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Hohenzollern Castle close to Sigmaringen was fist mentioned in official records in 1077. Since 1535 it is the seat of Count, later Prince of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen.

Still under the Ottoman Rule, it was decided in 1861 that the principalities of Moldovia and Walachia should be united as the principality of Romania. Karl von Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, who was born on the castle in Sigmaringen, was supposed to rule this principality and was ceremoniously appointed as the Prince of Romania in 1866. The young Prince fought for the Romania’s independence at a time, when it was still occupied by Ottomans. In 1881, Romania was declared a kingdom and Karl von Hohenzollern became King Karl I of Romania. During his regency Romania became an independent country with modern institutions. Through industrialisation Romania saw an economic and cultural boom.

The number of Germans living in Romania in 1918 was small. They lived in townlike colonies and villages of Dobrogea. King Karl distanced himself from his fellow countrimen since he, as a Membran of a foreign dynasty, could not overtly support them.

After Karl I’s death his nephew Ferdinand I who was also born in Sigmaringen ascended the Romanian throne. He encouraged relations between Germans and Romanians. After World War I, Romania was given Banat and Transylvania by the allies. Swabians from Banat and Satu Mare and Saxons from Transylvanian and Bessarabia Germans were hoping for freedom due to the royal decrees. The king from a German house was soon seen as a bridge between Romanians and Germans.

Romania’s last king Michael I was forced to step down and leave the country by the Romanian Communist Party in 1944.

 



Centre of Sigmaringen.



View of Prince’s Park.



Today the castle holds a museum.

Worth knowing

Sigmaringen Hohenzollern Castle
72379 Burg Hohenzollern
phone: +49 (0)7471 2428
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. < opening hours: March 16 to October 31: daily 10 am to 5.30 pm; November 1 to March 15: daily 10 am to 4.30 pm; the castle is closed on December 24.
Guided tours: several thematic guided tours are available daily.

 

Links

http://www.naturpark-obere-donau.de/
www.sigmaringen.de
www.hochenzollernstrasse.de
http://www.oberschwaebische-barockstrasse.de/