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Hohenzollern Castle History

The new building has proved to be more durable and the castle has survived several battles of the Thirty Years’ War, the War of the Austrian Succession and many other wars. The fortifications of the Hohenzollern Castle were of significant strategic importance for several centuries, but the castle-fortress has declined and been practically abandoned by its owners, who preferred luxurious palaces to the knight’s castle. The majority of castle buildings was demolished and the resulting material has been used for building purposes. Only the Chapel of Saint Michael has survived in the unaltered appearance for posterity.

The Hohenzollern Castle owes its rebirth to the Prussian King Frederick William IV. He has visited the ruins of the “family nest” as a Crown Prince and has taken a decision to restore the old and lost beauty of the castle. It took about thirty years from the idea to the realization. That is how long the idea of reconstruction and restoration of the castle did not leave the king. In 1852 restoration work under the guidance and supervision of an excellent Berlin architect Friedrich Stuller commenced. Building upon patterns of Gothic structures in England and France, within 15 years Stuller has created in the Neo-Gothic style one of the most impressive German castle complexes.

Opening of the renovated Hohenzollern residence took place on October 3rd, 1867. However, it was intended for more representative purposes and fulfilling the role of a monument, preserving the history of the famous family. That is why nobody was living there permanently. In 1945 the castle served as a shelter for William III, the last heir to the imperial throne of Germany. He settled in the castle along with his wife Cecilie and was buried here in 1951 as well. The castle is still the seat of the representatives of the Hohenzollern dynasty. They have made a part of the castle courtyard and some of the rooms available to the visitors.