Where is this castle?

U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons fly above Burg Hohenzollern, located atop Mount Hohenzollern in Baden-Wuerttemberg. The castle is open for tours throughout the year. For more information, visit http://www.burg-hohenzollern.com/startseite.html. (U.S. Air Force courtesy photo/Released).

U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons fly above Burg Hohenzollern, located atop Mount Hohenzollern in Baden-Wuerttemberg. The castle is open for tours throughout the year. For more information, visit http://www.burg-hohenzollern.com/startseite.html. (U.S. Air Force courtesy photo/Released).

SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany -- The picture was taken years ago, but it still shows up on people's computer monitors here.

Burg Hohenzollern, located atop Mount Hohenzollern, is the castle shown in the picture. The mountain is a conical mountain among the the Swabian Alps, located in the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg in the southwest corner of Germany.

Burg Hohenzollern consists of two parts, the palace and its many towers, and the fortifications.

According to records, in 1819 the 23-year-old Prince Friedrich Wilhelm of Prussia came to see his ancestor's castle, which was dilapidated, and decided to reconstruct it.

The fortifications were constructed by military engineer Col. Moritz Karl Ernst von Prittwitz and civilian architect Friedrich August Stueler added more elements to the castle.

"The panoramic view from the Hohenzollern Castle is truly worth a long journey," said Emporer Wilhem II during his visit to the castle 1886.

However, the location and view from the castle are not the only reason to visit. Inside are multiple treasures such as the oldest coat of arms from the Zollern dynasty and the crown of the Prussian kings.

Other exhibits include Margrave's Room, the Count's Hall and the Queen's Room, commonly known as the Blue Salon. Prince Louis Ferdinand of Prussia started decorating the rooms and halls with valuable art collections depicting the history of Prussia and its kings in 1952.

In addition to the paintings by notable European painters, there are gold and silver works dating back to the 17th and 19th centuries.

The castle's Saint Michael's Chapel features three sandstone panels in relief from the late Romantic Age as well as several late Gothic glass paintings.

According to the wishes of King Frederick William IV, the Chapel of Our Lord was built from Sept. 1952 to Aug. 1991 as a part of the castle. It now serves as resting place for King Frederick the Great and his father King Frederick William I.

After the turn of the century, two important families appeared in the light of history of the Swabian Alps: the Staufer and the Zollern. The families had strong influences on both the castle and the region, giving Baden-Wuerttemberg the name of Imperial Holiday Resort, which has been maintained to this day.

Burg Hohenzollern is open year-round. The summer hours are 10 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. daily March 16 - Oct. 31. The castle closes at 2 p.m. Sept. 1.

The winter hours are 10 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. daily Nov. 15 - March 15. The castle is closed on Dec. 24 and is open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 31 and 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Jan. 1.
The castle can only be viewed with a guided tour.

Tours are available in the English language and last about 50 minutes. Officials recommend registering parties of 40 people or more at least eight days prior to visiting.

During the summer season shuttle busses run between the parking lots below the castle to the castle entrance from 10 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.

Category I admission is 5 Euro per adult or 4 Euro per child age 6 -17 and includes a tour to the casemates and the secret passage.

Category II admission is 10 Euro per adult or 8 Euro for retirees, handicapped people and students age 18 and older; or 5 Euro for children age 6-17. Family tickets are 25 Euro for families consisting of up to four children. This guided tour includes the castle complex and visit of the castle rooms.

A visit of the interior rooms is only possible with a guided tour, category II.
Group prices are available.

To get to the castle take the Autobahn towards Stuttgart and turn onto Autobahn 8 towards Singen. Exit on Haigerloch and follow signs to Hechingen and Burg Hohenzollern.

For more information about Burg Hohenzollern, call 07471-2428 or visit www.burg-hohenzollern.com.