Serving as a gateway to the Black Forest, Pforzheim is a historic town in Baden-Württemberg, renowned for its jewellery and watchmaking. It was heavily bombed during World War II and was administered by the U.S. military in the aftermath, with many of its landmark buildings dating back to the postwar period.
Things to do in Pforzheim
Overlooking the Enz River in Pforzheim’s east is the Gasometer, a floating bell gas holder that is more than 100 years old. It has been lovingly restored and now houses a 360-degree panorama of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef created by the Iranian artist Yadegar Asisi. Tarts, sausages and cakes are available at the Gasometer’s bistro, which offers views across Enzauenpark.
For insight into the town’s artisan history, visit the Jewellery Museum Pforzheim, which is the only museum of its kind in the world. It houses an outstanding collection dating back 5,000 years that includes Greco-Roman treasures, Renaissance pieces and Art Nouveau objects. Jewellery from Oceania, India and the Near East are featured in the Eva and Peter Herion Collection of Ethnographic Jewellery.
If you’re travelling with kids, don’t miss a visit to the Wildpark Pforzheim, which is home to big cats, bison and moose. Changing exhibitions and workshops are held in the Ewald-Steinle-Haus and kid-friendly ranger training days take place in the summer. In addition to a forest climbing garden, petting zoo and playgrounds, there’s also a beer garden serving meals.
Getting around Pforzheim
Pforzheim is around 45 minutes’ drive from the centre of Stuttgart and 35 minutes from Stuttgart Airport, which has flights to destinations across Europe. Trains connect from towns and cities across Baden-Württemberg to the Pforzheim railway station and buses travel throughout the town. The centre of Pforzheim can easily be explored on foot.