Hohenzollern Castle, Germany

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Hohenzollern Castle, Germany

The sky is dark and cloudy, but what else would you expect it to be on a chilly winter’s day at a rural German castle? Could you honestly picture it any other way? German castles are known for their fairy-tale turrets paired with dark forests and remote hilltops, and it’s not hard to imagine yourself as a would-be prince or princess in a Grimm’s brothers tale. Hohenzollern Castle is no different. Silhouetted against a cloud-streaked sky not far from Stuttgart, the castle rises above the trees, beckoning travelers to climb its hillside and enter its thick walls. First constructed in the 11th century, Hohenzollern Castle barely survived a 10-month siege in the 1400’s, later serving as a refuge during the Thirty Year’s War. In the 18th century, like so many other castles of this era, Hohenzollern fell into ruins, becoming little more than vague inspiration for little-known artists and poets. In the mid-1800s, William IV of Prussia reconstructed the castle in the Gothic Revival style, basing his designs on the magnificent chateaus of the Loire Valley in France; today, only the chapel is originally medieval. And yet, as you climb the mountain, modern society slips through your fingers. By the time you arrive at the top of the castle towers to enjoy the view of the countryside, you realise that you’ve gone back in time by a few hundred years to a time when castles were a defense system, kings and queens wrote the law of the land, and armies still invaded on horseback.

 

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3 thoughts on “Hohenzollern Castle, Germany

  1. Very cool. Some of my ancestors hailed from a western outpost of the Prussian kingdom. Practically on the Swiss border, their passports were still Prussian. I had known of the Hohenzollern family, but never the castle.

    I checked Google images. Not surprisingly, since it sits atop a 2,800 foot mountain, the best shots are taken from airplanes. Shooting from terra firma, I think your long-distance rendition does a remarkable job of capturing the feel of the place.

    • Thanks!! The castle was beautiful (it’s a castle!), but I was a bit disappointed at how difficult it was to photograph (and maybe January wasn’t the best time to visit it either). It was pretty hard to get a decent shot of the whole thing, so I was lucky to have gotten this silhouette as I was heading back towards the train station in the evening!

  2. Very foreboding, the black castle that is nightmarish with a sky zipping by in motion, sunset of past history written or the sunrise of a better future.

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