Anno II.

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Anno II (right in the picture) appoints the Siegburg abbot Erpho (left in the picture). Parchment manuscript from the 12th century

Anno II of Cologne (also Hanno von Köln, Hanno II etc .; * around 1010 in Altsteusslingen near Ehingen ; † December 4, 1075 in Cologne ) was Archbishop of Cologne from 1056 to 1075 and regent from 1063 to 1065 of the Roman-German Empire . He is a saint of the Catholic Church .

Live and act

Anno came from a noble Swabian family. Bishop Burchard II of Halberstadt , his nephew, also came from here. A rise from this low-nobility origin was only possible through a church career, to which he changed after a short knight training on the recommendation of a relative who was a canon in Bamberg. He attended the cathedral school at Bamberg Cathedral , where he taught himself from 1046. Since the cathedral has St. George as one of the patronages , his lifelong veneration of this saint can be assumed there at the latest. Henry III. appointed him as chaplain to the imperial court and raised him to the Dompropst of Goslar in 1054 and to the Archbishop of Cologne in 1056 as successor to Archbishop Hermann .

He was described as a person who lived an ascetic life, had a venerable demeanor and an ambitious, sometimes unscrupulous character. As Archbishop of Cologne, Anno was open to reform efforts , but always and primarily concerned with increasing the possessions of the Cologne diocese .

In Cologne his efforts to move the seemingly lucrative Malmedy monastery to the diocese failed (since the founding statutes of the monastery required unity with the mother monastery of Stablo ). After the return of the monastery received as a gift from the emperor in 1071, the archbishop succeeded in repelling the attacks of the Count Palatine of the Lower Rhine and thus strengthened his position at court. With the Siegburg monastery , which was reformed on the model of the Italian reform monastery Fruttuaria , he was also able to support the Rhenish reform movement , which was more loyal to the emperor and anti-papal. Driven by Anno and his successors, the Siegburg reform spread through the Archdiocese of Cologne and other areas.

"The young emperor Heinrich IV. Jumps from the archbishop's ship", Acquaforte Bernhard Rode (1781)

After the death of Emperor Heinrich III. In 1056 Empress Agnes took over the reign of the six-year-old Heinrich IV. Initially with Pope Viktor II at her side as his father's adviser, she soon came into conflict with some of the princes of the empire. The resentment against Agnes was established both in the award of fiefs and, above all, in the election of Bishop Heinrich von Augsburg as the new advisor. Agnes was now increasingly criticized by the German princes, whose leaders Anno rose to be. Under the protection of this group, which also included Archbishop Siegfried I of Mainz , Count Ekbert von Meißen , Duke Otto von Northeim , and others, Anno planned the so-called coup d'état of Kaiserswerth , with which he took the young Heinrich IV into his hands in April 1062 brought.

For this he let a ship equipped grand and attracted the inexperienced Heinrich, who with his mother on a trip to Nijmegen was, at the height of today Dusseldorf belonging Kaiserpfalz Kaiserswerth on a tour. The boat, occupied with hired rowers, cast off immediately when Heinrich entered. Young Heinrich tried to flee into the Rhine , but was brought back on board by Count Ekbert von Meißen.

Despite initial reluctance by the angry Cologne population, Anno managed to make himself regent of the German Empire from 1063 to 1065 after he was also able to steal the imperial regalia of the empress . Although Archbishop Adalbert von Bremen was at his side, Anno's position of power could now hardly be restricted. Anno headed the Synod of Mantua as Imperial Arch Chancellor for the Kingdom of Italy , which confirmed Alexander II as Pope in 1064 and thus ended a dispute that had been smoldering since 1061: the College of Cardinals had already elected Anselm of Lucca as Pope Alexander II in 1061, but with it a decree on the participation of the emperor that was only passed in 1059 violated. An assembly of ecclesiastical and secular dignitaries called to Basel by Empress Agnes thereupon elected Cadalus of Parma as (against) Pope Honorius II on October 28, 1061. After the opposing popes were relegated to their dioceses by Duke Gottfried von Lothringen for one Waiting for the imperial decision, Anno was able to get his nephew Burchard von Halberstadt to go to Rome to examine the case at the German-Italian synod in Augsburg in October 1062 . This opinion was in favor of Alexander II, which led to his being finally recognized in Mantua .

With these powers of attorney, Anno was probably at the zenith of its power development. As early as 1063, other princes forced Archbishop Adalbert of Bremen onto him as co-educator of the underage emperor. From 1068 the first dissonances between the Cologne and the Pope were found. However, Anno's influence at court must be assumed until at least 1072. He then appeared again as a mediator in the Saxon uprising , but now probably without political ambitions.

Anno II. With models of the monasteries he founded - illustration in the Darmstadt Vita Annonis Minor (around 1180)

In 1066 he appointed his nephew Kuno I von Pfullingen as Archbishop of Trier .

When Anno wanted to organize a trip home for his friend Friedrich I , the Bishop of Münster , in 1074 and had a merchant's ship confiscated in Cologne harbor for this purpose, the merchant resisted this attack. The whole city was quickly upset and they wanted to take action against the unloved ruler.

Anno withdrew with his faithful and holed up in the cathedral . The crowd raged, a hiding cleric was killed by the mob because they thought he was Anno. Meanwhile, Anno and some companions managed to escape undetected from the city through a so-called "Katzenpforte" (popularly known today as "Annoloch") in the Cologne city wall and thus to escape the murderous population.

In the days that followed, Anno gathered armed subjects and returned to Cologne four days later to besiege the city . Given the armed forces of the besiegers, however, the insurgents quickly surrendered, opened the city gates and let the archbishop in. Anno urged the insurgents to stand by their deeds and repent in order to be forgiven . He also condemned the ringleaders of the uprising and sometimes imposed draconian punishments ( e.g. blinding ). About 600 merchants left the city. According to a report by Lampert von Hersfeld , the city was almost completely deserted and there was an eerie silence on the empty streets . About those who escaped penance and fled, he said the excommunication from. As a result, there was partial vigilante justice by Annos troops, which persecuted unruly insurgents.

The origin of the uprising was probably the growing self-confidence of the city population as well as the general dissatisfaction with the strict archbishop. This dissatisfaction had various causes: for example, high taxes, Annos ruthless imperial politics ( kidnapping of the emperor, dispute over the Malmedy monastery , etc.). At Easter 1075, in the face of his death, Anno lifted the spell and forgave the sinners.

Death and adoration

Anno shrine in the Michaelsberg abbey church

Anno died on December 4, 1075 in Cologne, where a pompous funeral ceremony of unseen proportions was held in his honor. When the corpse was placed in the so-called Anno shrine , the entire body was wrapped in a Byzantine silk scarf, called Siegburg lion cloth, and his head was covered with another oriental cloth. After seven days the Anno Shrine was transferred to the Siegburg Monastery and buried there. Hildolf was successor to Anno II in 1076 . Between 1077 and 1081 a Siegburg monk probably wrote the so-called Annolied in honor of the archbishop. On April 29, 1183 Anno was by Pope Lucius III. canonized. Anno, who from now on will act as a patron against gout , has his feast day on December 4th, but especially in Germany on December 5th. In 1391 the Siegburg monastery handed over some relics of St. Anno to the Grafschaft monastery in the Sauerland, one of its foundations.

Impact history

Recently, the figure of the Archbishop of Cologne has enjoyed some popularity within the genre of historical novels . Jörg Kastner's novels Anno 1074. The uprising against the Archbishop of Cologne (1998) and Anno 1076. The shadows of Cologne (2002) deal with the uprising of Cologne's citizens against the powerful archbishop, whom Kastner attributes to a leprosy disease . In Eva Steins' crime story Der Ring des Anno (2004), a local crime thriller for children , the figure of the cleric appears as a minor character.

1979 published Bläck Fööss with Feschers Köbes a song about the civil uprising against Anno. As part of the new conception of the sculpture program for the Cologne town hall tower in the 1980s, Anno II was immortalized by a figure by Werner Franzen on the fourth floor on the south side of the tower. In the Romanesque church of St. Clemens (Drolshagen) , on the occasion of the renovation in 2016, a fresco in the right side apse by Clemens Hillebrand was depicted in Secco painting. This shows him laying the foundation stone of the church mentioned; in the background the numerous other church foundations of the bishop are symbolically recognizable.


  • Lampert von Hersfeld : Annals. Newly translated by Adolf Schmidt. Explained by Wolfgang Dietrich Fritz. 4th edition, expanded by a supplement compared to the 3rd. Scientific Book Society, Darmstadt 2000, ISBN 3-534-00176-1 .
  • Friedrich Wilhelm Oediger : The Regesta of the Archbishops of Cologne, 313-1099. Volume 1, Bonn 1961.


Web links

Commons : Anno II.  - Album with pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. De Bläck Fööss : "Uns Johreszigge," EMI Elektrola , Cologne 1979. Text: Hans Knipp after Leonhard Ennen: "History of the City of Cologne" and B. Gravelott : "De Feschers em hellige Kölle", Albert-Vogt-Verlag, St Goar / Cologne 1977
  2. Köbes to hear
  3. Sculptures on the fourth floor , accessed on January 15, 2015
predecessor Office successor
Hermann II. Archbishop of Cologne