Hohenzollern Castle is the ancestral home of the House of Hohenzollern, the royal family of Prussia. The beautiful, fairy tale-like structure is perched atop the Zollern mountain, nestled in the Swabian Alps, and overlooks the valley and the quaint, gingerbread-house town of Hechingen below. The Hohenzollern family has owned a castle at this site since the 1000s, long before they became kings of Prussia and emperors of Germany. This magical place still belongs to that distinguished family today. It features the Eagle Gate with a draw bridge, winding corridors and turretted towers, three magnificent chapels (Prostestant, Catholic, and Orthodox), the Grafensaal Hall, the King’s and Queen’s Quarters, a room filled with armor, the castle kitchens, and a treasure room with a glass case displaying the original crown of the German Emperor, many pieces of art and royal treasure, and many legendary belongings of Prussian kings and queens. Today, exhibits, concerts, theater productions, and a yearly Christmas Market take place in the castle. The castle has had a long history as a fortress, and was destroyed in a siege in 1423, only to be rebuilt in the 1450s. It was given today’s form through renovations in the 1860s under renown architect Friedrich August Stüler, who added magical touches inspired by English Gothic buildings and the châteaux of the Loire Valley. After 1850, the area surrounding the castle formed the Prussian Province of Hohenzollern, one of Prussia’s southernmost territories.
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