The Princebishopric of Cologne, 1648-1723

In German, it is referred to as Fürstbistum Köln.
The victories of the Catholic armies in the early years of the 30 YEARS WAR ensured the future of the Catholic bishoprics in northwestern Germany, including the prince-archbishopric of Cologne, the archbishop, as one of the empire's 7 electors, had to be a Catholic in order to assure that the imperial crown would stay with the Habsburg Dynasty.
But almost the entire nobility of northwestern Germany, from 1648 onward, was protestant; therefore southern German princes were elected archbishops; in fact, the archdiocese of Cologne was held by the WITTELSBACH DYNASTY from 1583-1761. As there were many bishoprics, some candidates were bishops of two or more bishoprics simultaneously. Ferdinand also held, for his entire tenure, Hildesheim, Paderborn and Münster; Maximilian Heinrich held Liege and Hildesheim for his entire tenure, Münster for the latter part of it, Joseph Clemens held Hildesheim for the latter part of his tenure. The Wittelsbach archbishops pursued a foreign policy of allying with France, so in the FRENCH-DUTCH WAR of 1672, in the WAR OF DEVOLUTION and in the WAR OF SPANISH SUCCESSION. In 1689 Bonn was under siege by Brandenburg troops; they succeeded in expelling the French. In 1658 Cologne joined the (pro-French) Confederation of the Rhine. Between 1701 and 1715 Joseph Clemens lived in exile in France. Under him POPPELSDORF PALACE (Bonn) was built. Only during his French exile was he ordained bishop; he had a wife and children.

Princebishops of Cologne
Ferdinand von Bayern (1612-1650)
Maximilian Heinrich von Bayern (1650-1688)
Joseph Clemens von Bayern (1688-1723)

Article Cologne from Catholic Encyclopedia
Illustrated biography of Clemens August, from Schloss Clemenswerth, in German
Biography of Maximilian Heinrich, from Kölner Dom, in German
Biography of Josef Clemens, from Kölner Dom, in German
Biography of Ferdinand, from Kölner Dom, in German
DOCUMENTS List of Princebishops, from Regnal Chronologies and from Thomas Hoeckmann
REFERENCE Territorien-Ploetz : Geschichte der Deutschen Länder, Vol.1, Würzburg 1964, pp.173, 398-399
Coins of the Princebishopric of Cologne 1601-1700, in Krause, Mishler, Standard Catalog of World Coins : Seventeenth Century 1601-1700, 2nd ed., 2000, pp.428-435
Coins of the Princebishopric of Cologne, 1701-1800, in : Krause, Mishler, Standard Catalog of World Coins : Eighteenth Century 1701-1800, 2nd ed., 1887, pp.326-332 (including coins minted by the city of Cologne and by the Cathedral Chapter)

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted on January 3rd 2002, last revised on November 12th 2004

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