Passport Principality of Hohenzollern, Hechingen 1807

Hohenzollern is one of the rarest Principalities a passport collector can find and I was very lucky to found this fantastic passport from 1807 issued in Hechingen by the Princely Court Council Chancellery to Johann Bechdolt xxxxxx, light blue paper seal and a French visa issued in Paris in the same year. Very interesting are the used characteristics to describe the bearer, some of these characteristics are rather unusual (in bold letters) and only used till mid 19th Century.

  1. Stature
  2. Hair
  3. Forehead
  4. Eyebrows
  5. Eyes
  6. Nose
  7. Cheek
  8. Mouth
  9. Lips
  10. Teeth
  11. Beard
  12. Chin
  13. Face
  14. Shoulders
  15. Disability

Beginning mid 19th century such characteristics were reduced to 4-8 criteria only. Cheek, Lips and shoulders are not often to see. However, it was always up to the issuer of such a passport to define these criteria.


  • Passport Principality of Hohenzollern, Hechingen 1807


The House of Hohenzollern is a dynasty of former princes, electors, kings and emperors of Hohenzollern, Brandenburg, Prussia, the German Empire, and Romania. The family arose in the area around the town of Hechingen in Swabia during the 11th century and took their name from Hohenzollern CastleThe first ancestor of the Hohenzollerns was mentioned in 1061.

Hohenzollern Castle, Germany

The Hohenzollern family split into two branches, the Catholic Swabian branch and the Protestant Franconian branch, which later became the Brandenburg-Prussian branch. The Swabian branch ruled the principalities of Hohenzollern-Hechingen and Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen until 1849, and also ruled Romania from 1866 to 1947. Members of the Franconian branch became Margrave of Brandenburg in 1415 and Duke of Prussia in 1525.

The Margraviate of Brandenburg and the Duchy of Prussia were ruled in personal union after 1618 and were called Brandenburg-Prussia. The Kingdom of Prussia was created in 1701, eventually leading to the unification of Germany and the creation of the German Empire in 1871, with the Hohenzollerns as hereditary German Emperors and Kings of Prussia.

Germany’s defeat in World War I in 1918 led to the German Revolution. The Hohenzollerns were overthrown and the Weimar Republic was established, thus bringing an end to the German monarchy. Georg Friedrich, Prince of Prussia is the current head of the royal Prussian line, while Karl Friedrich, Prince of Hohenzollern is the head of the princely Swabian line.

Another Hohenzollern passport 1834 will arrive soon too…exciting! The 1834 passport has already reduced the amount of characteristics from 15 to 10.

Passport Principality of Hohenzollern, Hechingen 1807