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Hochstift Konstanz
Prince-Bishopric of Constance
State of the Holy Roman Empire

585–1803 Flagge Großherzogtum Baden (1871-1891).svg

Coat of arms

Capital Konstanz
Meersburg (from 1527)
Government Theocracy
Historical era Middle Ages
 - Missionary diocese
 - Prince-bishopric 1155
 - Joined
    Swabian Circle
 - Mediatised to Baden 1803
 - Diocese dissolved 1821

The Bishopric of Constance was a diocese of the Roman Catholic Church that existed from about 585 until 1821. Its seat was Konstanz at the western end of Lake Constance in the south-west corner of Germany. The diocese covered, in present-day borders, a large part of Switzerland, the largest part of Baden-Württemberg, and a small part of Austria.

The Bishopric of Constance was founded in the 6th century when the seat of the bishop of Vindonissa was moved to Constance. The Bishopric was originally subordinate to the archbishop of Besançon, since the 8th century it was subordinate to the archbishop of Mainz. From the 12th century until 1802 it was an Imperial estate of the Holy Roman Empire, confirmed by Frederick I Barbarossa in 1155. During the Early Middle Ages the bishop was also the political ruler of Constance, but towards the end of the 12th Century his power in the Free City State was reduced to a small zone around the Cathedral. Numerous bishops hence fell into conflict with the city.

In 1527, during the Protestant Reformation, the seat of the bishop was moved to Meersburg. In 1802, the Bishopric was dissolved as a state and became part of Baden.

The diocese was finally dissolved by Pope Pius VII in 1821, after Ignaz Heinrich von Wessenberg had been elected bishop in 1817. While Wessenberg was supported by the government of Baden, the Pope never recognized his election. The Pope disagreed with Wessenberg's liberal views, and dissolved the diocese in order to prevent Wessenberg from becoming bishop. The diocese became part of the Archdiocese of Freiburg.

Famous bishops

  • Solomon I (835-871)
  • Gebhard I von Wetterau, von Tegerfelden (873-875)
  • Solomon II (875-889)
  • Solomon III (890-919)
  • Conrad I (934-975)
  • St Gebhard (979-995)
  • Gebhard III (1084-c.1106)
  • Konrad von Tegerfelden (1208-1233)
  • Hugo von Hohenlandenberg (1496-1532)
  • Johann von Lupfen (1532-1537)
  • Johann von Weeze (1537-1548)
  • Christoph Metzler (1549-1561)
  • Mark Sittich von Hohenems (1561-1589)
  • Andreas von Österreich (1589-1600)
  • Jakob Fugger (1604-1626)
  • Werner von Praßberg (1626-1627)
  • Johann von Waldburg (1627-1639)
  • Johann Franz I. von Praßberg und Altensummerau (1645-1689)
  • Marquard Rudolf von Rodt (1689-1704)
  • Johann Franz II. von Stauffenberg (1704-1740)
  • Hugo Damian von Schönborn (1740-1743)
  • Kasimir Anton von Sickingen (1743-1750)
  • Franz Konrad von Rodt (1750-1775)
  • Maximilian Christof von Rodt (1775-1799)
  • Karl Theodor von Dalberg (1799-1817)

See also

External links



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