This article does not cite any sources . (July 2016) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Prince-Bishopric of Bamberg
Hochstift Bamberg with its Carinthian estates, J.B. Homann, c.1700
|Common languages||East Franconian|
|Historical era||Middle Ages|
• Diocese established
• Elevated to Prince-bishopric
• Joined Franconian Circle
The Prince-Bishopric of Bamberg (German : Hochstift Bamberg) was an ecclesiastical State of the Holy Roman Empire. It goes back to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bamberg established at the 1007 synod in Frankfurt, at the behest of King Henry II to further expand the spread of Christianity in the Franconian lands. The bishops obtained the status of Imperial immediacy about 1245 and ruled their estates as Prince-bishops until they were subsumed to the Electorate of Bavaria in the course of the German Mediatisation in 1802.
The Bishops of Bamberg received the princely title by Emperor Frederick II of Hohenstaufen before his deposition by Pope Innocent IV in 1245, whereby the diocese became an Imperial state, covering large parts of the current Bavarian region of Franconia ("Main Franconia").
Part of the Franconian Circle (territories grouped together within the Holy Roman Empire for defensive purposes) from 1500 onwards, the Bamberg territory was bordered, among others, by the Prince-Bishopric of Würzburg to the west, by the Hohenzollern margraviate of Brandenburg-Ansbach and the Free Imperial City of Nuremberg to the south, by the margraviate of Brandenburg-Bayreuth to the east and by the Wettin duchy of Saxe-Coburg to the north. During the 18th century, it was often held in conjunction with the neighbouring Diocese of Würzburg, whose rulers since 1168 claimed the archaic title of a "Duke of Franconia".
The Prince-bishopric was also vested with large possessions within the Duchy of Carinthia that were strategically important for crossing the Eastern Alps, including the towns of Villach, Feldkirchen, Wolfsberg and Tarvis, located at the trade route to Venice, as well as Kirchdorf an der Krems in the Archduchy of Austria. The Habsburg Empress Maria Theresa purchased these territories in 1759.
In the course of the German Mediatisation of 1802/3 which saw the suppression of virtually all the ecclesiastical principalities, Bamberg was annexed to Bavaria. The former prince-bishopric then had an area of 3,580 km² and a population of 207,000.
Beginning on 1 November 1007, a synod was held in the city of Frankfurt am Main. Eight archbishops and twenty-seven bishops were present, led by Archbishop Willigis of Mainz, as well as the Ottonian ruler Henry II, elected King of the Romans in 1002. The king, having suppressed the revolt of Margrave Henry of Schweinfurt in 1003, intended to strengthen his rule and to create a new diocese that would aid in the final conquest of paganism in the Franconian area around Bamberg. Nevertheless, as the territory of the Wends on the upper Main, Wiesent, and Aisch rivers had belonged to the dioceses of Würzburg since the organization of the Middle German bishoprics by St. Boniface, the new bishopric could not be erected without the consent of the occupant of that see. Bishop Henry I of Würzburg was willing to go along with parting with some of his territory, as the king promised to have Würzburg raised to an archbishopric and to give him an equivalent in Meiningen. The consent of Pope John XVII was obtained for this arrangement, however, the elevation of Würzburg to an archbishopric proved impracticable also due to Willigis' reservations, and Bishop Henry I at first withdrew his consent.
Nevertheless, after several further concessions, King Henry II obtained the consent for the foundation of the diocese of Bamberg from parts of the dioceses of Würzburg and - later - the Diocese of Eichstätt. Bamberg first was made exempt, i.e. directly subordinate to Rome. It was also decided that Eberhard, the king's chancellor, would be ordained by Archbishop Willigis of Mainz, to be the head of the new border area diocese. The new diocese had expensive gifts at the synod confirmed by documents, in order to place it on a solid foundation.
Henry wanted the celebrated monkish rigour and studiousness of the Hildesheim cathedral chapter - Henry himself was educated there - linked together with the churches under his control, including his favourite bishopric of Bamberg. The next seven bishops were appointed by the Holy Roman Emperors, after which election by the cathedral chapter became the rule, as in all the German prince-bishoprics. Eberhard's immediate successor, Suidger of Morsleben, became pope in 1046 as Clement II. He was the only pope to be interred north of the Alps at the Bamberg Cathedral. Bishop Hermann I oversaw the foundation of Banz Abbey in 1070; Bishop Otto of Bamberg (d. 1139) became known as the "Apostle of the Pomeranians".
In the early 13th century, the Bamberg bishops interfered in the German throne dispute between the Welf and Hohenstaufen dynasties: Bishop Ekbert of Andechs, son of Duke Berthold of Merania, was faced with the suspicion of being involved in the murder of Philip of Swabia in 1208 and temporarily had to flee to the Hungarian court of his brother-in-law King Andrew II. His relative Poppo, bishop from 1238, was deposed by the Hohenstaufen emperor Frederick II in 1242.
Emperor Frederick II appointed a local supporter, the Bamberg canon Henry of Bilversheim, bishop. Bishop Henry became the first Prince-bishop; under his rule, the diocese gradually became a territorial principality, and its bishops took secular precedence next after the Mainz archbishops From about 1305, Altenburg Castle was used as a secondary residence. In 1390 Bishop Lamprecht, former chancellor of Emperor Charles V, also acquired the fortress of Giechburg. The early 15th century saw fierce conflicts with Hussite rebels as well as with the Bamberg citizens. Bishop Heinrich Groß von Trockau (d. 1501) entered into several fights with the Hohenzollern prince Casimir of Brandenburg-Bayreuth.
The 39th bishop, Georg Schenk von Limpurg had a procedure for the judgment of capital crimes (Halsgerichtsordnung) drawn up by Johann of Schwarzenberg in 1507, which later became a model for the Constitutio Criminalis Carolina agreed at the 1530 Diet of Augsburg. Bishop Georg, though a confidant of Emperor Maximilian I, was inclined toward the Reformation movement of Martin Luther, which caused a violent social outbreak under his successor Weigand, ruling from 1522 to 1556. Morevover, the city suffered severely in the Second Margrave War (1552–54), when Albert Alcibiades' forces occupied large parts of the bishopric. After the war, the bishop had the Forchheim Fortress erected.
From 1609 onwards Prince-Bishop Johann Gottfried von Aschhausen, also elected Bishop of Würzburg in 1617, and his successor Johann Georg Fuchs von Dornheim enacted stern Counter-Reformation measures. Under their rule, Bamberg also became notorious as a centre of witch-hunt in the Holy Roman Empire. Among the numerous victims of the Bamberg witch trials were Dorothea Flock as well as the Bamberg mayor Johannes Junius, which even provoked an intervention by the Diet of Regensburg in 1630.
Meanwhile, the Bamberg estates were devastated in the Thirty Years' War. Bishop Johann Georg fled to his remote Carinthian estates in 1631 and his successor Franz von Hatzfeld was likewise expelled, when the Bamberg and Würzburg bishoprics was placed under the jurisdiction of Prince Bernard of Saxe-Weimar, who obtained the title of a "Duke of Franconia" from the hands of the Swedish chancellor Axel Oxenstierna in 1633. At the Peace of Westphalia in 1648, the prince-bishops recovered their possessions.
In 1647 Bishop Melchior Otto Voit von Salzburg established the University of Bamberg (Academia Bambergensis). In the late 17th century his successors had the Baroque summer residence Schloss Seehof erected and a new residence in Bamberg completed according to plans by Leonhard Dientzenhofer. Highly indebted by the burdens of the Seven Years' War, the prince-bishops had to sell the Carinthian estates to their Habsburg allies in 1759.
During the French Revolutionary Wars, Bamberg was overrun by French troops and the last prince-bishop, Christoph Franz von Buseck, fled to Prague in 1796. Though he once again returned in 1800 and appointed his nephew Georg Karl Ignaz von Fechenbach zu Laudenbach coadjutor, he had to face the occupation by the Bavarian troops of Elector Maximilian IV Joseph in 1802.
After Bishop Christoph Franz officially resigned on 29 September 1802, the Bamberg estates and assets, such as the extensive collections of the Banz and Michaelsberg abbeys or the Bamberg treasury with the Reliquary Crown of Henry II, were seized by the Bavarian state. In the course of the German Mediatisation, agreed by the Perpetual Diet of Regensburg on 25 February 1803 (Reichsdeputationshauptschluss), Bamberg was finally annexed to Bavaria. From 1808 to 1817 the See was vacant; but by the Bavarian Concordat of the latter year it was raised to an archbishopric, with Würzburg, Speyer, and Eichstädt as suffragan sees.
The prince-bishops operated courts like minor royalty and employed artists, in particular musicians. Kapellmeisters and organists attached to the court included several minor South German masters such as Heinrich Pfendner, Johann Baal, Georg Arnold and Georg Mengel.
Bamberg is a town in Upper Franconia, (Germany), on the river Regnitz close to its confluence with the river Main. The town dates back to the 9th century, when its name was derived from the nearby Babenberch castle. Cited as one of Germany's most beautiful towns, its Old Town has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1993, with Bamberg being home to Europe's largest intact old city wall.
Franconia is a region in Germany, characterised by its culture and language, and may be roughly associated with the areas in which the East Franconian dialect group, colloquially referred to as "Franconian", is spoken. There are several other Franconian dialects, but only the East Franconian ones are colloquially referred to as "Franconian".
The Prince-Archbishopric of Salzburg was an ecclesiastical principality and state of the Holy Roman Empire. It comprised the secular territory ruled by the archbishops of Salzburg, as distinguished from the much larger Catholic diocese founded in 739 by Saint Boniface in the German stem duchy of Bavaria. The capital of the archbishopric was Salzburg, the former Roman city of Iuvavum.
The Duchy of Bavaria was a frontier region in the southeastern part of the Merovingian kingdom from the sixth through the eighth century. It was settled by Bavarian tribes and ruled by dukes (duces) under Frankish overlordship. A new duchy was created from this area during the decline of the Carolingian Empire in the late ninth century. It became one of the stem duchies of the East Frankish realm which evolved as the Kingdom of Germany and the Holy Roman Empire.
The Prince-Bishopric of Würzburg was an ecclesiastical principality of the Holy Roman Empire located in Lower Franconia west of the Prince-Bishopric of Bamberg. Würzburg had been a diocese since 743. As definitely established by the Concordat of 1448, bishops in Germany were chosen by the canons of the cathedral chapter and their election was later confirmed by the pope. Following a common practice in Germany, the prince-bishops of Würzburg were frequently elected to other ecclesiastical principalities as well. The last few prince-bishops resided at the Würzburg Residence, which is one of the grandest baroque palaces in Europe.
The Schönborn family is a noble and mediatised formerly sovereign family of the former Holy Roman Empire.
Johann Philipp von Schönborn was the Archbishop-Elector of Mainz (1647–1673), the Bishop of Würzburg (1642–1673), and the Bishop of Worms (1663–1673).
Friedrich Karl von Schönborn was the Prince-Bishop of Würzburg and Prince-Bishop of Bamberg from 1729 to 1746. He also served as Reichsvizekanzler (Vice-Chancellor) of the Holy Roman Empire from 1705 to 1734.
German mediatisation was the major territorial restructuring that took place between 1802 and 1814 in Germany and the surrounding region by means of the mass mediatisation and secularisation of a large number of Imperial Estates. Most ecclesiastical principalities, free imperial cities, secular principalities, and other minor self-ruling entities of the Holy Roman Empire lost their independent status and were absorbed into the remaining states. By the end of the mediatisation process, the number of German states had been reduced from almost 300 to just 39.
The Archdiocese of Bamberg is a diocese of the Roman Catholic Church in Bavaria and is one of 27 Roman Catholic dioceses in Germany. About a third of the population is Catholic. With 15.6% this diocese has one of higher (relative) numbers of worshippers on Sunday in Germany. It comprises the majority of the administrative regions of Upper Franconia and Middle Franconia, as well as a small part of Lower Franconia and the Upper Palatinate. Its seat is Bamberg. The dioceses of Speyer, Eichstätt, and Würzburg are subordinate to it. The Diocese was founded in 1007 out of parts of the dioceses of Eichstätt and Würzburg. In 1817, the diocese was raised to an archdiocese.
The Prince-Bishopric of Eichstätt was a small ecclesiastical principality of the Holy Roman Empire. Centered on the town of Eichstätt, it was located in the present-day state of Bavaria, somewhat to the west of Regensburg, to the north of Neuburg an der Donau and Ingolstadt, to the south of Nuremberg, and to the southeast of Ansbach.
Primas Germaniae is a historical title of honor for the most important Roman Catholic bishop (Primate) in the German lands. Throughout the history of the Holy Roman Empire, it was claimed by the Archbishops of Mainz, Trier, Magdeburg and Salzburg alike. Actual prerogatives, however, were exercised by bishops holding the rank of an Apostolic legatus natus. While Mainz, Trier and Magdeburg lost the Primate dignity upon the 1648 Peace of Westphalia and the Napoleonic Secularisation in 1802, the Salzburg archbishops bear the title up to today.
The Duchy of Franconia was one of the five stem duchies of East Francia and the medieval Kingdom of Germany emerging in the early 10th century. The word Franconia, first used in a Latin charter of 1053, was applied like the words Francia, France, and Franken, to a portion of the land occupied by the Franks.
Hallstadt is a town in the Upper Franconian district of Bamberg on the left bank of the Main, 4 km north of Bamberg.
Imperial Cathedral is the designation for a cathedral linked to the Imperial rule of the Holy Roman Empire.
The Prince-Bishopric of Augsburg was one of the prince-bishoprics of the Holy Roman Empire, and belonged to the Swabian Circle. It should not be confused with the larger diocese of Augsburg, over which the prince-bishop exercised only spiritual authority.
Christoph Franz von Buseck was the Roman Catholic bishop of Bamberg and the last Prince-Bishop of Bamberg.
The Bamberg State Library is a combined universal, regional and research library with priority given to the humanities. Today it is housed in the New Residence, the former prince-bishop's new palace. The Free State of Bavaria is responsible for the library.
Franconia is a region that is not precisely defined, but which lies in the north of the Free State of Bavaria, parts of Baden-Württemberg and South Thuringia and Hesse in Germany. It is characterised by its own cultural and linguistic heritage. Its history began with the first recorded human settlement about 600,000 years ago. Thuringii, Alemanni and Franks, who gave the region its name, settled the area in the Early Middle Ages. From the mid-9th century, the Stem Duchy of Franconia emerged as one of the five stem duchies of the Empire of East Francia. On 2 July 1500, during the reign of Emperor Maximilian I, as part of the Imperial Reform, the empire was divided into Imperial Circles. The Franconian Circle, which was formed as a result of this restructuring, became decisive in the creation of a Franconian national identity. A feature of Franconia in the Middle Ages and Early Modern Period was its Kleinstaaterei, an extreme fragmentation into little states and territories. In the 19th century under Napoleon, large parts of Franconia were incorporated into the newly created Kingdom of Bavaria.