PFORZHEIM, a town of Germany, in the grand duchy of Baden, at the confluence of the Nagold and the Enz, on the northern margin of the Black Forest, 19 m. S.E. of Karlsruhe by rail, and at the junction of lines to Wildbad and Ettlingen. Pop. (1895), 33,345; (1905), 59,395, most of whom are Protestants. Its most interesting buildings are the old palace of the margraves of Baden, and the Schlosskirche, the latter an edifice of the 12th-15th centuries, containing the tombs and monuments of the margraves. Pforzheim is the chief centre in Germany for the manufacture of gold and silver ornaments and jewelry, an industry which gives employment to about 22,000 hands, besides which there are iron and copper works, and manufactures of chemicals, paper, leather, machinery, &c. A brisk trade is maintained in timber, cattle and agricultural produce.
Pforzheim (Porta Hercyniae) is of Roman origin. From about 1300 to 1565 it was the seat of the margraves of Baden. It was taken by the troops of the Catholic League in 1624, and was destroyed by the French in 1689. The story of the 400 citizens of Pforzheim who sacrificed themselves for their prince after the battle of Wimpfen in May 1622 has been relegated by modern historical research to the domain of legend.
See Coste, Die 400 Pforzheimer (1879); Brombacher, Der Tod der 400 Pforzheimer (Pforzheim, 1886); Stolz, Geschichte der Stadt Pforzheim (Pforzheim, 1901).