A brief family history
The Swabian and Brandenburg-Prussian branches of the Hohenzollern dynasty.
First mentioned in 1061, the Hohenzollern dynasty is one of the oldest, most important Swabian noble dynasties. The eponymous castle in Hechingen forms the centrepiece of the territory once ruled by the counts of Zollern. A Franconian line was created following the investiture of the burgrave of Nuremburg in 1214 from which the margraves of Brandenburg (1415), Prussian Hohenzollern (1701) and ultimately the Hohenzollern imperial house (1871) subsequently evolved.
The Haigerloch, Hechingen and Sigmaringen lines of the Swabian Hohenzollern branch were created by a split in 1576 (Haigerloch died out again in 1634) and were raised to the status of imperial princes in 1623. The then counts of Hohenzollern-Hechingen and Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen gained full sovereignty over their principalities in 1806 only to relinquish them to their relatives of the Prussian royal house in 1850. After the lack of a male heir led the Hohenzollern-Hechingen line to die out in 1869, relatives from the Sigmaringen line assumed the title of Prince/Princess of Hohenzollern without any further additions. The Hohenzollern ancestral castle expresses the historical significance and might of the kinship between the Prussian and princely house of the Hohenzollern lines, who today share ownership of the castle.