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Coat of arms of Calw
Coat of arms
Calw  is located in Germany
Coordinates: 48°43′0″N 8°44′0″E / 48.71667°N 8.73333°E / 48.71667; 8.73333Coordinates: 48°43′0″N 8°44′0″E / 48.71667°N 8.73333°E / 48.71667; 8.73333
Country Germany
State Baden-Württemberg
Admin. region Karlsruhe
District Calw
 • Mayor Ralf Eggert
 • Total 59.88 km2 (23.12 sq mi)
Population (2014-12-31)[1]
 • Total 22,600
 • Density 380/km2 (980/sq mi)
Time zone CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Postal codes 75351-75365
Dialling codes 07051, 07053
Vehicle registration CW

Calw (German pronunciation: [ˈkalf]; locally [kʰalp]) is a town in the middle of Baden-Württemberg in the south of Germany, capital of the district Calw. It is located in the Northern Black Forest and is approximately 18 kilometres south of Pforzheim and 33 kilometres west of Stuttgart.


Calw was first mentioned in records in 1037.[2] In the 11th century, the town grew around the older castle of the Grafen (Earls) of Calw. In the Middle Ages, Calw was an important commercial town, especially for the trade of cloth and leather. In 1345, Calw became part of Württemberg,[2] and by the 16th century, it had become the summer residence of the Duke of Württemberg. In 1634 the town was taken by the Bavarians, and in 1692 by the French.[2] In the 18th century, Calw flourished from the lumber trade and rafting of timber on the river Nagold.

Due to her romantic relationship with a Polish guest worker, seventeen-year-old Calw resident Erna Brehm was publicly shaved bald in the town's market square in August 1941. She served eight months in jail in Calw and Stuttgart for violating Nazi Rassenschande ("racial shame") laws before being deported to Ravensbrück concentration camp. She was released on 1 April 1944 because she was in such poor health that she was no longer able to work. She was extremely underweight (reportedly only 34.5 kilograms or 76 pounds) and died on 19 August 1951 at the age of twenty-seven.[3]

During World War II, a small subcamp of Natzweiler-Struthof concentration camp, where parts for aircraft were assembled by female forced laborers, was located here.[4] The most prominent resident of Calw was the author and Nobel prize winner Hermann Hesse.

The district reform of 1 January 1973 gave Calw its current size. It became a part of the newly founded Northern Black Forest Region, which itself was assigned to the administrative region of Karlsruhe. On 1 January 1975, Calw was combined with the municipalities of Altburg, Hirsau and Stammheim into the town of Calw-Hirsau. On 1 January 1976, it was renamed as Calw.


Municipal council[edit]

Since the municipal elections of 7 June 2009 the municipal council of Calw has had a total of thirty members (previously there were only twenty-seven). Furthermore, the Lord Mayor (in German "Oberbürgermeister") acts as the chairperson of the council. The result of the last election was:

Party Percentage of Votes + / - Seats + / -
Free Voters 35.7% - 3.6 11 ± 0
Christian Democratic Union 23.4% - 1.2 7 ± 0
Social Democratic Party 14.0% - 2.0 4 ± 0
Free Democratic Party / Green Party 19.5% + 2.6 6 + 2
Neue Liste Calw 7.5% + 3.9 2 + 1


By the 15th century Calw had an electoral system that chose a new mayor every two years. Proof exists for a council as far back as 1453.

Mayors and Lord Mayors[edit]

  • 1799–1802: Ernst Friedrich Wagner
  • 1802–1809: Ernst Bernhard Wagner
  • 1809–1817: Johann Gottfried Konrad und Johann Naschold
  • 1817–1820: Carl Friedrich von Gärtner
  • 1820–1826: Johann Jakob Hess
  • 1826–1835: Johann Friedrich Dreiß
  • 1835–1884: Christian Friedrich Schuldt
  • 1884–1902: Hermann Haffner
  • 1902–1918: Eduard Conz
  • 1918–1946: Otto Göhner
  • 1946–1948: Oskar Blessing
  • 1948–1965: Reinhold Seeber
  • 1965–1991: Karl-Heinz Lehmann
  • 1991–1998: Herbert Karl
  • 1999–2003: Werner Spec (no party)
  • 2003–2011: Manfred Dunst (Free Voters)
  • since 2011: Ralf Eggert (no party)

Important facts and figures about Calw[edit]

  • Outlying districts: Alzenberg, Wimberg, Heumaden
  • Town districts: Altburg, Hirsau, Stammheim, Holzbronn
  • Labor force: Compulsorily insured employees 8,014. Of these:
    • Manufacturing industries: 2,763
    • Service industries: 5,251
  • Waterways - Nagold river, Tälesbach, Ziegelbach, Wurstbrunnenbach, Schießbach, Schlittenbach, Schweinbach
  • Base of the Kommando Spezialkräfte (KSK) (Special Forces Command)

Tourism and importance[edit]

Calw is heavily pedestrianised, and has begun catering for the tourist trade with numerous shops, restaurants, bistros and ice-cream parlours being opened. This growth has allowed Calw to be considered a large town at the centre of its district.

Famous residents[edit]



External links[edit]

  • Media related to Calw at Wikimedia Commons
  • Calw travel guide from Wikivoyage