The Province of Hohenzollern (German: Provinz Hohenzollern) or the Hohenzollern Lands (German: Hohenzollernsche Lande) was a province of Prussia from 1850 to 1946.
Hohenzollern was established in 1850 by merging Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen and Hohenzollern-Hechingen, formerly independent principalities ruled by the Catholic branch of the House of Hohenzollern, that ceded their sovereignty to the Kingdom of Prussia ruled by the Protestant Hohenzollern branch and used the same dynastic coat of arms. Hohenzollern enjoyed all the rights of a full-fledged province of Prussia, including representation in the Prussian parliament, but its military matters and some civil matters were governed by the Oberpräsident of Rhine Province. Hohenzollern was Prussia's smallest province until Berlin city was separated from Brandenburg in 1881, and the least-populous with the last census recording 74,151 inhabitants in 1939. The province's size meant it was administered as a single Regierungsbezirk (district) from Sigmaringen, the provincial capital, which was further subdivided into seven Oberamtsbezirke, although only four of these remained by 1925, when they were merged and re-divided as two new Kreise. Hohenzollern was an exclave of Prussia, surrounded by Baden and Württemberg, and was the southernmost province.
Hohenzollern became a province of the Free State of Prussia in 1918 after World War I, and this system continued to exist unchanged until 1933, when all provincial functions were de facto suspended by Nazi Germany and provinces were placed under direct rule. Hohenzollern was dissolved in 1946 following World War II, when the French military administration merged it with Württemberg to form the state of Württemberg-Hohenzollern, and became part of the Federal Republic of Germany. Hohenzollern was part of the federal state of Baden-Württemberg from 1952, but after regional reforms in 1973 the Hohenzollern borders were eliminated, with the region now belonging to the districts of Sigmaringen and Zollernalbkreis, which also contain land that was not Hohenzollern territory.
Map of Hohenzollern in purple, c. 1930
Hohenzollern emblem with the eagle of the Free State of Prussia and the province's alternative name, Hohenzollernsche Lande.
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