Whatever its connexion with the Habsburgs, the Order has its real heirs in the Hohenzollerns of Prussia.
At a later time he reproached himself for not having dethroned the Hohenzollerns outright; but it is now known that Alexander would have forbidden this step, and that he dissuaded Napoleon from withdrawing Silesia from the control of the House of Hohenzollern.
The castle of the Hohenzollerns crowns a high rock above the river, and contains a collection of pictures, an exceptionally interesting museum (textiles, enamels, metal-work, &c.), an armoury and a library.
Kulmbach and Plassenburg belonged to the dukes of Meran, and then to the counts of Orlamunde, from whom they passed in the 14th century to the Hohenzollerns, burgraves of Nuremberg, and thus to the margraves of Bayreuth.
A vague tradition connects the house with the Colonna family of Rome, or the Colalto family of Lombardy; but one more definite unites the Hohenzollerns with the Burkhardingers, who were counts in Raetia during the early part of the 10th century, and two of whom became dukes of Swabia.
The family of Wezil died out in 1194, and the existing branches of the Hohenzollerns are descended from Burkhard and his son Frederick, whose eldest son, Frederick II., was in great favour with the German kings, Lothair the Saxon and Conrad III.
Early in the 12th century Burkhard, a younger son of Frederick I., secured the county of Hohenberg, and this district remained in the possession of the Hohenzollerns until the death of Count Sigismund in 1486.
The Franconian branch of the Hohenzollerns was represented in 1227 by Conrad, burgrave of Nuremberg, whom the emperor Frederick II.
The subsequent history of this branch of the Hohenzollerns is identified with that of Brandenburg from 1415 to 1701, and with that of Prussia since the latter date, as in this year the elector Frederick III.
While the electorate of Brandenburg passed according to the rule of primogenirure, the Franconian possessions of the Hohenzollerns, Ansbach and Bayreuth, were given as appanages to younger sons, an arrangement which was confirmed by the dispositio Achillea of 1473.
The influence of the Swabian branch of the Hohenzollerns was weakened by several partitions of its lands; but early in the 16th century it rose to some eminence through Count Eitel Frederick II.
The attempt to secure these thrones for the Hohenzollerns through this marriage failed, and a similar fate befell Albert's efforts to revive in his own favour the disused title of duke of Franconia.
The Russian disasters in Manchuria at the beginning of 1905 were followed by an extraordinary demonstration of the emperor Williams ideas as to the world-wide dominion of the Hohenzollerns, in a sort of imperial progress in the East, made for the purpose of impressing the Mahommedan world with the power of Germany.
He had made up his mind to assert the ancient claim of the house of Brandenburg to the three Silesian duchies, which the Austrian rulers of Bohemia had ever denied, but the Hohenzollerns had never abandoned.
Near it are the remains of the burg of the Hohenzollerns, the principal existing part of which is the chapel of St Walpurgis, which was destroyed with the rest of the building in 1420, but was restored in 1892.
It became a town in 1398 and passed into the hands of the Hohenzollerns, burgraves of Nuremberg, in 1416.
What she actually got was (1) Upper Pomerania, with the islands of Riigen and Usedom, and a strip of Lower Pomerania on the right side of the Oder, including the towns of Stettin, Garz, Damm and Gollnow, and the isle of Wollin, with the right of succession to the rest of Lower Pomerania in the case of the extinction of the Brandenburg Hohenzollerns; (2) the town of Wismar with the districts of Poel and Neukloster; (3) the secularized bishoprics of Bremen and Verden; and (4) 5,000,000 rix-dollars.
From this time Berlin became and continued to be the residence of the Hohenzollerns, the elector John Cicero (1486-1499) being the first to establish a permanent court inside the walls.
During the earlier part of the 19th century the poem was eagerly scanned by the enemies of the Hohenzollerns, some of whom believed that the race would end with King Frederick William III., the representative of the eleventh generation of the family.
During the century which preceded the advent of the Hohenzollerns in Brandenburg its internal condition had become gradually worse and worse, and had been accompanied by a considerable loss of territory.
In 1537 he had concluded a treaty with Frederick III., duke of Liegnitz, which guaranteed to the Hohenzollerns the succession to the Silesian duchies of Liegnitz, Brieg and Wohlau in the event of the ducal family becoming extinct; this arrangement is important as the basis of the claim made by Frederick the Great on Silesia in 1740.