Schloss Hohenzollern
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member RakeInTheCache
N 48° 19.417 E 008° 58.050
32U E 497590 N 5352270
Quick Description: Ancestral castle of the Hohenzollern family, the same that produced the Prussian Kings and founded the dynasty of the 2nd German Empire.
Location: Baden-Württemberg, Germany
Date Posted: 4/17/2006 1:52:24 PM
Waymark Code: WMAPY
Published By: Groundspeak Charter Member The Hornet
Views: 378

Long Description:
The Hohenzollerns are probably best known as the family of Prussian kings and emperors whose seat was in Berlin.

One may be surprised to find out that the Hohenzollerns originated in Swabia (Southwest German region), as did another important imperial line long before them, the Hohenstaufens.

The oldest known mentioning of the Hohenzollern dates from 1061. The accepted origin of the counts of Zollern is that they are derived from the Burchardinger dynasty.

Hohenzollern castle is their ancestral residence.

Count Frederick III was a loyal retainer of Emperors Frederick Barbarossa and Henry VI and ca. 1185 married Sophia of Raabs, the daughter of Burgrave Conrad II of Nuremberg. After the death of Conrad II, who left no male heirs, Frederick III was granted the Burgraviate of Nuremberg in 1192 as Burgrave Frederick I of Nuremberg-Zollern. Since then the family name became to be known as Hohenzollern. After Frederick's death, his sons partitioned the family lands between themselves. The oldest, Conrad III, received the burgraveship of Nuremberg in 1218 from his younger brother, thereby founding the Franconian line of the Hohenzollerns. The younger brother, Frederick IV, founded the Swabian line. The Franconian line later converted to Protestantism, while the Swabian line remained Catholic.

Ruling the minor German principalities of Hechingen and Sigmaringen, the Swabian branch of the family decided to remain Roman Catholic and later split into the Hechingen and Sigmaringen branches. They never expanded from these two Swabian principalities, which was one of the reasons they became relatively unimportant in German history for much of their existence. However, they kept royal lineage and married members of the great royal European houses.

Beginning in the 14th Century, the Franconian branch of the family decided on expansion through marriage and a purchase of lands. The family gradually added to their lands, at first with many small acquisitions, such as the Margravates of Ansbach in 1331 and Kulmbach in 1340. However, the awarding of Brandenburg in 1417 and the inheritance of the Duchy of Prussia in 1618 was to eventually propel the Hohenzollerns from a minor German princely family into one of the most important in Europe.

This visually striking castle is an hour's drive south from Stuttgart. It is situated on top of a hill with a commanding view of the surrounding countryside. The car park is at the foot of the hill and you can walk up, or, for a small sum, take a shuttle bus to the top.

As of 2006, the entrance fee is €7.00 if you want to go inside. €3.00 to visit the grounds only.

I personally believe it's striking appearance and position on top the hill rivals the more world reknown Neuschwanstein in Bavaria.

The interior of the castle can only be visited via frequent guided tours some of which are in German and some in English. Taking photographs is not allowed inside the castle. This castle is definitely off the beaten international tourist track, but is popular with Germans and can get crowded during the high season and on sunny week-ends. There is a restaurant on the castle grounds as well as a beer garden. You can also get something to eat near the parking area.
Accessibility: Full access

Condition: Intact

Admission Charge?: yes

Website: [Web Link]

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