Today Family History

Art collection and loans of the House of Hohenzollern

  According to tradition the House of Hohenzollern had been the most important supporter and patron of the arts and sciences in Prussia. Already in early times parts of the substantial art collections were scholarly examined and made open to public. In 1877 Emperor William I inaugurated the Hohenzollern Museum installed at Monbijou Palace in Berlin housing a multitude of historically important objects and personal memorabilia.

After the end of the monarchy the former possessions of the Hohenzollern dynasty was divided between the state and the family. Most of the residences like the Berlin town palace, Sanssouci or Charlottenburg were owned by the state now while other historic buildings e.g. Rheinsberg Palace, Lindstedt Palace or Hohenzollern Castle remained private property. The edifice and the maintenance of the Hohenzollern Museum in Monbijou Palace were taken over by the state as well while all the exhibits also remained in family possession. During World War II these objects were hidden and partly destroyed. Other parts were taken to the Soviet Union and later distributed to various museums in East Berlin.

Nowadays they can be mostly found in the museums belonging to the Foundation of Prussian Heritage in Berlin and the Foundation of Prussian Palaces and Gardens Berlin-Brandenburg. Parts of the family documents are kept at the National Archives in Berlin today.

At Hohenzollern Castle as well as in many other museums and institutions hundreds of artefacts from the Hohenzollern collections are already on permanent display. Furthermore temporary exhibitions in Germany and abroad are frequently furnished with valuable loans (see “temporary loans”). HRH Prince George Frederick of Prussia is also committed to the idea of recreating a new Hohenzollern Museum in order to make even more works of art open to public again.

Ulrich Feldhahn

© 2007 Haus Hohenzollern
Diamond snuff box by Frederick the Great