Long heralded as a continental leader in the making of fine jewelry and watches, Pforzheim was once granted the nickname of “Goldstadt”, meaning Golden City. It has seen heavy reconstruction following substantial damages sustained during WW2, granting it a very contemporary look. Today, it’s one of the most important points of industry in the state, continuing to produce these luxury goods in addition to a number of other metal products, and has become a popular jumping-off point for hiking and exploration of the surrounding hills and woods–lending modern Pforzheim an additional nickname: “Gateway to the Black Forest”.
Location: A Regional Center of South-western Germany
Pforzheim is located in the south-western German state of Baden-Württemberg, at the edge of the famous Black Forest and at the confluence of the Rivers Enz, Nagold, and Würm. Light rail service provides access to several other nearby cities, and numerous rail and road connections provide easy transportation to the city from localities across the nation and abroad.
Business: Locally Produced Luxury Goods
The city is well regarded as a center for specialist jewelers and watchmakers, playing host to famous names like Wellendorff, Victor Mayer, and DUROWE. Other major employers include metal goods manufacturer Witzenmann GmbH and Amazon, which operates a logistics center locally. CongressCentrum Pforzheim provides modern venues for a number of local and international conferences and exhibitions.
Culture: A Jewelry-making Tradition
Pforzheim embraces its jeweling history with a dedicated Jewelry Museum–showcasing some of the best examples from ancient history up until today–as well as a Technical Museum of Jewelry and Watchmaking, which explores the local tradition more specifically. A visit to the Schmuckwelten presents an excellent opportunity to see how jewelry is made, and those with deep pockets may even leave with some gorgeous pieces of their own. Once you’ve had your fill, we recommend taking in a concert by the internationally-renowned Pforzheim Chamber Orchestra.
Activities: Get Out and Explore the Wilderness
If admiring jewelry isn’t your cup of tea, never fear–Pforzheim’s strategic Black Forest location has provided outdoors enthusiasts with plenty of hiking and cycling trails. Don’t miss a trip up Mount Wallberg–this distinctive peak is actually the site of much of the old city’s debris, which was dumped here after WW2, resulting in a rugged volcano-esque appearance. The Wallberg Cable Car lifts guests up the slopes and offers spectacular views of the Bavarian Alps and nearby Lake Tegernsee.