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.