 1214 inhabitants/km²
Average Altitude: 257 m
Post Code: 75101-75181
(formerly: 7530)
Area Code: 07231 and 07234
Car Licence Code: PF
Geographical Position: Template:Coor dms
Lord Mayor: Christel Augenstein (FDP / DVP)
Web Site:
E-Mail: (

Pforzheim is a town of 115,000 inhabitants in the state of Baden-Württemberg, south-west Germany at the gate to the Black Forest. It has an area of 98 km² and lies between the cities of Stuttgart and Karlsruhe at the confluence of three rivers (Enz, Nagold and Würm) and marks the frontier between Baden and Schwaben.

Pforzheim is the district (Kreis) capital of Enzkreis, despite being of no district itself, and is known for its jewelery and watchmaking industry.

During World War II, ten days after the Bombing of Dresden in World War II, Pforzheim was bombed by the RAF at 7.30 pm local time. After the air raid, 83% of the town's buildings had been destroyed. Within 20 minutes of the start of the raid, a quarter of the town's population, 20,000 people, had been killed. The Allies' reasoning for the raid was the suspicion that the town contained armament factories. But the factories were evacuated in 1944.

After the war, the rubble from the destruction was heaped into a large pile on the outskirts of the town, as was done by other cities such as Stuttgart and Munich. A building called the "Wallberg" was erected as a concrete "cap" on the mountain of rubble, long since covered with earth and vegetation.



Pforzheim is located at the northern rim of the eastern part of the Black Forest (Schwarzwald) and the rim of the hilly country of the Kraichgau, in an open valley at the confluences of the rivers Wuerm and Nagold and the rivers Nagold and Enz. Due to its location, this city is also called "The three valleys town" (Drei-Taeler Stadt) or the "Gateway to the Northern Blackforest" (Pforte zum Nordschwarzwald). The early settlement (in fact much earlier than nowadays centers Stuttgart and Karlsruhe) by the Romans, who shortly past the confluence of the three rivers constructed at this place a ford through the river for their military highway, is also due to this extraordinary geography. Due to this location, Pforzheim later on became a center for the timber rafting trade which transported timber from the Black Forest via the rivers Wuerm, Nagold, Enz and then the Neckar and Rhine to, among other destinations, the Netherlands for use in shipbuilding.

Pforzheim and its surrounding area belongs to the "Densely Populated Area Karlsruhe/Pforzheim". Pforzheim has the functions of a regional center (Mittelzentrum) for the towns and municipalities Birkenfeld (Enzkreis), Eisingen, Engelsbrand, Friolzheim, Heimsheim, Ispringen, Kaempfelbach, Keltern, Kieselbronn, Koenigsbach-Stein, Moensheim, Neuenbuerg (Wuerttemberg), Neuhausen, Neulingen, Niefern-Oeschelbronn, Oelbronn-Duerrn, Remchingen, Straubenhardt, Tiefenbronn, Wiernsheim,Wimsheim and Wurmberg.

Neighboring communities

The following towns and communities share borderlines with the City of Pforzheim. Below they are mentioned in clockwise order, beginning to the north of the city. Except for Unterreichenbach, which belongs to the district of Calw, all of them are included in the district Enzkreis.

Ispringen, Neulingen, Kieselbronn, Niefern-Oeschelbronn, Wurmberg, Wimsheim, Neuhausen (Enzkreis), Unterreichenbach, Engelsbrand, Birkenfeld (Enzkreis), Keltern and Kaempfelbach

City wards

The city of Pforzheim consists of 16 city wards. The communities Buechenbronn, Eutingen on the Enz, Hohenwart, Huchenfeld and Wuerm, which by way of the latest regional administrative reform during the 1970s were incorporated into Pforzheim's administration, are represented by independent community councils and community administrations according to § 8 and following paragraphs of the main city-ordinance of Pforzheim. In important matters concerning any of these communities the opinions of the respective community councils must be taken into consideration. However, final decisions on the matter will be made by the Pforzheim city council.

  • City center (Innenstadt)
  • Northern ward (Nordstadt)
  • Eastern ward (Oststadt)
  • Southeastern ward (Suedoststadt)
  • Southwestern ward (Suedweststadt)
  • Western ward (Weststadt)
  • Arlinger
  • Broetzingen
  • Buckenberg and Hagenschiess; including Altgefaell, Haidach and Wald-Siedlung
  • Buechenbronn including Sonnenberg
  • Sonnenhof
  • Dillweissenstein
  • Eutingen on the Enz including Maeuerach
  • Hohenwart
  • Huchenfeld
  • Wuerm

A small photo gallery with views of Pforzheim (2003)

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Pforzheim city center. 1
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Schlosskirche St. Michael. 2
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The New City Hall and Waisenhaus square. 3
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Enz river at Rossbruecke. 4

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Statue of Johannes Reuchlin. 5
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Monument commemorating the timber floating profession in medieval Pforzheim. 6


Since 90: A settlement was established by Roman citizens at the Enz river near nowadays Altstaedter Bruecke (old town bridge). Archeological surveys have unearthed several items from that period which are kept and displayed in the Kappelhof Museum. The settlement was located where the Roman military road connecting the military camp Argentorate (nowadays Strasbourg in France) and the military camp at Cannstatt (now a suburb of Stuttgart) at the Upper Germanic Limes border line of the Roman Empire crossed the Enz river. This place was known as Portus (river crossing, harbor), which is believed to be the origin of the first part of the city's name "Pforzheim". A Roman milestone (the so-called 'Leugenstein') from the year 245 and later excavated at nowadays Friolzheim shows the exact distance to 'Portus'; it is the first document about the settlement.

259/260: The Roman settlement 'Portus' was destroyed completely, as the Frank and Alemanni tribes overrun the Upper Germanic Limes border line of the Roman Empire and conquered the Roman administrated area west of the Rhine river. From then on, over an extended period of time historical records about the settlement are not available.

6th/7th century: Graves from this period indicate that the settlement had been continued.

1067: The settlement of Pforzheim was mentioned for the first time in a document by Henry IV, Holy Roman Emperor as "Phorzheim". Visits to Pforzheim by Henry IV in 1067 and 1074 are documented.

Before 1080: The "old town" of Pforzheim was awarded market rights (Marktrecht). At that time Pforzheim belonged to the estate of Hirsau Monastery, according to monastery documents.

From 1150: Establishment of the "new town" west of the "old town" at the foot of the Schlossberg (palais hill) under Margrave Hermann V.

1200: The town charter of the "new town" was mentioned for the first time in a document. The "old town" continued to exist as a legally independent entity.

1220: The Margraves of Baden selected Pforzheim as their residence. The "new town" became prominent.

1240: A mayor of Pforzheim was mentioned in a document for the first time.

13th/14th century: Pforzheim enjoyed its first period of flourishment. A group of influential patricians emerged. They developed extensive activities on the financial markets of those days. The town drew its income from the wood trade, timber rafting, the tannery trade, textile manufacturing and other crafts. Documents mention mayor, judge, council and citizens. During this era three catholic orders established their convents in town (the Franciscan order established their domicile within the city wall at nowadays Barfuesserkirche (the choir of which remains), the Dominican nun order established their domicile outside of the walls of the old town near Auer bridge, and the Prediger cloister was located east of the Schlossberg, probably inside the town walls). Outside of the city wall across the Enz river, the suburb Floesser Quarters (the home of the timber floating trade) was established. Next to the western town wall, the suburb of Broetzingen gradually developed. The Margraves of Baden considered Pforzheim as their most important power base up to the first half of the 14th century. Under Margrave Bernard I (Bernhard I) Pforzheim became one of the administrative centers of the margraviate.

1322: Holy Ghost Hospital was founded at Traenk Street (nowadays Deimling Street).

15th century: Various fraternities among people working in the same trade were established: The fraternity of tailors in 1410, the fraternity of bakers on May 14, 1422, the fraternity of the weavers in 1469, the fraternity of the wine-growers in 1491, the fraternity of the skippers and timber raftsmen in 1501, and the fraternity of the carters in 1512. Members of the same fraternity assisted each other in various ways, for example with funerals and in cases of sickness. In a sense, the fraternities were early forms of health and life insurances.

August 8/9, 1418: Sigismund, Holy Roman Emperor visits Margrave Bernard I (Bernhard I) in Pforzheim. On this occasion the mint of the Margraves of Baden in Pforzheim was mentioned. The emperor appointed the master of the Pforzheim mint, Jakob Broglin, and Bois von der Winterbach for five years as the masters of the mints of Frankfurt and Noerdlingen. The Margrave was appointed as their patron.

1447: The wedding of Margrave Charles I (Karl I) of Baden with Katharina of Austria, the sister of Frederick III, Holy Roman Emperor (Friedrich III), was celebrated in Pforzheim with great pomp (including tournaments and dances).

1455: Johannes Reuchlin, the great German humanist, was born in Pforzheim on January 29 (he died in Stuttgart on June 30, 1522). He attended the Latin School section of the monastery school run by the Dominican order of Pforzheim in the late 1460s. Later, partly due to Reuchlin's efforts, the Latin School of Pforzheim developed into one of the most prominent schools in southwestern Germany. The school's teachers and pupils played an outstanding role in the dissemination of the ideas of humanism and the protestant reformation movement. The most famous pupils included Reuchlin himself, Reuchlin's nephew Philipp Melanchthon, and Simon Grynaeus.

1460: Margrave Karl I established a kind of monastery (Kollegialstift) at the site of Schlosskirche St. Michael, turning the church into a collegiate church.

1463: Margrave Karl I was forced to transfer the palais and the town of Pforzheim as a fiefdom to the Elector Palatine. He then began to build a new palais in nowadays Baden-Baden. Margrave Christoph I finally moved the residence of the margraves to Baden-Baden. This gradually ended the first period of Pforzheim's flourishment. The rich merchants gradually left the town, which declined to the status of a country town of mostly small traders.

1486: The Weavers Ordinance (Wollweberordnung) for the towns Pforzheim und Ettlingen was approved by Margrave Christoph I. This regulation of the weaving trade did not allow the formation of a regular guilt (Zunft).

1501: Margrave Christoph I of Baden enacted the "Ordinance on the timber rafting profession in Pforzheim". The single timber logs that were floated from the deeper Black Forest areas down the Enz, Nagold and Wuerm rivers were bound together in the Au area to form larger timber rafts. Those rafts were then floated down the lower Enz, Neckar and Rhine rivers. The timber rafting stations of Weissenstein, Dillstein and Pforzheim were well known in the profession.

1501 was also the year for which an outbreak of the plague (probably the bubonic plague) is recorded in the Swabian chronicle Annalium Suevicorum by Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen professor Martin Grusius, published 1596. It is not known how many of Pforzheim's citizens died in that year, but there are reports of 500 deceased in the close-by city of Calw and about 4000 in Stuttgart, which accounted for approximately one quarter to one half of the populations of those towns. Outbreaks of the disease were reported for many places in southwestern Germany, Bohemia, the Alsace region in nowadays France, Switzerland, and Italy. Common graves with massive numbers of human bones at the cemetery of St. Michael Church and the cemetery on the estate of the Dominican order near nowadays Waisenhausplatz found during the last century may indicate that hundreds of citizens became the victims of the plague. There are indications that a fraternity for taking care of the sick and removing the bodies of the deceased from houses was formed in 1501, whose members later on stayed together and became known as the choral society Singergesellschaft, which is still active today as the Loebliche Singergesellschaft of 1501 . (They are probably one of the oldest clubs in Europe).

1502: Foundation of the first printer's shop by Thomas Anshelm. During the first half of the 16th century Pforzheim's printers contributed significantly to the establishment of this (in those days) new medium.

1520s: The ideas of the protestant religious movement advanced by Martin Luther spread rapidly in Pforzheim. Its most prominent promoters were Johannes Schwebel, a preacher at Holy Ghost church (Heiliggeistkirche), and Johannes Unger, the principal of the Dominican Latin school.

1535-1565: Due to the heritage division of the clan of the Margraves of Baden, Margrave Ernst of Baden made Pforzheim the residential town of his family line. He decided to use the Schlosskirche St. Michael as the entombment site for his family line.

1549: A large fire caused severe damage to the town.

1556: After the conclusion of the Peace of Augsburg in 1555, Margrave Karl II introduced Lutherism (protestantism) as the state religion in the district Baden-Durlach, which included Pforzheim. The (catholic) monasteries were gradually shut down.

1565: Margrave Karl II chooses Durlach as the new residential town. Pforzheim stayed one of the administrative centers of Baden.

1618: At the beginning of the Thirty Years' War, the number of inhabitants of Pforzheim is estimated to have been between 2500 and 3000. This was the largest town among all towns in Baden, even though at that time it had already declined somewhat.

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A view of Pforzheim in the early 17th century. It shows all significant landmarks including the city wall, the rivers Enz and Nagold, the three monastery churches and the Margrave's residence on Schlossberg hill.

1645: Toward the end of the Thirty Years' War the "old town" was burned down by Bavarian troops. It was rebuilt, but without the former fortifications, which gave it the status of a village-like settlement. It soon vanished from historical records. The "new town" had survived.

1688-1697: The "War of the Palatinian Succession" (als called the Nine Years War) caused tremendous destruction in Southwestern Germany. Pforzheim was looted and burned down three times during that period by French troops (twice in 1689 when the city hall was burned down and the fortifications were demolished [especially the second fire on August 15 was devastating], and once more in 1692). One reminder of those acts are the ruins of Liebeneck castle near Pforzheim, where the city's archives had been hidden. They were destroyed, too.

1718: Inauguration of the "institution for orphans, the mad, the sick, for discipline and work" in a building of the former Dominican order Convent by the Enz river. Fifty years later this institution was to become the incubator of Pforzheim's jewellery and watchmaking industries.

1767: Establishment of a watch and jewellery factory in the orphanage. This led to Pforzheim's jewellery industries. Watchmaking was given up later on.

1809: The Administrative District Pforzheim of Baden was split into a Municipal District Administration Pforzheim and two Rural Districts.

1813: The two Rural Districts were combined to form the Rural District Administration Pforzheim.

1819: Municipal District Pforzheim and Rural District Pforzheim are merged to form the Higher District Administration Pforzheim.

1836: Ferdinand Oechsle in Pforzheim invented a device for measuring the sugar content in freshly pressed grape juice for assessing the future quality of wine (Mostwaage). It is still in use in the winery business.

1864: The Higher District Administration Pforzheim was made the Regional Administration Pforzheim.

1861/62: Pforzheim was connected to the German railway network with the completion of tracks between Wilferdingen and Pforzheim.

1869: Establishment of the first worker's union in Pforzheim, the "Pforzheim Gold(-metal) Craftsmen's Union".

1877: Inauguration of the Arts and Crafts School (Kunstgewerbeschule; now incorporated into Hochschule (University) Pforzheim).

1888: Berta Benz and her two sons arrived in Pforzheim on the first "long-distance" drive in the history of the automobile in a car manufactured by her husband Karl Benz and his colleague Gottlieb Daimler in order to visit relatives. She had started her drive in Mannheim, which is located about 60 kilometers from Pforzheim. The very first gasoline-powered automobile of the two inventors had hit the roads only two years earlier after a patent for this new technology had been granted. Mrs. Benz bought the gasoline necessary for her trip back home in a "pharmacy" in Pforzheim.

From 1900: Revival of the Pforzheim watchmaking industries.

1906: The 1st FC Pforzheim (Football (i.e. soccer) Club) was defeated by VfB Leipzig with a score of 1:2 in the final game of the German soccer championship.

1914-1918: Pforzheim was not a battle field in World War I, but 1600 men from Pforzheim lost their lives as soldiers on the battlefields.

1920s: The Pforzheim watchmaking industry thrieved due to the new popularity of wrist-watches.

1927: Pforzheim-born (1877) Professor of Munich University Heinrich Otto Wieland received the Nobel price in chemistry.

1938: Establishment of the municipal Jewellery Museum.

1938: On November 9th, the so-called Kristallnacht, the Pforzheim Synagogue (see WWW-site ( of the Jewish community was so badly damaged by Nazi activists that it had to be demolished later on.

1939: Regional Administration Pforzheim (Bezirksamt) was converted to the Rural District Pforzheim (Landkreis) with Pforzheim city as its administrative site. However, the town itself became a district-less administrative body.

1940: Deportation of Jewish citizens of Pforzheim to the concentration camp in Gurs(Spain). Only 55 of the 195 deported persons escaped from the holocaust.

1944: Many factories were converted to produce weaponry such as anti-aircraft shells, fuses for bombs, and allegedly even parts for the V1 and V2 rockets.

1945: On February 23, the inner city district was almost completely destroyed by a Royal Air Force of Britain attack. The first bombs were dropped at 19:52 and the last one at 20:10. 379 aircraft participated in the attack on Yellowfin (code name for Pforzheim): 362 Avro Lancaster Bombers of Groups 1, 5, 6, and 8, 13 Mosquito fighterbombers of Group 8, 3 Liberator aircraft and one B-17 Flying Fortress aircraft of Group 100. The master bomber was Captain Edwin Swales of South Africa(then age 29). The bomber fleet attacked in four waves and from a height of 8000 feet (2,400 m) dropped almost half a million bombs of a total weight of 1825 tonnes, including a large amount of phosphorus incendiary bombs. The core area of the town suffered immediate destruction and a firestorm broke out, reaching its most devastating phase after 10 minutes from the start of the raid. The smoke over the town rose about 3.000 meters high, and the returning bomber crews could observe the glare of the fire up to a distance of 160 kilometers. In an area about 3 kilometers long and 1.5 kilometers wide, all buildings were reduced to rubble.

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This map shows the destroyed area of the 1945 raid in black; the red area survived undamaged.

17.600 citizens were officially counted as dead and thousands were injured. People died from the impact of explosions, from burns due to burning phosphorus materials that slowly were creeping through basement windows into the cellars of houses, from lack of oxygen and poisonous gases, and from the impact caused by collapsing walls of houses. Some of them drowned in the Enz or Nagold rivers in which they jumped, while trying to escape from the burning phosphorus materials in the streets (but even the rivers were burning as the burning phosphor was floating on the water).

After the attack, about 30.000 people had to be fed by public makeshift kitchens because their housings had been destroyed. Almost 90 % of the buildings in the core city area had been destroyed. Many Pforzheim citizens were buried in common graves at Pforzheim's main cemetery because they could not be identified. There are also many graves of complete families. Among the dead were several hundred foreigners who had been in Pforzheim as forced labor workers. The inner city districts were severely depopulated. According to the State Statistics Bureau (Statistisches Landesamt), in the Market Square area (Marktplatzviertel) in 1939 there were 4.112 registered inhabitants, in 1945 none (0). In the Old Town area (Altstadtviertel) in 1939 there were 5.109 inhabitants, in 1945 only 2 persons were still living there. In the Leopold Square area, in 1939 there were 4.416 inhabitants, in 1945 only 13.

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A view of the destroyed town from the hill of the Southern Ward.

Twelve aircraft of the bomber fleet did not return to their bases; ten of them were shot down by fighter aircraft of the German Airforce (stationed at Sachsenheim) and two others were supposedly accidentially hit by "friendly" bombs and crashed not far from Pforzheim. Captain Swales was killed in the crash of his aircraft near the French-Belgian border about 400 km from Pforzheim since his aircraft had been damaged by two successive hits from a German nightfighter-plane while circling over Pforzheim and supervising the bombardment.

The German Army Report of February 24, 1945 devoted only two lines to reporting the bombardment: "In the early evening hours of February 23, a forceful British attack was directed at Pforzheim." The British Bomber Command later assessed the bombing raid as the one with "probably the greatest proportion (of destroyed built-up area)(of any target) in one raid during the war".

In early April as the allied forces and notably the French Army advanced toward Pforzheim, the local German military commander gave orders to destroy the electric power generating plant and those gas and water supply lines that were still working, but citizens succeeded in persuading the staff sergeant in charge of the operation to refrain from this absurd endeavor in the face of the imminent and inevitable surrender of the German Military. Likewise, orders were issued for the destruction of those bridges that had remained unscathed (some of the bridges had been destroyed by air strikes even before and after February 23), and this could not be prevented. Only the Iron (Railway) Bridge in Weissenstein ward was saved by stout-hearted citizens who, during an unguarded moment, pulled off the fuze wiring from the explosive devices, which had already been installed, and dropped it into Nagold river. Soon after that on April 8, French troops (an armored vehicle unit) moved into Pforzheim from the northwest and were able to occupy the area north of Enz river, but the area south of the Enz river was defended by a German infantry unit using artillery. Fighting was especially fierce in Broetzingen. The French army units (including an Algerian and Moroccan unit) suffered heavy losses; among the dead was the commander the army unit, Capitaine Dorance. The advance of the French army came to a halt temporarily, but with the support of fighterbomber aircraft and due to the bad condition of the defenders (which included many old men and young boys who had been drafted in a last desperate war effort) the French troops finally succeeded and on April 18 took possession of the vast rubble field which once was the proud residential town of the Baden Margraves.

The three months of French occupation were reportedly marked by hostile attitudes on both the French army side and the Pforzheim population side; incidences of rape and looting, mainly by Moroccan soldiers, were also reported. Au Bridge (Auerbruecke) and Wuerm Bridge received makeshift repairs by the French military. The US Army, which replaced the French troops on July 8, 1945, helped repair Goethe Bridge, Benckiser Bridge, Old Town Bridge (Altstaedterbruecke) and Horse Bridge (Rossbruecke) in 1945 and the following year. The relationship between the population and the US military was reportedly more relaxed than had been the case with the French army.

1945-1965: Pforzheim was gradually rebuilt, giving Pforzheim a quite modern look. In September 1951 the Northern Town Bridge (Nordstadtbruecke) was inaugurated (the ceremony was attended by then Federal President Prof. Dr. Theodor Heuss). Jahn Bridge followed in December 1951, Werder Bridge in May 1952, the rebuilt Goethe Bridge in October 1952, and the rebuilt Old Town Bridge was inaugurated in 1954.

1955: On the occasion of the 500th birthday anniversary of Johannes Reuchlin, the city of Pforzheim established the Reuchlin Price and awarded it for the first time in the presence of then President of the Federal Republic of Germany (West-Germany), Prof. Dr. Theodor Heuss.

1961: Inauguration of the culture center "Reuchlinhaus", which from then on housed the Jewellery Museum, the Arts and Crafts Association, the City Library, the Homeland Museum (Heimatmuseum), and the City Archives.

1968: On July 10 shortly before 22:00, Pforzheim and its surrounding areas were hit by a rare tornado. It had strength F4 on the Fujita scale. Two persons died and more than 200 were injured, and 1750 buildings were damaged. Across the town between Buechenbronn ward and the village of Wurmberg the storm caused severe damage to forest areas (i.e. most trees fell to the ground). During the first night and the following days the soldiers of the French 3rd Husar Regiment and the US Army Unit, which were still stationed at the Buckenberg Barracks, helped clear the streets of a lot of fallen trees (especially in the Buckenberg/Haidach area). It took about four weeks to carry out the most necessary repairs on buildings. The overhead electric contact wires for the electric trolley buses then still operating in town and the streetcar transport system to the village of Ittersbach were never repaired; those transport systems were retired.

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A scene in Bleichstrasse after the tornado had hit Pforzheim on July, 10, 1968.

1971-1975: The townships of Wuerm, Hohenwart, Buechenbronn, Huchenfeld and Eutingen were incorporated into the city administration.

1973 As part of the reform of administrative districts, the rural district of Pforzheim was incorporated into the newly established Enzkreis rural district, which has its administration in Pforzheim. But the city of Pforzheim itself remains a district-less city. In addition, Pforzheim became the administrative center of the newly formed Northern Black Forest Region.

1975 On January 1, the population exceeded 100.000 and Pforzheim gained the status of a "large city" (Grossstadt).

1979: Inauguration of the Pforzheim City Museum.

1983: Inauguration of the "Technical Museum of the Jewellery and Watchmaking Industry" and the "Citizens Museum".

1987: Inauguration of the City Convention Center.

1987/1990: Inauguration of the City Theater at the Waisenhausplatz.

1989: Sister City agreement with the City of Gernika, Spain.

1990: Sister City agreement with the City of Saint-Maur-des-Fosses, France.

1991: Sister City agreement with the City of Vicenza, Italy.

1992: State Gardening Expo in Pforzheim. Enzauenpark was created and part of the Enz river was re-naturalized.

1994: Inauguration of the cultural institution "Kulturhaus Osterfeld".

1994: Merger of the Pforzheim Business School and the Pforzheim School of Design to form the Pforzheim University of Applied Sciences in Design, Technology and Business.

1995: Inauguration of the Archeological Site Kappelhof.

2000: Inauguration of the Pforzheim Gallery.

2002 In November, during excavation works for a new shopping center right in the center of the city, a power shovel hit a 250 kg bomb which had not gone off during the bombardment of 1945. On a sunday, about 5000 citizens had to temporarily leave their homes as a precautionary measure while specialists were defusing and deposing of the (so far) last of a large number of unexploded explosive devices found in Pforzheim's grounds since 1945.

(Remark: This brief history is partly based on the German language brief history included in the Web site of the City of Pforzheim and a series of articles in Pforzheimer Zeitung during the first three months of 2005, published on the occasion of the 60th commemoration of Pforzheim's bombardment. The author M.H.)

See also History of Baden.

Administrative unions

Formerly independent communities and districts which were incorporated into the City of Pforzheim.

Year Community Increase in km²
January 1, 1905 Broetzingen 13.01
January 1, 1913 Dillweissenstein 4.612
April 1, 1924 Parts of Haidach district 0.76
October 1, 1929 Parts of Hagenschiess district 16.23
September 1, 1971 Wuerm 8.22
April 1, 1972 Hohenwart 4.92
January 1, 1974 Buechenbronn 11.14
January 1, 1975 Huchenfeld 9.47
September 20, 1975 Eutingen on the Enz 8.45

Population growth

The table below shows the number of inhabitants for the past 500 years. Until 1789 the numbers represent estimates, after that they represent census results (&sup1) or official recordings by the Statistics Offices or the city administration.

Year Population figures
1500 c. 800
1689 c. 1.000
1789 4.311
1810 5.572
1830 6.284
1855 10.711
1849 12.377
December 1, 1871&sup1 19.803
December 1, 1890 &sup1 29.988
December 1, 1900 &sup1 43.373
December 1, 1910 &sup1 69.082
June 16, 1925 &sup1 78.859
June 16, 1933 &sup1 79.816
May 17, 1939 &sup1 79.011
1946 46.752
September 13, 1950 &sup1 54.143
June 6, 1961 &sup1 82.524
May 27, 1970 &sup1 90.338
June 30, 1975 108.635
June 30, 1980 106.500
June 30, 1985 104.100
May 27, 1987 &sup1 106.530
December 31, 1990 112.944
June 30, 1997 118.300
December 31, 2000 117.156
June 30, 2003 115.777

&sup1 Result of census

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Pforzheim's population growth 1500-2003.
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Pforzheim's population growth 1500-1810.

The population growth diagrams show that the largest growth rates were recorded between about 1830 and 1925, which was the period following the political reorganisation of Europe agreed upon at the Vienna Congress of 1815 after the violent period that was so much dominated by Napoleon Bonaparte of France. This high population growth period coincided with the period of intensive industrialisation of Germany. Population growth weakened due to the effects of World War I and World War II. The population declined sharply due to the destruction on February 23, 1945, and increased sharply in the post-WWII era due to high economic growth levels in West-Germany and the rapid rebuilding efforts in Pforzheim. Earlier setbacks were recorded during the Thirty Years War period in the 17th century.


After margrave Karl II. of Baden in 1556 installed the protestant reformation in the Margraviate of Baden, of which Pforzheim was the capital in those days, Pforzheim continued to be a protestant town for several centuries. The congregations in Pforzheim were affiliated with the deanery (Dekanat) of Pforzheim of the Protestant National Church of Baden, unless they were members of one of the independent churches (Freikirche).

Since the 19th century at the latest catholics settled in Pforzheim again. They are affiliated with the deanery of Pforzheim which belongs to Archdiocese of Freiburg.

Other denominations and religious sects in Pforzheim are:


City council

The city council of Pforzheim consists of the Lord Mayor as its president and 40 elected (part-time) councillors. It is democratically elected by the citizens for a period of five years. The last election was June 13, 2004. The city council is the main representative body of the city and determines the goals and frameworks for all local political activities. It makes decisions about all important issues regarding the public life and administration of the city and directs and monitors the work of the city administration. It forms expert committees in order to deal with specialized issues.

City administration

The city administration is lead by the Lord Mayer (presently Christel Augenstein) and three Mayors (presently Alexander Uhlig, Gert Hager and Andreas Schuetze). The administration consists of four departments (Dezernat) which are in charge of the following areas:

Department I: Personnel, finances, business development, general administration. (Managed by Christel Augenstein.)

Department II: Construction and planning, environment. (Managed by Alexander Uhlig.)

Department III: Education, culture, social affairs, sports. (Managed by Gert Hager.)

Department IV: Security and public order, health, energy and water supply, local transportation and traffic. (Managed by Andreas Schuetze.)

(Lord) Mayors

At an early stage, the town administration was led by the mayor (Schultheiss) who used to be appointed by the lord (owner) of the town. Later on, there was a council with a mayor leading it, who since 1849 holds the title "Lord Mayor". The terms of office of the mayors until 1750 are unknown. Only the names of the mayors are mentioned in historical documents.

The Coat of Arms

The Coat of Arms of Pforzheim city shows in the left-hand half of a shield an inclined bar in red color on a golden background, and the right-hand half is divided into four fields in the colors red, silver, blue and gold. The city flag is white-blue.

The inclined bar can be traced back to the 13th century as the symbol of the lords (owners) of Pforzheim, which later on also became the National Coat of Arms of Baden, but its meaning is unknown. Since 1489 the coat of arms in its entire form can be verified, but its meaning is not known, either. Nowadays coloring has been used only since 1853; in earlier times the coloring was different.

Sister city and friendship agreements

Pforzheim has sister city agreements with the following cities:

Friendship agreements exist with the following cities and regions:

Economy and infrastructure

Pforzheim is one of the regional centers (Oberzentrum) in Baden-Wuerttemberg and has one of the highest densities of industrial activity in the state.

Only a smaller fraction of the economy nowadays is dedicated to producing the traditional products of watches and jewellery. Two thirds of all employment positions are made available in the areas of metal processing, electronics and electro-technology. The mail order companies (Bader, Klingel, Wenz) with their sales volumes in the order of millions of Euros occupies a leading position in Germany. Tourism is gaining importance. In this respect the city benefits from its favorable Three-Valleys location at the gateway to the Black Forest, and related to this, from the starting points of a large number of hiking, cycling and waterway routes. The European long-distance path E1 and the Black Forest Western Hiking Route (Westweg) pass through Pforzheim.


The Federal Freeway A8 (Perl - Bad Reichenhall) runs by just to the north of the city. The city can be accessed via three freeway exits. The Interstate Road B10 (Lebach - Augsburg) and B294 (Gundelfingen - Bretten) run through the city. The B463 Interstate Road running toward Nagold has its starting point here.

Pforzheim is located at the railway line Karlsruhe-Stuttgart. In addition there are two railway lines into the Black Forest to Bad Wildbad and Nagold. Pforzheim is connected to the Karlsruhe city light rail network. Other public transportation services in the city area are provided by busses of the Pforzheim Municipal Transport Company (SVP) and several other transportation companies. They all offer unified fares within the framework of the Pforzheim-Enzkreis Transportation Network (Verkehrsverbund). Between 1931 and 1968 there existed the light rail connection between Ittersbach and Pforzheim, operated by Pforzheim Municipal Transportation Company (SVP). Before that (since 1899) the railroad belonged to the BLEAG (Baden Local Railway Inc., Badische-Lokaleisenbahn-Aktiengesellschaft). The light rail service "S 5" connecting Pforzheim to the destinations Bietigheim-Bissingen and Woerth on the Rhine river is operated by the Albtal Transportation Company (Albtal-Verkehrs-Gesellschaft), which since 2002 also operates the Enz Valley Light Rail route to Bad Wildbad.

Major local enterprises

  • Schmid Machine Tools
  • Klingel Mail Order Company
  • Bader Mail Order Company
  • Wenz Mail Order Company
  • Witzenmann GmbH (Specialized Metal Goods)
  • Mapal WWS
  • Thales (Electronics)


The daily newspapers Pforzheim Newspaper (Pforzheimer Zeitung, independent) and the Pforzheim Courier (Pforzheimer Kurier), which is a regional edition of Badische Neueste Nachrichten (BNN) with main editorial offices in Karlsruhe, are published in Pforzheim.

Courts of Justice

Pforzheim is the site of a Local Court of Justice which belongs to the District Court and Higher District Court Precinct of Karlsruhe. It is also the domicile of a Local Labor Court.


Pforzheim is the domicile of the following public authorities and public incorporated bodies:

Educational institutions

  • Pforzheim University of Applied Sciences (Hochschule Pforzheim - Hochschule fuer Gestaltung, Technik und Wirtschaft) enrolls about 4000 students. It was formed in 1992 by way of merging the former Pforzheim School of Design (Fachhochschule fuer Gestaltung) and Pforzheim Business School (Fachhochschule fuer Wirtschaft) and additionally establishing the Faculty of Engineering. The Pforzheim School of Design had its roots in the Ducal Academy of Arts and Crafts and Technical School for the Metal Processing Industry, established 1877. The Pforzheim Business School was the successor institution of the National Business College, which was established in 1963. The campuses of the Faculty of Design and the Faculties of Economics and Engineering are located at separate sites in the city area. The Pforzheim University of Applied Sciences fosters international exchange. Among other relationships, it is affiliated with the NIEBES Association and has close academic ties to Osijek University of Croatia and academic exchange programs with many institutions abroad, among them Auburn University of the United States of America.
  • The Goldsmith and Watchmaking Vocational School is the only school of its kind in Europe. It is attended by many students from abroad.
  • The general qualification for university admission (Abitur) can be obtained through an education at the Reuchlin-Highschool, the Kepler-Highschool, the Hebel-Highschool, the Theodor-Heuss-Highschool, the Hilda-Highschool, the Schiller-Highschool, the Fritz-Erler-Highschool (economics-oriented highschool), the Heinrich-Wieland-Highschool (technology-oriented highschool), der Johanna-Wittum-Highschool (home economics-oriented highschool), as well as the Waldorfschule.
  • Pforzheim also has many schools providing the mandatory general elementary and secondary education (Grundschule, Realschule) as well an institution which is dedicated to further education of grown-ups (Volkshochschule). There are also several state-run vocational schools leading to professional diplomas in the crafts and trades.

Culture and places of interest


  • Municipal Theater of Pforzheim (opera, operetta, musical, drama)


  • Southwest German Chamber Orchestra - This orchestra was founded by Friedrich Tilegant in 1950. It participated in the world premiere of a work of Boris Blacher and has a good reputation beyond the region.
  • Sinfonic Orchestra of the City of Pforzheim


  • Archeological Site Kappelhof - Roman and medieval excavation objects
  • Civic Museum Eutingen
  • Museum on the German Democratic Republic (former east Germany)
  • The Center of Fellow-Countrymen Associations (Landsmannschaften; especially those from eastern Europe)
  • The Pforzheim Minerals Museum
  • The Pforzheim Gallery (paintings)
  • Reuchlinhaus
  • The Pforzheim Jewellery Museum in the Reuchlinhaus
  • The Pforzheim City Museum Pforzheim (on city history)
  • The Technical Museum of the Jewellery and Watchmaking Industry of Pforzheim
  • Weissenstein Station - On Railway History in the area of Pforzheim
  • Roman Estate in the Kanzlerwald (the excavated remains of an estate built by Roman settlers)
  • The Product Exhibition of Pforzheim (jewellery) Companies (Industriehaus)
  • The Exhibition of Precious Stones by Widow Mrs. Schuett

Cultural institutions

  • The House of Culture Osterfeld (a sociocultural center: theater, music, dance, cabaret, musical, arts, exhibitions etc.)
  • Kupferdaechle (The Copper Roof Teenage Culture Center)
  • The Puppet Theater of Raphael Muerle / The Marionette Stage Mottenkaefig
  • The Communal Cinema of Pforzheim
  • CongressCenter Pforzheim (CCP)
  • City Library

Notable examples of architecture

  • The Old and New City Hall
  • The Archive Building (Archivbau)
  • The House of Industry (Industriehaus)
  • Reuchlinhaus
  • The look-out tower on Buechenbronn Hill
  • The Arch Bridge at Dillweissenstein
  • The ruins of Liebeneck Castle
  • Churches:
 o The Palais and Monastery Church St. Michael (Schloss- und
   Stiftskirche); it is the city's landmark.
 o The Old Town Church St. Martin (Altstadtkirche; protestant)
 o Resurrection Church (Auferstehungskirche; protestant)
 o The Bare Feet Church (Barfuesserkirche; catholic)
 o Christ Church of Broetzingen (protestant)
 o The Protestant City Church (Stadtkirche)
 o Heart of Christ Church (Herz-Jesu-Kirche; catholic)
 o Matthew Church (Matthaeuskirche; protestant). 
   This church was designed by architect Eiermann 
   and is a precursory structure of the famous New 
   Berlin Memorial Church (Gedaechtniskirche)
 o St. Franziskus Church (catholic)
 o The Islamic Mosque
  • Leitgastturm
  • Seehaus (formerly a hunting villa of the Margrave; now a popular destination for Sunday afternoon walks away from the city)
  • The Old Grapes Press of Broetzingen
  • Hachel Tower
  • The Copper Hammer (Kupferhammer; a traditional water-powered sledge hammer which was used for metal forming)
  • The Enz Flood-Plains Park (Enzauenpark)

Other sites of interest

  • The Pforzheim Alpine Garden (Alpengarten)
  • The Main Cemetery (Hauptfriedhof)
  • Wallberg. The debris from the destroyed town (February 23, 1945) was dumped onto this hill. The Wallberg-Monument on the top is meant to remind people of the city's history; it was erected in 2005 on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the bombing raid.
  • The Game Animals Zoo (Wildpark Pforzheim)
  • Broetzingen Valley Stadium. This is the classical soccer stadium of the 1st FC Pforzheim soccer club of 1896, which was inaugurated in 1913. It accommodated a record number of "15.000 to 20.000" spectators on the occasion of the match between South Germany against Central Hungary in 1920. In the post-2nd-world-war era it accommodated 12.000 spectators at the cup matches 1st FC Pforzheim - 1st FC Nuremberg (score 2:1 after extension; 1961) and 1st FCP - Werder Bremen (score 1:1 after extension; 1988). The soccer club (simply called the "club"), which during its history supplied the first national team captain and a total of eleven first league players, had to file for bankruptcy in February 2004 and for the first time in history is playing in the 5th league, i.e. the Soccer Association's Northern Baden League, during the 2004-05 season. In 1906, the club lost the final of the German Soccer Championship against VfB Leibzig 1:2 in Nuremberg.

Regularly scheduled events

  • February: Carnival Procession (Faschingsumzug) in Dillweissenstein
  • May: International Pentecost Tornament of the VfR Pforzheim
  • June: "Pforzemer Mess" (a fun fair)
  • July: Pforzheim Goldsmith's Market (Goldschmiedemarkt)
  • July: "Gruschtelmarkt" (a flea market)
  • July: International Pforzheim Music & Theater Festival
  • July: "Marktplatzfest" (market place festival, every 2 years; this is one of the largest free-of-charge openair festivals in Soutwestern Germany)
  • August: "Oechsle-Fest" (a festival celebrating local wines)
  • September: "Broetzingen Saturday"
  • November: Pre-Christmas Handicraft Market (Weihnachtsbastelmarkt)
  • November/December: Christmas Market (Weihnachtsmarkt) in the inner city area


Honorary citizens

(a small selection)

Famous citizens born in Pforzheim

Miscellaneous topics

  • The Freemasons Lodge "Reuchlin" is located in Pforzheim.
  • The internationally successful rockband Fool's Garden ("Lemon Tree") has its origins in Pforzheim.

External links

Flag of Baden Württemberg

Rural and urban districts in Baden-Württemberg

Alb-Donau | Baden-Baden | Biberach | Bodenseekreis | Böblingen | Breisgau-Hochschwarzwald | Calw | Constance | Emmendingen | Enzkreis | Esslingen | Freiburg | Freudenstadt | Göppingen | Heidelberg | Heidenheim | Heilbronn (city) | Heilbronn (district) | Hohenlohekreis | Karlsruhe (city) | Karlsruhe (district) | Lörrach | Ludwigsburg | Main-Tauber | Mannheim | Neckar-Odenwald | Ortenaukreis | Ostalbkreis | Pforzheim | Rastatt | Ravensburg | Rems-Murr | Reutlingen | Rhein-Neckar | Rottweil | Schwarzwald-Baar | Schwäbisch Hall | Sigmaringen | Stuttgart | Tuttlingen | Tübingen | Ulm | Waldshut | Zollernalbkreis
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