Categories: Sightseeing, Cultural and History
[ source: Wikipedia]
The Hohenzollern Castle, located 30 miles south of Stuttgart (Stuttgart vacation rentals | Stuttgart travel guide), was the ancestral home of the ruling Hohenzollern family, which eventually became the Emperors of Germany. The first castle on this site was built in the 11th century. The first written reference to a Hohenzollern House dates from 1061, while the first written documentation of the castle dates from 1267. The castle was totally destroyed in 1423 after a 10-month siege.
The second castle was built between 1454 and 1461. This castle was much stronger and more heavily fortified than its predecessor. After the Thirty Years' War, the castle fell under Habsburg rule until 1798. The castle fell into disrepair in the last eighteenth century, and several buildings were demolished at this point. By the early 1800s, the castle was a ruin except for the Chapel of St. Michael. Today this chapel is the only extant structure from the medieval complex.
The third Hohenzollern Castle was built by Frederick William IV of Prussia between 1846 and 1867. He hired the architect Friedrich August Stueler for this project, and Stueler based his design of the new castle on the castles of the Loire Valley and on English Neo-Gothic architecture. Unusually, the castle was built as a family memorial, and it did not function as a residence until 1945. The current Hohenzollern Castle is considered a homage to the ideals of German Romanticism and represents an idealized vision of a medieval knight's castle. In this way, the Hohenzollern Castle resembles the romanticized architecture of Neuschwanstein Castle. After its construction, the Hohenzollern Castle functioned primarily as a show piece. In 1970 and 1978, the castle was severely damaged by earthquakes.
Today, the castle is still privately owned, but it is open to the public as a museum. The Hohenzollern collection is notable for some of the historic artifacts housed there, including the King of Prussia's crown, a variety of personal possessions of Frederick the Great, and a letter from George Washington to Baron von Steuben, thanking him for his service in the American Revolutionary War.
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: wikipedia.org ]
About this Article
This travel guide has been written by Rachel Hildebrandt.
Starting with her first trip to Germany at the age of 16, Rachel has traveled, worked, and studied in Germany extensively. Although her first encounter with German culture was in Lower Saxony, since that time the focus of her subsequent work as a freelance historian and translator has shifted eastward. Building on her graduate studies in Dresden, Rachel has worked for a variety of German foundations as a historian and translator, and is currently pursuing research pertaining to the Sorbs in Lusatia (eastern Saxony).
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