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Pforzheim

German location
Administration
CountryGermany
StateBaden-Wurttemberg
Admin. regionKarlsruhe
DistrictStadtkreis
BrgermeisterGert Hager
PartySPD
Basic statistics
Area (km2)98.03
Elevation (m)273
Population119156
Other information
Time zoneCET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Licence platePF
Postal code75172 75181
Area code07231, 07234, 07041

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Pforzheim is a town of nearly 119,000 inhabitants in the state of Baden-Württemberg, southwest Germany at the gate to the Black Forest. It is world-famous for its jewelry and watch-making industry. Until 1565 it was the home to the Margraves of Baden. Because of that it gained the nickname "Goldstadt" or Golden City. It has an area of 98 km2 and is situated between the cities of Stuttgart and Karlsruhe at the confluence of three rivers (Enz, Nagold and Würm) and marks the frontier between Baden and Württemberg, being located on Baden territory. Pforzheim is located on the Bertha Benz Memorial Route.

The City of Pforzheim does not belong to any administrative district (Kreis), although it hosts the administrative offices of the Enz district which surrounds the town.

During World War II, Pforzheim was bombed a number of times. The largest raid, and one of the most devastating area bombardments of World War II, was carried out by the Royal Air Force (RAF) on the evening of 23 February 1945. About one quarter of the town's population, over 17,000 people, were killed in the air raid, and about 83% of the town's buildings were destroyed. The town was thought by the Allies to be producing precision instruments for use in the German war effort and to be a transport centre for the movement of German troops. The story of the bombardment is dramatically recounted in the 2011 history book by Giles Milton, entitled Wolfram: The Boy Who Went To War.

After the war, the rubble from the destruction was heaped into a large pile on mount Wallberg and into the Brötzinger Tal valley on the outskirts of the town, resulting in a volcano-ish look of the mountain and the disappearance of the valley. Similar efforts were undertaken in other destroyed cities such as Stuttgart and Munich. In the twenty years following the end of the war, Pforzheim was gradually rebuilt, giving the town a quite modern look and making it home to some landmark buildings of the 1950s.


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