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Hohenzollern Castle Bisingen, top-rated tourist attraction in Germany

Hohenzollern Castle

Burg Hohenzollern

Castle in Bisingen, Germany

Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Germany

Hohenzollern Castle Bisingen, top-rated tourist attraction in Germany

Hohenzollern Castle is the ancestral seat of the Imperial House of Hohenzollern. The third of three hilltop castles built on the site, it is located above Hechingen on the edge of the Swabian Jura in central Baden-Württemberg, Germany, and on Mount Hohenzollern to the south. The first fort on the hill was built in the early 11th century. Over the years the House of Hohenzollern split several times, but the castle remained with the Swabian branch, the dynastic seniors of the Franconian-Brandenburgian cadet branch who later acquired their own imperial throne. The castle was completely destroyed in 1423 after a ten-month siege by the free imperial cities of Swabia. The second castle, a larger and stronger structure, was built from 1454 to 1461, serving as a refuge for the Catholic Swabian Hohenzollern, including during the Thirty Years' War. By the end of the 18th century it is believed to have lost its strategic importance and gradually fell into disrepair, resulting in the destruction of several dilapidated buildings. The third, and current, castle was built between 1846 and 1867 as a family memorial by King Frederick William IV of the Hohenzollern dynasty of Prussia.

Hohenzollern Castle Bisingen, top-rated tourist attraction in Germany

Hohenzollern Castle is one of the most visited castles in Germany with over 350,000 visitors each year. The palace is privately owned by the House of Hohenzollern, two-thirds of which belong to the Brandenburg-Prussian branch and the balance to the Swabian branch. Since 1952, the Princess Kira of Prussia Foundation has used the castle for an annual summer camp for children. Whenever Prince George and his family stay at the castle, the Prussian flag flies over the castle, while the flag of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen is used by the Swabians.

In 2015, parts of the 2016 thriller-horror film A Cure for Wellness were shot at the fort, which was closed from 13 to 24 July 2015. Hohenzollern Castle and Peckforton Castle in England were also used in the filming of the 2017 TV adaptation. Worst witch's ever.

Hohenzollern Castle Bisingen, top-rated tourist attraction in Germany

The architecture of Hohenzollern Castle

Hohenzollern Castle, spanning almost the entire summit of Mount Hohenzollern, is a structure composed of four primary parts: military architecture, palace building, chapel and garden.

Hohenzollern Castle military architecture:

The Eagle Gate (German: Adlertor) and its attached drawbridge form the entrance to the castle. The winding Zwinger of the castle turns four times and ends at the bastion. From here, the square upper gate leads to the palatial buildings and the rest of the bastions.

Palace Building: The palace itself, sitting on the outline of the second fort, is an open-air museum laid out in a U-shape ending with Protestant and Catholic chapels. Above the old casemates sits a three-story Gothic Revival building designed by Friedrich August Stüller, decorated with towers and pinnacles. The four towers of the palace are aligned with the turrets, the Emperor's tower with the Fuchsloch turret, the bishop's tower with the Spitz turret, the Markgraf tower with the Scharfeck turret, and the Michael's tower with the garden turret. Attached to the main residential building, the Count's Hall, is the final tower, the Watch Tower (German: Wertturm), which serves as the library's staircase and flagpole whenever the Hohenzollern family resides in the castle.

Hohenzollern Castle Bisingen, top-rated tourist attraction in Germany

Hohenzollern Castle Interior: A perron leads to the Hall of the Ancestors, where one enters the Hall of the Counts (German: Grafensal), which encompasses the entire south wing. The rib vaulting of the Count's Hall, decorated with Stüler's grisaille, depicts the history of the House of Hohenzollern, and the pointed-arch windows, supported by eight free-standing red marble columns. Below the Count's Hall is the old castle kitchen, today a treasure chamber. Adjacent to the Count's Hall are the emperor's tower and the bishop's niche, followed by the library decorated with murals of Hohenzollern history by Wilhelm Peters. The Margrave's Tower contains the King's Parlor, also called the Margrave's House, contrary to Stuller's terminology.

Hohenzollern Castle Bisingen, top-rated tourist attraction in Germany

Hohenzollern Castle additional information

Address: 72379 Burg Hohenzollern, Germany

Status: Completed

Type: Palace, Castle

Architectural style: Gothic Revival

Town or city: Bisingen, Zollernalbkreis

Country: Germany

Coordinates: 48°19′23.5″N 8°58′3.8″ECoordinates: 48°19′23.5″N 8°58′3.8″E

Elevation: 855 meters (2,805 ft) (NHN)

Named for: House of Hohenzollern

Owner: Georg Friedrich, Prince of Prussia (3/4)

Karl Friedrich, Prince of Hohenzollern (1/4)

Affiliation: House of Hohenzollern

Architect: Friedrich August Stüler


Read also: 30 Top-Rated Germany Tourist Attractions, Top Sights & Things to Do


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