House of Hohenzollern

House of Hohenzollern
Coat of arms of the Hohenzollerns
CountryGermany, Romania
Foundedbefore 1061
FounderBurkhard I, Count of Zollern
Current headGermany and Prussia:
HI&RH Prince Georg Friedrich (1994–present)
HSH Prince Karl Friedrich (2010–present)
Final rulerGermany and Prussia:
Emperor Wilhelm II (1888–1918)
King Michael I (1927–1930, 1940–1947)
TitlesGerman Emperor
Count of Zollern
Margrave of Brandenburg
Duke of Prussia
Burgrave of Nuremberg
Margrave of Bayreuth
Margrave of Brandenburg-Ansbach
King of Prussia
Prince of Neuchâtel
King of Romania
Prince of Hohenzollern-Hechingen
Prince of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen
Estate(s)Germany, Prussia, Romania
DepositionGermany and Prussia:
1918: German Revolution
1947: Stalinist take-over
Cadet branchesPrussian branch
Swabian branch
Romanian branch

The House of Hohenzollern [ˈhoːəntsɔlɐn] is a dynasty of former princes, electors, kings and emperors of Hohenzollern, Brandenburg, Prussia, the German Empire, and Romania. The family arose in the area around the town of Hechingen in Swabia during the 11th century and took their name from Hohenzollern Castle.[1] The first ancestors of the Hohenzollerns were mentioned in 1061.

The Hohenzollern family split into two branches, the Catholic Swabian branch and the Protestant Franconian branch,[2] which later became the Brandenburg-Prussian branch. The Swabian branch ruled the principalities of Hohenzollern-Hechingen and Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen until 1849, and also ruled Romania from 1866 to 1947. Members of the Franconian branch became Margrave of Brandenburg in 1415 and Duke of Prussia in 1525.

The Margraviate of Brandenburg and the Duchy of Prussia were ruled in personal union after 1618 and were called Brandenburg-Prussia. The Kingdom of Prussia was created in 1701, eventually leading to the unification of Germany and the creation of the German Empire in 1871, with the Hohenzollerns as hereditary German Emperors and Kings of Prussia.

Germany's defeat in World War I in 1918 led to the German Revolution. The Hohenzollerns were overthrown and the Weimar Republic was established, thus bringing an end to the German monarchy. Georg Friedrich, Prince of Prussia is the current head of the royal Prussian line, while Karl Friedrich, Prince of Hohenzollern is the head of the princely Swabian line.[2]

County of Zollern

Alpirsbach Abbey, founded by the Hohenzollerns.

Zollern, from 1218 Hohenzollern, was a county of the Holy Roman Empire. Later its capital was Hechingen.

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.[3]

In 1095 Count Adalbert of Zollern founded the Benedictine monastery of Alpirsbach, situated in the Black Forest.

The Zollerns received the comital title from Emperor Henry V in 1111.[4]

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.[2] 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 elder son Conrad I, he thereby became the ancestor of the Franconian Hohenzollern branch, which acquired the Electorate of Brandenburg in 1415.[2]

Counts of Zollern (1061–1204)

After Frederick's death, his sons partitioned the family lands between themselves:

  • Conrad I received the county of Zollern and exchanged it for the burgraviate of Nuremberg with his younger brother Frederick IV in 1218, thereby founding the Franconian branch of the House of Hohenzollern. Members of the Franconian line eventually became the Brandenburg-Prussia branch. The Franconian line later converted to Protestantism.
  • Frederick IV received the burgraviate of Nuremberg in 1200 from his father and exchanged it for the county of Zollern in 1218 with his brother, thereby founding the Swabian branch of the House of Hohenzollern. The Swabian line remains Catholic.[2]
Other Languages
Alemannisch: Hohenzollern
български: Хоенцолерн
bosanski: Hoencolerni
čeština: Hohenzollernové
Deutsch: Hohenzollern
Esperanto: Hohencolernoj
hrvatski: Hohenzollern
Bahasa Indonesia: Wangsa Hohenzollern
lietuvių: Hohencolernai
Nederlands: Huis Hohenzollern
پنجابی: ہوہنزولرن
română: Hohenzollern
Simple English: Hohenzollern
slovenčina: Hohenzollernovci
српски / srpski: Хоенцолерн
svenska: Hohenzollern
українська: Гогенцоллерни
Tiếng Việt: Nhà Hohenzollern
West-Vlams: Huus Hohenzollern