February 23, 1945
Another of those "favourite thing" entries that cannot be called favourite...
The fateful date in Pforzheim’s history, to which the city owes its lack of historical architecture and flair. On this day the worst allied air raid hit the city. The centre was almost entirely destroyed. There is hardly a city or town in Germany that suffered, in relation to its size, more damage. After the occupation the allied commander, seeing the ruins, predicted there would never be a city again in this place.
He was wrong, as we see.
A model in the Stadtmuseum shows what the old town looked like after the air raid (photo 1).
The 23rd of February is a day of commemoration in Pforzheim every year, with church bells ringing and solemn memorial celebrations.
Square of 23rd February and Gernika bridge
The square behind the modern city hall has been named "Platz des 23. Februar 1945" to commemorate the date of the city's destruction. It is for pedestrians only, with benches and flower beds and a modern fountain. However, the visitors it attracts are not necessarily people you'd like to meet after dark...
Next to the square a pedestrian bridge crosses the adjacent six-lane street and leads to the congress centre and the theatre, and from there down to the river. The bridge is named Gernikabrücke . Gernika, the holy town in the Basque country, Guernica in Spanish, is twinned with Pforzheim. Both towns share the same sad fate: Gernika was bombed by German aircrafts in the Spanish Civil War in 1937 (remember Picasso's painting).
Calw - a birthplace of Herman Hesse
Actually this page will tell about Calw - a small town in Schwarzwald (not far from Prorzheim - that's why it is placed here, and Calw is not listed in Virtualtourist places). I'll try to say something new about this town - what I have seen there during a short special trip.
Along the River
Riverside panorama with theatre and congress centre, the steeple of Schlosskirche and the city hall in the background.
Walking the river banks was very pleasant on this warm spring day. Being carried along the river bank was even more pleasant.
They even have pedal boats for hire.
Mommy spotted two interesting churches by the river but I am sparing you these here. There are more churches waiting for us.
Then we set off for the town museum in the west of the city. It was a long walk, but we had no inclination to be in a hot crowded bus. So walking was the only option.
This is the art nouveau Christuskirche, the protestant parish church of the western quarter. Unfortunately (or luckily?) it was closed and we could not get in.
The big church substituted the old village church in the early 20th century. The old church later became part of the historical museum. It is a mix of styles and ages - gothic choir, baroque nave and spire.
Another view of the art nouveau church.