Ecclesiastic States: Part 3
Bishoprics: H - P

Here is a record of some of the many ecclesiastic states which become autonomous within the Holy Roman Empire. It is by no means complete. As these are not monarchic governments in the usual sense of that term, I have tried to give the names in the local language, rather than adhere to an English standard.

This page covers Bishops of Halberstadt to Posen. For the Archbishops go to Part 1. For the Bishops of Augsburg to Gurk go to Part 2. For the Bishops of Ratzeburg to Zeitz-Naumburg go to Part 4. For Abbacies and Convents go to Part 5.

Contains: Halberstadt, Havelberg, Hildesheim, Kammin, Kolberg, Lausanne, Lübeck, Meissen, Merseburg, Metz, Minden, Münster, Neuburg, Osnabruck, Paderborn, Passau, and Posen-Gneisen.

Other German Files:
Go to: Germany (overall survey)
Go to: German Indices - specific states and territories
Go to: German Kreisen Table
Go to: German Free Cities
Go to: German States A-E
Go to: German States F-H
Go to: German States I-M
Go to: German States N-R
Go to: German States S
Go to: German States T-Z
Go to: Teutonic Tribes

HALBERSTADTIn north-central Germany, on the northern edge of the Harz Mountains, a little south of and roughly equidistant between Braunschweig (Brunswick) and Magdeburg. The Bishopric became a Protestant establishment during the Reformation, and was re-taken by Catholic forces during the Thirty-Years War.

HAVELBERG A town in north-central Germany, on the Havel near the confluence of the Elbe, with Berlin some 59 miles (95 km.) to the southeast and Hamburg some 98 miles (158 km.) to the northwest.

HILDESHEIMA town (chartered in 1300) in northwestern Germany, in the foothills of the Harz Mountains. Originally a fort on the trade route between Cologne and Magdeburg, it became a notable center of culture and learning by the 11th century.

KAMMIN (Kamien Pomorsky) A town in far northwest Poland, on the eastern edge of the Oder estuary, a short distance south of the Baltic coast. It is 22 miles (35 km.) east of the modern German frontier.

KOLBERG (Kolobrzeg) A town on the northwest Polish coast, some 67 miles (108 km.) northeast of Szczecin, and the site of a very ephemeral Bishopric in the early Middle Ages.

LAUSANNE Capital of Vaud Canton, in Switzerland. The city was an ancient Celtic stronghold before the Romans - during the Middle Ages the Bishops (Imperial Princes from the 12th century) here wielded much temporal authority over the entire district.

LIÈGE See the Low Countries.

LÜBECK An important bishopric associated with the Baltic port city at the western end of the Bay of Mecklenburg, on the old border between East and West Germany.

MEISSEN A city in east Germany, originally the Slavic settlement  of Misni, reestablished as a German town in 929. Famed for centuries for it's fine porcelain works.

MERSEBURG A city in eastern Germany, 9 miles (14 km.) south of Halle and 17 miles (27 km.) west of Leipzig, on the northeastern edge of Thuringia. The city was established c. 800 as a frontier fortification against Slavic incursions, and was chartered in 1188.

METZ An important town in Lorraine, based on the capital of a local Gallic tribe (the Mediomatrici) and later the capital of Lotharingia, the central division of the tripartite splitting of the Frankish Empire in 843.

MINDEN One of the military bishoprics established by Charlemagne in an effort to secure control over what was in his time the Saxon wilderness of northern Germany. The town that grew up around the original establishment struggled for centuries to gain some measure of autonomy from the bishops.

MÜNSTERA bishopric in northwestern Germany established 791, possessing a large territory south of Frisia, west of Brunswick, and east of the Netherlands. Sporadically united with Cologne from the 16th century, permanently from 1723.

NEUBURG (am Donau) A town on the Danube, in western Bavaria about 28 miles () north of Augsburg. The site of an ephemeral Bishopric in the late Dark Ages.

OSNABRUCK A city in northwestern Germany, and the seat of a Bishop from 783. In the 16th century the Bishopric and surrounding territory was converted to Protestantism, in which it remained until being recaptured by Catholic forces, then retaken by the Protestants during the 30 Years War. The treaty ending that conflict contained the unusual provision that Catholic and Protestant Bishops should alternate thereafter. Another note of interest concerns the last Bishop. When the Bishopric was mediatized in 1802, its Princely status was retained as an appanage of Hannover. The Elector (and later King) at the time was the last Bishops father, thus providing the only example I can think of off-hand of a father succeeding his son.

PADERBORN A town in northwestern Germany, a member of the Hanseatic League during the Middle Ages. In a technical sense, it can be considered as the site of the birth of the Holy Roman Empire; Charlemagne and Pope Leo III met here in 799, to discuss the future of the Frankish state.

PASSAU A town on the Danube, located just inside Bavaria on the Austrian frontier, and controlling a chip of territory in the angle between Bavaria, Austria, and Bohemia.

POSEN-GNIESEN (Poznan-Gniezno) Two cities in western Poland; Poznan (Poland's first capital in the 10th century), the largest, is about 155 miles (250 km.) east of Berlin and about 172 miles (275 km.) west of Warsaw - Gniezno is 28 miles (45 km.) east northeast of Poznan. Both cities recieved steady a steady influx of German immigrants from the 13th century on, and were the scene of intense ethnic and political disputes in the 18th and 19th centuries.