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Kampagne Fairtrade Town


F O R C H H E I M - modern with a traditional heart

Forchheim through the ages
Forchheim today is a modern town on the main traffic route between Nuremberg and Thuringia which boasts an attractive shopping centre and a wide range of services. Since World War II the population has more than doubled to a total in excess of 30.000. In the last few decades new high quality residential areas have been developed around the old town centre. The historic centre of this beautiful town has evolved over a span of more than 1200 years. Archeological finds prove that in prehistoric times settlers were to be found in the area of the confluence of the Rivers Wiesent and Regnitz. Forchheim was mentioned in documents for the first time in the Diedenhofener Capitulare (Royal Order of Diedenhof) of Karl der Grosse (Charlemagne) in the year 805. The existence of the Königspfalz (King’s Palace) and the fact that in the 9th and 10th centuries it was the chosen town of investiture to the late Carolingians made Forchheim an immensely significant town. In the year 1007 Kaiser Heinrich II (Henry II) made a gift of Forchheim to the Diocese of Bamberg which was founded by himself. Up until the secularisation of the Cathedral Foundation in 1802/03 the Prince-Bishops were responsible for the fate of the town. Forchheim became the Bishop’s second residence and from 1552 onwards over two centuries the fortifications of the Cathedral Foundation were gradually completed. Forchheim, founded by Otto der Heilige (Otto the Holy) in 1102-39 and built adjacent to the existing settlement around the area known today as Sattlertorstraße and the Rathausplatz, was purely a half-timbered town in the middle ages. There were a remarkable number of waterways on whose banks the numerous mills came into being. With the expansion of the fortifications and the new buildings erected during the age of baroque incorporating stone facades and garret roofs the townscape became indelibly altered. In the 19th century the fortifications that had never been conquered by the enemy became obsolete. In the past, the wall surrounding the town restricted expansion and the demolition of half the fortifications signalled the start of industrial development in this area. This in turn helped the community economically forwards from which at the time consisted mainly of handcrafts, small trades and farming. A number of well-known companies, notably in the textile, paper and packaging industries are still represented in Forchheim today. Since the 1950s new companies have been founded here as well as small and medium enterprises. This fusion of past history with the present, the quality of life and the human factor makes Forchheim especially appealing. It nestles between the Steigerwald and Franconian Switzerland, is benefitted by many traffic connections and is filled with an abundance of leisure, sport and park amenities. Lying in the valley floodplains of the Regnitz and the Wiesent, alongside the Main-Danube-Canal, Forchheim flourishes. Every year, during the last week in July, Forchheim becomes the Franconian “hub of the world” when it hosts the well-known Annafest beer festival at the nearby Kellerberg. In December the historical buildings of the Rathaus are turned into the “World’s most beautiful Advent Calender”. Daily from 1st to 24th December the Christmas Angel opens a window to reveal a christmas motif and a valuable prize.



Visit Forchheim ...
… with one of our most popular guided tours:

General city tour


Guided tour of the Pfalz

Tour through
Forchheim´s Underworld

Beer garden tour
and beer tasting
Or book another guided tour from our entire program.

You also can visit the Old Town and the many sights on your own - using our broschures:

Tour of the Old Town

A short guide to Forchheim's Old Town with overview map and description of the numerous sights.

Download the broschure in English as PDF (1,4 MB).
Also available in French, Italian and German.


Brochure with general information about Forchheim.

Download the broschure in English as PDF (0,4 MB).
Also available in French, Italian and German.

You get all our leaflets for free in the Tourist-Information Forchheim and the "Kaiserpfalz" (Imperial Palace).



Highlights in Forchheim
Forchheim’s citizens enjoy celebrating. The highlight of the festival season is St. Anna’s Day on the 26th of July. In former times the pilgrims stopped to rest in the shade of the trees in the “Cellar Woodlands”. Since 1840 the whole town together with visitors from all over Franconia celebrate the “Annafest” for 11 days. This grandest of all folk festivals attracts, from near and far, more than 30,000 visitors every day. They join the happy throng of people as they wander from booth to booth. From the Ferris wheel to the big dipper and then sit down to enjoy cold beer and all kinds of culinary delights with music. During the last weekend in June the most attractive squares and streets around the Town Hall provide a super setting for the Old Town Festival. Advent is the time of the idyllic “Forchheim Christmas” when the Town Hall is transformed into the world’s most beautiful Advent calendar. Each evening many spectators watch when the Christmas angel opens a door in the calendar.

Easter in Forchheim


Opening of the beergardens


Arts and Craft Fair


Old Town Festival



Christmas in Forchheim



Leisure activities
In Forchheim you can do a great number of leisure activities, such as:

Visit the "Pfalzmuseum"


"Königsbad" Waterpark


Bowling, minigolf, climbing
indoor-soccer & tennis

Castle Road




Accommodation & Dining
Our host-directory gives you an overview of accommodations, restaurants, cafes and beer cellars in Forchheim and the vicinity.



How to reach Forchheim
You can plan your journey and find a detailed street plan of Forchheim at Google Maps.
Helpful information on getting to Forchheim and to public transport, please visit the page How to reach Forchheim.

The overview map is available as PDF for download (0.3MB) and is obtainable for free at the Tourist-Information Forchheim.



Contact & further informations


Tourist-Information Forchheim
Kapellenstr. 16
91301 Forchheim
Tel.: +49 (0) 9191 714-360, -337, -338
Fax: +49 (0) 9191 714-206


Office hours:
April - October
Monday - Friday: 9 am - 5.30 pm
Saturday: 10 am - 1 pm
November - March
Monday - Wednesday, Friday: 9 am - 5 pm
Thursday: 9 am - 5.30 pm




Impressions from Forchheim

You can find more photos in our photo gallery.





More information about the region...
... at the following tourism offices:

Franconian Switzerland