County of Zollern
Zollern, from 1218 Hohenzollern, was a
county of the
Holy Roman Empire. Later its capital was
The Hohenzollerns named their estates after
Hohenzollern Castle in the
Swabian Alps. The Hohenzollern Castle lies on a 855 meters high mountain called
Hohenzollern. It still belongs to the family today.
The dynasty was first mentioned in 1061. According to the medieval chronicler
Berthold of Reichenau,
Burkhard I, Count of Zollern (de Zolorin) was born before 1025 and died in 1061.
In 1095 Count Adalbert of Zollern founded the
monastery of Alpirsbach, situated in the
The Zollerns received the
comital title from Emperor
Henry V in 1111.
As loyal vassals of the Swabian
Hohenstaufen dynasty, they were able to significantly enlarge their territory. Count
Frederick III (c. 1139 – c. 1200) accompanied Emperor
Frederick Barbarossa against
Henry the Lion in 1180, and through his marriage was granted the
Burgraviate of Nuremberg by Emperor
Henry VI in 1192. In about 1185 he married Sophia of
Raabs, the daughter of
Conrad II, Burgrave of Nuremberg.
 After the death of Conrad II who left no male heirs, Frederick III was granted Nuremberg as
Burgrave Frederick I.
In 1218 the burgraviate passed to Frederick's younger son
Conrad I, he thereby became the ancestor of the
Franconian Hohenzollern branch, which acquired the
Electorate of Brandenburg in 1415.
Counts of Zollern (1061–1204)
After Frederick's death, his sons partitioned the family lands between themselves:
Frederick IV received the county of Zollern and the burgraviate of Nuremberg in 1200 from his father, thereby founding the Swabian branch of the House of Hohenzollern. The Swabian line remains
Conrad III received the burgraviate of Nuremberg from his brother Frederick IV in 1218, thereby founding the Franconian branch of the House of Hohenzollern. Members of the Franconian line eventually became the
Brandenburg-Prussian branch. The Franconian line later converted to