Pforzheim is a city at the northern end of the Black Forest. After Karlsruhe and Freiburg, Pforzheim is the third largest city in and around the Black Forest. Pforzheim hardly has an old town as a sight to see, but it does have a few other things to offer. The city of the jewellery and clock industry has several interesting museums. The wildlife park, a kind of animal park with free admission, is also interesting, especially for holidaymakers with children. The Black Forest begins at the city limits of Pforzheim.
Pforzheim is a large city with about 120,000 inhabitants. Karlsruhe is only about 25 km away. A suburban railway runs between the two cities. Stuttgart is about 40 km away. Pforzheim is not a bad choice as a base for a holiday, especially if you want to visit the Black Forest as well as the cities mentioned above. Baden-Baden and Rastatt are also within reach for a day trip by train, S-Bahn or car. Hotels in Pforzheim are also somewhat cheaper than in Baden-Baden, for example.
Three smaller rivers flow together in the gold town of Pforzheim, the Enz, the Nagold and the Würm. Three well-known Black Forest high trails start in Pforzheim at the Kupferhammer in the south of the city at the confluence of the Nagold and Würm rivers.
Online tickets Europapark Rust: The amusement park is located in the west of the Black Forest near the Rhine and the border with France. After Corona, there is a lot going on again at Europa-Park Rust. Many visitors are therefore buying tickets online in advance at a lower price: >>> You can buy tickets online on the well-known ticket website Getyourguide
In my opinion, the most important sights in Pforzheim are the Wildpark and the Schmuckmuseum. I have written a separate page about both: Wildpark Pforzheim and Schmuckmuseum Pforzheim. You should also visit the Pforzheim Technical Museum, which deals with jewellery and watch-making machines, and the Pforzheim Gallery. Both are housed in the same building in the south of the city centre.
The centre of Pforzheim is about 200 metres south of the main railway station. It is a typical German city centre with the usual department stores, chain shops and fast food outlets. A modern shopping centre was also built a few years ago (the Schlössle-Galerie, see picture).
The former old town of Pforzheim was almost completely destroyed in an air raid in February 1945 and has not been rebuilt. There are some interesting monuments and sculptures in Pforzheim. I like the Rassler monument in the city centre best. It shows four people from the 19th century walking from a suburb to Pforzheim to work in a clock factory.
Museums in Pforzheim: A little further south are two good museums: the Technical Museum and the Pforzheim Jewellery Museum, the only museum I know of that is dedicated to the history of jewellery and jewellery making. The Technical Museum also exhibits jewellery-making machines (free admission). Outside the city, near the Wildpark, there is also the DDR Museum, a collection of objects from the former GDR.
Getting to Pforzheim: The city lies on the main railway line from Stuttgart to Karlsruhe. Pforzheim is also connected to the Karlsruhe S-Bahn network, for which day tickets and the like are available. Buses run through the city, but Pforzheim does not have a tram.
Pforzheim Sightseeing List
Pforzheim, often referred to as the “City of Gold” due to its rich history in the jewellery and watchmaking industry, is located in the northern foothills of the Black Forest in Baden-Württemberg, Germany. With its scenic beauty and rich history, the town offers a variety of sights and attractions to explore. Here you will find a detailed overview of the most important attractions in Pforzheim.
1. jewellery and watchmaking:
Schmuckwelten von Pforzheim: This sprawling complex is not only a shopping destination, but also a museum and educational centre. Visitors can explore the world of jewellery making, watch the craftsmen at work and learn about the history and craft of jewellery making.
Technical Museum of Pforzheim: Although the history of jewellery making in Pforzheim is well documented, this museum pays homage to the city’s wider industrial heritage and showcases various technologies and crafts that have shaped the region.
2. historical sights:
Old Town: Like many German cities, Pforzheim’s old town is a labyrinth of narrow streets and historic buildings. Although much of the town was destroyed during the Second World War, the reconstructed Old Town offers insights into Pforzheim’s historic past.
Wallberg Memorial: A sombre reminder of the devastating air raids during the Second World War. This memorial on a hill offers a view of the city and commemorates the thousands who lost their lives.
3. natural beauty and parks:
Enzauenpark: This extensive park along the River Enz is ideal for walks, picnics and nature experiences. With its playgrounds and water features, it is a popular destination for families.
Pforzheim Wildlife Park: This park is a combination of zoo and nature reserve and is home to native animals in a natural environment. An ideal place for families to get to know the local wildlife.
4. art and culture:
Pforzheim Theatre: This modern theatre offers a wide range of performances, from plays and operas to ballets and concerts.
Galerie Pforzheim: This gallery specialises in modern and contemporary art and presents regional and international artists.
5. religious sites:
St Michael’s Church: the modern architecture of this church stands in stark contrast to many older religious buildings in Germany, but its unique design and peaceful atmosphere make it a must-see.
6. bridges and riverside promenades:
Three Rivers Trail: Pforzheim lies at the confluence of three rivers: Enz, Nagold and Würm. A riverside promenade offers a peaceful setting to enjoy the natural beauty of the city.