A cheerful, bustling little town, on the edge of the Black Forest. Very little of age or interest to look at, due to extensive redevelopment by the RAF in 1945. I’ve only been twice, each time in bad weather, but stayed longer than I intended both times, waylaid by the shops spilling over onto the pavements of the market square with all kinds of interesting offers (thermal long johns, only 7 euros a pair, freshly-baked organic bread, 2 for the price of one).
Pforzheim is best known as the centre of the German jewellery-making business in the 19th century (the German equivalent of Birmingham, although much smaller), and continues as a centre for manufacturing and education today. There’s a good museum of jewellery manufacture and techniques, and a separate museum of jewellery, which has a permanent exhibition (very good on art nouveau and rings of all ages), and changing temporary exhibitions. Everything is beautifully displayed and labelled – this is a museum for practitioners as much as the general public – and there are authoritative catalogues for everything, which are deeply discounted after a year or two.
If you are remotely interested in jewellery this is a good place for a day out from Stuttgart. About half an hour by frequent train.