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Pirmasens, Gate to the Pfälzerwald:

Things are moving here. The sympathetic city, that gives a home to shoe competence, will jolt all visitors into action – literally. The natural topography of the city that was built on seven hills, as well as the Dynamikum, the first science center in Rheinland-Pfalz, are going to help with that.

There are about 160 interactive experimental stations in this unique interactive museum in the former shoe factory “Rheinberger”, which all involve the topic ‘Movement’. Touching and trying are certainly things you can do here, even outside, where there are 12 new outdoor exhibits at the Bürgerpark Strecktal.

A lot of exercise will await you directly in front of the gates of the city, at the biggest open air arena of the Palatinate region: The Pfälzerwald. Here you can hike, mountain bike and relax year-round. Discover the castles and new red sandstone rocks of the Wasgau, the wide fields of the Sickingerhöhe and the French neighbor region Elsass/Lothringen.

The parade ground with its festivities and open air events, the pedestrian zone with the palace fountain and the museum at the ‘Altes Rathaus’ (old town hall), the forum ALTE POST (old post office) with its different exhibits, the Westwall fortress Gerstfeldhöhe and the ‘factory of glass’ of the Wawi chocolate world with its ‘sweetest kinds of the city’ – all this makes ‘Bärmesens’, as Pirmasens is called in the Palatinate dialect, an adventurous destination.

Be surprised.

 

History

Pirmasens was first mentioned in a document around 850, as “Pirminiseusna”. Namesake of the city was the itinerant preacher Pirminius, who founded the nearby monastery Hornbach (and the monastery Reichenau at Lake Constance).

Landgrave Ludwig IX of Hesse-Darmstadt, city father of Pirmasens, came here in 1741, and established the garrison for a generously funded Garde-Grenadier-Regiment. In 1763, Pirmasens got city rights. The 1790 death of the landgrave meant the immediate end of residence and garrison, and withdrew all livelihood from the citizens.

Due to existential need, the “Schlabbe-Machen” was established, where simple shoes made of leather and dress leftovers were manufactured. These were later sold by women in the surrounding areas. The first ‘conversion’ to be overcome by the city and its citizens ended with an economic revolution that was difficult in its beginnings, but ended up leaving the Pirmasens people with an economic upswing, as well as worldwide renowned German shoe metropolis. The second World War, in which 75% of Pirmasens was destroyed, the economic upswing was stagnating for a short while. The move of manufacturing to Southern Europe, later to the Near East, coupled with the growing unemployment that resulted out of this move, left Pirmasens with bigger economic problems.

Within the shoe business, new product lines were developed, such as shoe glue, synthetic products, machines for shoe production, as well as conveyor technology facilities. Knowledge around modern shoe production is still at home in Pirmasens, and is taught at the Deutsche Schuhfachschule (German Shoe College), as well as at the Internationalen Schuhkompetenz Centrum (ISC; International shoe competence center).

 

Tourist information
Fröhnstr. 8
66954 Pirmasens
Tel: 06331 2394321
Fax       06331 2394329

tourismus@pirmasens.de

 

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