Kulmbach, town (1994 pop. 28,260), Bavaria, central Germany, on the White Main River. Known in 1035, Kulmbach became (1340) the residence of the margraves of Kulmbach (later known as the margraves of Bayreuth) of the house of Hohenzollern. In 1791 the town passed to Prussia, in 1807 it was taken by France, and in 1810 it was annexed by Bavaria and made part of Upper Franconia. On a nearby hill is the fortress (now a museum) of Plassenburg (12th cent.; rebuilt in Renaissance style 1560–70), which served as a prison from 1808 to the early 20th cent.