5 Interesting Facts About the Hohenzollern Castle

 

1. Hohenzollern Castle has been privately owned by the Hohenzollern family for almost a thousand years now.

Hohenzollern Castle is the dynastic home of the royal dynasty of House Hohenzollern. It is located on top of the Mount Hohenzollern in the region of Swabia in Germany. It was first constructed in the 11th century. The Hohenzollerns, then known as merely Zollerns, were a house of local nobles settled in the region. In the 14th century,  the dynasty split into different branches and many members left the area of their origin. With Kingdom of Prussia’s rise in 18th century, the Hohenzollern family became to be more affiliated with the regions of Prussia and Brandenburg. Still, the Swabian branch had kept the possession of the ruined castle for centuries until it was redesigned and reconstructed by the King of Prussia, Frederick William IV.

 

2. The Castle has been destroyed and reconstructed various times throughout history.

Although the Castle was first constructed in the 11th century as we mentioned above, it has faced many reconstructions throughout history. The first castle was the biggest castle in the region for a long time but it was destroyed during a siege in 1423. A second one was built in the 15th century and initially was resided by the members of the dynasty. It was also used as a military base for a brief period during the Thirty Years War. Yet it lost its importance over time and was not properly maintained for a long time coming into the 18th century, which caused many parts of the castle to demolish. Finally in the 19th century, Frederick William IV of Prussia ordered a reconstruction of the castle with a neo-gothic design. The third and final Castle is still standing today as a fine piece of 19th century architecture and a heritage of the Hohenzollern Dynasty.

 

 3. Members of the family still occasionally stay on the castle.

Although the Hohenzollerns has been in possession of the castle for centuries, they did not mostly reside in it after the Medieval times. The deserted castle fell into ruins by 18th century and was neglected by the Dynasty until Crown Prince Frederick William, later King Frederick William IV, realized the situation and made an attempt for reconstruction. Even after the Castle’s reconstruction in the 19th century, the members of the dynasty did not spend much time there apart from brief vacations. After the abolition of the Hohenzollern monarchy in 1919, however, the Castle gained great importance for the Dynasty as many members that were exiled from Berlin moved to there. And after the World War II, the family members redecorated the Castle and opened it to visitors except for the times that they are staying there. And today, when the family members are staying there the family standard flies on top of the Castle.

 

4. The Castle is home to many artifacts and graves of the Hohenzollern Dynasty.

After the World War I, the Hohenzollerns made the Castle their new family seat. Many family members that died during that time, such as Crown Prince Wilhelm and his wife Crown Princess Cecilie, were buried in the Hohenzollern Castle. Moreover, the bodies of Frederick William I and his son Frederick II the Great’s were preserved in this castle between 1952 and 1991. They were moved back to Potsdam after the unification of Germany in 1991. The most prominent artifacts one can see in the Castle are; the imperial crown of Wilhelm II, an intact dress of Queen Louise, an intact uniform of Frederick the Great and a letter from George Washington to Baron von Steuben.

 

5. Hohenzollern Castle is today one of the most visited castles in Germany.

With about 400.000 visitors a year, Hohenzollern Castle is to this day one of the most visited castles in Germany. Although the castle’s spot makes it difficult for the visitors to get there, many people pay a visit every year. The Castle includes a decent restaurant and a beer house for the visitors and there are many cultural events taking place such as theaters and open air cinemas. The admission fees and other incomes are used by the family members to carry out the maintenance of the castle. There are various tours organized for fair prices that one can find in the area of the Castle or nearby towns and cities. We highly recommend visiting the castle if you are planning an holiday in Germany.

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