The Weisse Frau “White Lady” of Hohenzollern is said to be the apparition of The Countess Kunigunde von Orlamonde, who in life was a widow and a mother of two children. In 1300 she fell in love with Albert of Nuremberg of the House of Hohenzollern, however he refused to marry her stating that ‘four eyes separated them’. He meant the eyes of his parents, but she thought he spoke of her children.
Crazed by her love she removed the children by running a golden hairpin into their skulls. After this murder, Albert looked upon her with horror and would have nothing to do with her.
Probably due to her noble blood, despite murdering her children she was allowed to become abbess of a Cistercian convent at Himmelsthron, where she died in 1351. Coincidentally the Cistercian Order’s habit is all white.
The House of Hohenzollern for hundreds of years has been haunted by the white lady who appears to warn of imminent death. She was described as tall, very thin and she always carried a bunch of large keys attached to a chatelaine at her waist.
The Hohenzollerns had ruled the Principality of Kulmbach-Bayreuth since about 1260 A.D. and eventually moved their primary palace from Plassenburg to Bayreuth in the 15th Century. The White Lady moved with them.
In 1486, Albert Achilles, the third son of Frederick, the first Hohenzollern Elector of Brandenburg reported seeing the White Lady shortly before his death. After 1488, there were numerous reports of her phantom being seen about Castle Plassenburg, a Hohenzollern fortress and residence from which they administered their Franconian territories until about 1604.
She was seen in 1540, and again in 1594 and was credited with slamming doors, rattling chains, assaulting maids, and strangling the cook.
By the close of the 16th Century, the White Lady was seen at the time any member of House of Hohenzollern was about to die. She appeared in 1589, eight days before the death of the Prince Elector John George, and again in 1619, twenty-three days before the death of Sigismund.
In 1667, Louise Henriette, the wife of the great Elector, was lying ill. The sick lady had seen the White Lady sitting at her writing desk. Within a few days she had died.
In 1670, the White Lady appeared in Berlin to the Margrave Christian Ernest, and to his wife Erdmuth Sophia, at Baireuth. In 1688, she appeared before the death of the Great Elector. In 1713 King Frederick I declared that he had been forewarned by her of approaching decease. In 1677, the Margrave Erdmann Philip of Brandenburg said he saw the White Lady sitting in his armchair as he entered his chamber in Baireuth. He started back, and left the room in terror. Next day he mounted his horse in the castle court, when the brute reared and plunged, as though seeing something that alarmed it, and threw the Prince. He picked himself up and, unassisted, mounted to his chamber, but in two hours was dead.
The White Lady is also credited with heralding the 1810 death of the Duchess Louise of Mecklenburg-Strelitz (Queen Consort of Prussia), the 1861 death of Prussian King Frederick William IV, and a host of lesser Hohenzollern family members.
One of the last reported sightings of the White Lady was in 1914 just before World War l. She appeared just before the Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated.
After Germany's defeat in World War l, Kaiser Wilhelm the Second was the last ruling Hohenzollern who abdicated the throne.
It is stated that once there was no longer a Hohenzollern ruler the White Lady was finally able to find peace. But many state that the White Lady was seen one last time during World War ll in 1945 just before Berlin burned.
In 1806, Napoleon Bonaparte defeated Prussia and reduced Bayreuth to a heavily taxed province of the French Empire. In 1812, Bonaparte reportedly spent a night in the former Bayreuth Palace of the Hohenzollerns, and was so disturbed by experiences that night that he left the next day and referred to it as le maudit chateau, "the cursed palace".
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