Ecclesiastic States: Part 1

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 Archbishoprics. For the Bishops of Augsburg to Gurk go to Part 2. For the Bishops of Halberstadt to Posen go to Part 3. For the Bishops of Ratzeburg to Zeitz-Naumburg go to Part 4. For Abbacies and Convents go to Part 5.

Contains: Bremen, Cologne, Magdeburg, Mainz, Olmutz, Prague, Salzburg, Trier, and Vienna.

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

AQUILEIA See northern Italy.

BREMENAn Archbishopric on the Weser in northwestern Germany, founded in 787. The ecclesiastic Principality once covered much of the district of Stade, the land between the Weser and the Elbe. The state was secured by Protestant forces in 1558, and was secularized 90 years later.

COLOGNE An Archbishopric seated in an important town on the Rhine, near Bonn. One of the three ecclesiastic Electors of the Holy Roman Empire, exercising that right from at least 1257.

MAGDEBURG An Archbishop founded in central eastern Germany in the 10th century; Protestantized in 1545.

MAINZ An Archbishopric and, from 1257 at minimum, an Elector of the Holy Roman Empire. Additionally, the Archbishops were, from the mid 14th century, Presidents of the Electoral College and Arch-chancellors of the Empire. The city is the birthplace of Johannes Gutenberg, and is where he developed movable type and printing circa 1440/55; the strife associated with the conflict between Dieter and Adolf III had the effect of destroying guild privileges within the town, causing craftsmen to abandon the city in the 1460's and thus spread knowlege of printing rapidly.

OLMÜTZ (Olomouc) A city in  northeastern Czech Repiblic, 133 miles (214 km.) east of Prague, and 105 miles (169 km.) northeast of Vienna. Always known as a military strong point, the place was first occupied by the Romans , who built a fort there (Mons Julii).

PRAGUE (Praha) Capital and largest city of the Czech Republic, one of the truly great European cities, founded in the mid 9th century and an important center thereafter. The Bishopric established here at the beginning of the Bohemian Kingdom became an Archbishopric in 1344.

SALZBURG An Archbishopric with a large territory located between Styria and Bavaria. In 1803 the state was secularized and re-established as an Electorate.

TRIERAnother Electoral Archbishopric, located on the central Rhine.

VIENNA Originally a Celtic fortification (Vindobona), and later a Roman garrison town, Vienna emerged from the Dark Ages as a primary seat of the Austrian Dukes and, from the late 13th century the chief residence of the Habsburgs. From 1558 to 1806 effectively the capital of the Holy Roman Empire, and until 1918 the capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Vienna has been one of the great cities of Europe for a very long time. It's chief ecclesiastic authority has weaved a complex trail, and the Archbishopric is quite young by European standards.