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The Hohenzollerns are a European royal family which came to rule Brandenburg, in 1415. They ruled the Duchy of Prussia from 1525-1701; and the Kingdom of Prussia from 1701-1918. They ruled the German Empire from 1871-1918. They were dethroned following World War I.

The Hohenzollern family came originally from south-west Germany; their name derives from their 13th-century castle of Zollern, near Stuttgart, Germany. Later, they became rulers of Nuremberg and other territories in Franconia and Swabia. Nonetheless, the real importance of the Hohenzollerns began with their being raised to the rank of Elector for the Holy Roman Empire in 1415 upon the acquisition of Brandenburg by the first Hohenzollern Elector, Friedrich I; the Brandenburg lands would form the core of the family's power for the next five hundred years.

In chronological order, and grouped according to their most important title, the Hohenzollern rulers were:

Electors of Brandenburg

Margraves of Brandenburg-Ansbach

Margraves of Brandenburg-Bayreuth

There were also Margraves of Brandenburg-Culmbach,Brandenburg-Kuestrin, Brandenburg-Ansbach-Bayreuth and many more.

Dukes of Prussia

Kings of Prussia

German Emperors

The Hohenzollern family continues to exist, and since Wilhelm's death the scions have been:

Another branch of the Hohenzollerns, actually the dynastically senior line, the Hohenzollern-Sigmaringens, were also important landowners in pre-German Empire Germany, and later were the princes (1866-1881) and kings (1881-1947) of Romania. French opposition to their candidacy for the throne of Spain led to the Franco-Prussian War (1870-1871) and the founding (January 1871) of the German Empire.

Kings of Romania (Princes to 1881)