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Pforzheim
Coat of arms of Pforzheim
Coat of arms
Country Germany
State Baden-Württemberg
Admin. region Karlsruhe
District Stadtkreis
Subdivisions 16 Stadtteile
Elevation
273 m (896 ft)
Population
 (2019-12-31)
 • Total 125,957
Time zone CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Postal codes
75172–75181
Dialling codes 07231, 07234, 07041
Vehicle registration PF

Pforzheim is a city of over 120,000 inhabitants in the federal state of Baden-Württemberg, in the southwest of Germany. It is known for its jewelry and watch-making industry, and as such has gained the nickname "Goldstadt" ("Golden City"). With an area of 97.8 km2 (38 sq mi), it is situated between the cities of Stuttgart and Karlsruhe at the confluence of three rivers (Enz, Nagold and Würm). It marks the frontier between Baden and Württemberg, being located on Baden territory. From 1535 to 1565, it was the home to the Margraves of Baden-Pforzheim.

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

During World War II, Pforzheim was bombed by the Allies 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. Nearly one third of the town's population, 17,600 people, were killed in the air raid, and about 83% of the town's buildings were destroyed. The Allies believed that precision instruments were being produced here for use in the German war effort and that the town was a transport centre for the movement of German troops. The story of the bombardment is dramatically recounted in the history by Giles Milton, titled Wolfram: The Boy Who Went To War (2011).

In the twenty years following the end of the war, Pforzheim was gradually rebuilt. The town reflects the architecture of the postwar period and has some landmark buildings of the 1950s.

Geography

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 Würm and Nagold and the rivers Nagold and Enz. Due to its location, this city is also called the "three-valleys town" (Drei-Täler Stadt) or the "Gateway to the Black Forest" (Pforte zum Schwarzwald / Porta Hercynia).

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 (Enz), Eisingen, Engelsbrand, Friolzheim, Heimsheim, Ispringen, Kämpfelbach, Keltern, Kieselbronn, Königsbach-Stein, Mönsheim, Neuenbürg, Neuhausen, Neulingen, Niefern-Öschelbronn, Ölbronn-Dürrn, Remchingen, Straubenhardt, Tiefenbronn, Wiernsheim, Wimsheim and Wurmberg.

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