Ecclesiastic States: Part 4
Bishoprics: R - Z

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 Ratzeburg to Würzburg. For the Archbishops go to Part 1. For the Bishops of Augsburg to Gurk go to Part 2. For the Bishops of Halberstadt to Posen go to Part 3. For Abbacies and Convents go to Part 5.

Contains: Ratzeburg, Regensburg, Schwerin, Sitten, Speyer, Strasbourg, Toul, Trent, Verden, Verdun, Worms, Würzburg, and Zeitz-Naumburg.

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

RATZEBURG A town in far southeastern Schleswig-Holstein, adjacent to what used to be the frontier between West and East Germany, about 45 miles (70 km.) east of Hamburg and 12 miles (20 km.) south of Lübeck. The cathedral dates from 1154, and was fortunate in remaining intact throughout World War II.

REGENSBURG A large city in central Bavaria, on the Danube midway between Ingolstadt and Straubing. It was briefly an Archbishopric under Dalberg, the Prince-Primate, during the Napoleonic era, but it reverted to Bishopric once again  in 1817.

SCHWERIN A town in northern Germany, 58 miles (93 km.) east of Hamburg.

SITTENA Bishopric established c. 775, and located in southwest Switzerland. From 999 the Bishops were also Counts of Valais, and as such held temporal authority over that region until the Napoleonic era. Switzerland was detached completely from the Empire by 1648, but I include all the Counts here regardless.

SPEYER A Prince-Bishopric located in the Rhineland, established in 610 CE. The city was the location of the Imperial Chamber of Justice from 1527 to 1689, and has hosted numerous Imperial Diets and councils. It is notable as the place where the term "Protestant" was first used, during the Diet of 1529.

STRASBOURG A Rhenish city at the eastern end of France, an important river port and administrative center.

TOUL A city in northeastern France, originally the capital of a Belgic tribe, the Leucri. The Bishops of Toul were sovereign Counts of the district during the Middle Ages.

TRENTLocated in the modern Trentino province of Italy, formerly South Tyrol. A Prince-Bishopric from 1027, Trent was the site of the famous church council (1545-1563) which inaugurated the Counter-Reformation.

UTRECHTSee the Low Countries.

VERDEN A town in central Brunswick, northwestern Germany, about 20 miles (32 km.) southeast of Bremen.

VERDUN An ancient city located in northeastern France, dating from Gaulish times. It was here that the treaty partitioning the Frankish Empire into three parts and thereby causing the emergence of France (the West Franks) and Germany (the East Franks) was signed, in 843. Verdun is best known in modern times as the district in which some of the heaviest fighting during World War I took place - there are more than 70 cemetaries in the immediate area, both Allied and German.

WORMS A Rhenish city, a Burgundian capital in the 5th century, and the seat of a Bishopric from the 6th century. This is the site of the famous Diet of 1521, in which Martin Luther refused to recant his beliefs and thus making the Reformation inevitable.

WÜRZBURG An important bishopric located in northern Bavaria. From 1441, these Prince-Bishops utilized the title of Duke of Franconia as well. The district was erected into a Grand Duchy for the benefit of Ferdinand of Austria, successively turned out of Tuscany and Salzburg

ZEITZ-NAUMBURG Two towns in eastern Germany which became associated together in a Bishop's See. Both located in northeastern Thuringia, Zeitz is 21 miles (33 km.) southwest of Leipzig and 14 miles (22 km.) west of Altenburg; Naumburg is 26 miles (42 km.) west-southwest of Leipzig and 24 miles (38 km.) northeast of Weimar.