About Hohenzollern Castle

Hohenzollern Castle is a castle approximately 50 kilometers (31 mi) south of Stuttgart, Germany. It is considered the ancestral seat of the Hohenzollern family, which emerged in the Middle Ages and eventually became German Emperors. The castle is located on top of Berg (Mount) Hohenzollern, at an elevation of 855 meters (2,805 ft) above sea level; 234 m (768 ft) above the towns of Hechingen and nearby Bisingen, to the south. Both are located at the foothills of the Schwäbische Alb. The castle was first constructed in the early 11th century. It was destroyed several times during its history and was finally re-built from 1850-1867. Hohenzollern Castle is open to the public, and there are guided tours every day. The castle offers a magnificent view of the Swabian Jura and a view over the Gäu to the Black Forest when the weather is fine. Castle is considered the preserve of the Hohenzollern dynasty, the dynasty, which towered over the Middle Ages and rule Prussia and Brandenburg until the end of World War II.-Source by Wikipedia

 

History

First castle

The first Medieval castle of the House of Hohenzollern was mentioned for the first time in 1267. However the castle appears to date back to the 11th century. In 1423, the castle was besieged for over a year by troops from the Swabian Free Imperial Cities. On 15 May 1423, the castle was finally taken and totally destroyed. Of the first castle only written records still exist.

Second castle

In 1454, construction on the second castle began. While this castle was much stronger than the first, during the Thirty Years’ War (1618–1648) it was captured by Württemberg troops in 1634. Following the Thirty Years’ War the castle was under Habsburg control for about a century. During the War of the Austrian Succession (1740–1748), the castle was occupied by French soldiers during the Winter of 1744/45. Following the war, the Habsburgs continued to own the castle, but it was rarely occupied. When the last Austrian owner left the castle in 1798 it began to totally fall to ruins. By the beginning of the 19th century the castle was a ruin, with only the Chapel of St. Michael remaining usable.

Third castle

The castle was rebuilt by Crown-Prince (and later King) Frederick William IV of Prussia. During a trip to Italy in 1819, he travelled through southern Germany and wished to learn about his family’s roots, so climbed to the top of Mount Hohenzollern.

The current castle is the work of the famous Berlin Architect Friedrich August Stüler, who, while still the student and heir of Karl Friedrich Schinkel, was appointed the Architect of the King in 1842. The castle is constructed in the Gothic Revival style. The impressive entryway is the work of the Engineer-Officer Moritz Karl Ernst von Prittwitz who was considered the leading fortifications engineer in Prussia. The sculptures around and inside the castle are the work of Gustav Willgohs. The Hohenzollern Castle is a monument to the ideals of the German Romanticism movement and incorporated the idealized vision of what a medieval knight’s castle should be. In this way, Hohenzollern Castle is similar to Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, though without the fantastic elements that cover Neuschwanstein. The castle also served to enhance the reputation of the Prussian Royal Family, by rebuilding the ancestral castle in such an ornate form.

Construction began in 1850, and was funded entirely by the Brandenburg-Prussian and the Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen lines of the Hohenzollern family. Seventeen years later construction was completed on 3 October 1867 under Frederick William IV’s brother King William I. The castle was damaged in an earthquake on 3 September 1978, and was under repair until the mid-1990s. -Source by Wikipedia

 

Best time to Visit

You may only view the interior of the castle as part of a guided tour, and the castle only offers tours in German. You may purchase tickets in the castle office in the main courtyard.

The castle is open daily throughout the year except on Christmas Eve. From 16 March – 01 November, the castle is open from 9:00-5:30. From 01 November – 15 March the castle is open from 9:00-4:30. -Source by Lets Go Europe

 

Inside Hohenzollern Castle

Since then, the castle has became one of the most beautiful and most visited in Europe. The impressive panoramic sight of the Jura Mountains inspired the Emperor William II when he uttered the sentence: “The view of the Hohenzollern Castle is well worth a long journey.”

The castle’s tour takes visitors through two chapels (a protestant and a catholic one) as well as through impressive winding portals. A mixture of architectural styles, the castle has high-ceiling halls whose decorative elements were clearly inspired by other European landmarks: the Ancestral Hall with its British Gothic Revival style, the Count’s Hall which takes after the Parisian Sainte Chapelle as well as after Karlstein Castle situated in Prague’s proximity, while the stairway which enables the entrance into the building reminds Italian Renaissance.

Probably the castle’s most attractive areas are the Blue Saloon with its oak paneling and rich golden-embroidered upholstery, the Library with its mural paintings and statues and the Thesaurus’ Hall where the Prussian Crown and exquisite gold and silver objects are displayed.

Visitors are attracted to Hohenzollern Castle for a rich array of events and activities. These include an open air theater, an open air cinema, summer symphony concerts in the courtyard, Shooting Star Nights, a Falcon Weekend, the Royal Christmas Market, and evening tours. -Source by Live Like A German