As a visitor at the famous Goldencity of Pforzheim, besides the Jewellery Museum introducing unique and timeless pieces there was another destination in my to-do-list for my short visit: The historical 'Schmuck' - jewellery, in Germany - store in Leopoldplatz, considered the biggest place in Europe to buy and, if your savings fail, just see watches and jewellery.
The store - at the time a market to display works of gold craft manufactured in the town - was inaugurated at the beginning of the 20th century, a place where the jewellery manufacturers were presenting their fine works. The business house was named at the time Hansahaus, being besides its trade functions, also a professional meeting place in this part of Germany and even Europe. Through the wars - WWI and WWII - the building witnessed different political and economic changes and pressures, being destroyed during the massive bombing of the city on 23 February 1945. From the 1970s on, as the industry itself was recovering, the Schmuckplatz started to develop slowly but steadly nowadays being not only a recommended shopping destination in town, but also a market to present German products and designer works.
As expected, gold is playing a big role here. As I showed in a previous post a couple of years go, it can be not only a fashion item, but also a table companion. Here, you can start with a bubbling 22 Karat Gold glass of Cuvee, that can be purchased for less than 20 EUR.
There are many things that you can buy here, from high-end jewellery, to affordable pieces for teenagers and low budgets. Besides, there are also intersting sections dedicated to the history of goldsmithing and jewellery industry in Pforzheim and Germany in general. At the last floor, one can admire special precious stones, as well as have a look through a small peephole at the Sparkasse Gold Vault, including the Golden Bars.
The section dedicated to the fine works of jewellery by German artists remains the most interesting though. Many companies displayed are family owned and with a tradition from the end of the 19th century. If you are interested to find out more about high-end German brands, this is for sure the place to improve your knowledge.
Interestingly, in Europe the watches production is usually branded as Made in Switzerland, but once you have a look at the fine and elegant watches you may change your mind. For instance, after discovering the ones made by Mitschele watch factory, based in Pforzheim. Each of the sections of this special shop has specialized customer service employees, ready to help in finding the right item within the desired price range.
Another aspect I was not aware of any German designers working with pearls, but my visit at the Schmuckplatz was enough to correct this ignorance. Huhn Pearls, for instance, another local company, creates elegant accessories in different shapes and for different occasions. Another noteworthy finds were the fine handwork items created by Bossert und Kast, or the colourful decorative jewellery by d'Herion.
Overall, this visit was a very interesting opportunity not only to please my eyes with interesting works of jewellery, but also to find out more about the different faces of German gold industry.