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Forchheim

Forchheim is a large town in Upper Franconia in northern Bavaria, and also the seat of the administrative district of Forchheim. Forchheim is a former royal city, and is sometimes called the “Gateway to the Franconian Switzerland”, as the region is known. Its population, as of December 2013, was 30,705, and its land area is 44.95km². Its position is 49° 44' N, 11° 04' E and its elevation is 265m above sea level.Forchheim todayIn 2005, Forchheim celebrated its 1,200th anniversary of first documentary mention, on the occasion of which the Deutsche Post (German Post) issued special commemorative stamps worth 45 cents. In 2004, the city played host to the Bavarian provincial Exhibition. There were about 199,100 visitors.Name and coat of armsWhen the coat of arms was bestowed upon the town at the beginning of the 13th century, people wrongly believed that their town’s name, "Vorchheim" originates from the Old High German word vorhe (“trout”). This resulted in the coat of arms showing two trout (above). Although the rivers around the town were certainly home to a great number of trout in those days, it seems likelier that the town's name was actually derived from the Old High German word vorha (“pine”). Hence, the name means “pine home” with a probability bordering on certainty.The name most likely originates in the 7th century, when Frankish settlers first ensconced themselves in the region. They established many riverside towns with names ending in –heim.
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