Berthold von Wehingen

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Berthold von Wehingen on a painting in the Fürstengang Freising
Berthold von Wehingen's coat of arms in the Fürstengang Freising

Berthold von Wehingen (also Berthold von Vaihingen , * around 1345 near Vienna ; † 1410 ibid) was Bishop of Freising and for a short time also Counter- Archbishop of Salzburg . He achieved great political importance as Chancellor of the Austrian dukes.


Youth and Early Activity

Berthold von Wehingen was born near Vienna around 1345 . He studied at the oldest universities in Central Europe, which had only been founded a few years earlier, Charles University in Prague (founded in 1348) and the University of Vienna (founded in 1365). He obtained the artistic master's degree in Vienna in 1373. With this training path he belongs to a highly educated elite and was predestined for work in various management positions.

From 1373 to 1375 he held the post of rector of the University of Law in Prague (In this phase the former faculties are independent for some time.) His work at this institution falls into the last years of the “golden age of Prague” that with the death of Emperor Charles IV (* 1316; † 1378) ends.

Berthold von Wehingen later becomes Provost of St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna.

Berthold as Bishop of Freising

From 1381 on he was sovereign of the possessions of the Diocese of Freising for decades : from 1381 to 1404 as Bishop of Freising, from 1404 to 1406 as administrator and finally again as bishop until his death in 1410. Berthold von Wehingen obtained this position as a candidate for the Habsburgs who, from 1377 to 1443, succeeded in getting their partisans to the Freising bishop's seat against the interests of the Wittelsbach dukes .

Berthold as counter-archbishop of Salzburg

From 1404 to 1406 Berthold von Wehingen was also the counter-archbishop of Salzburg . While the election of Archbishop Eberhard III. von Neuhaus found general approval in the prince-archbishopric of Salzburg itself, the Austrian House of Habsburg was reserved because, as Salzburg's neighbors, it was very interested in increasing its powers. Especially Duke Wilhelm was very careful to see his own confidante as Prince Archbishop in neighboring Salzburg. At the intervention of Duke Wilhelm, Pope Boniface IX rejected . the election of the Salzburg archbishop and appointed the bishop of Freising, Berthold von Wehingen, archbishop. Pope Innocent VII , as the successor of Boniface, also supported Berthold von Wehingen and also called on the citizens of Vienna to support Archbishop Berthold. In contrast, Eberhard von Neuhaus knew how to secure the support of the Duke Wilhelm's brothers, who were hostile to their eldest brother, in addition to the cathedral chapter and the Salzburg estates. Due to the high debts that Berthold owed to the curia, the Pope declared Eberhard archbishop and referred Berthold back to his Freising diocese. Ultimately, Berthold himself renounced his position - in exchange for the assumption of his debts by the Salzburg archbishop and in return for an impressive annual pension.

Other tasks from Berthold

Parallel to his function as Bishop and Landlord Freising, he also held the office of Chancellor of the Habsburg Dukes of Austria from 1381 to 1410, which is typically bestowed on well-known personalities of the clergy with legal training during this time. In this way he is in the service of Duke Albrecht III. (with the braid) reg. 1365–1395, Duke Albrecht IV (the patient) r. 1395 to 1404 and Duke Leopold IV (the fat) r. 1404 to 1411.

His sphere of activity as Chancellor is the area of ​​today's Vienna , Lower Austria and Upper Austria . The areas ruled by the Habsburgs at that time were much larger and also included Styria, Krain (today's Slovenia), Carinthia, Tyrol, Vorarlberg and the (now Swiss) foreland. During the decades of his chancellorship, the areas are usually administered separately by several family members. In particular, on the side of Duke Leopold IV, he was involved in the sometimes civil war-like disputes with his brother Ernst the Iron , which flared up over the guardianship of nine-year-old Albrecht V after the death of Duke Albrecht IV (1404). The situation was not cleared up until one year after Berthold's death, when the estates intervened.

Through his two functions, as sovereign of the Freisingian possessions in Austria and the Austrian Chancellor, he succeeds in promoting the Freisingian areas (parts of today's Lower Austria ) in the long term: He is expanding the defenses of Waidhofen an der Ybbs and expanding Ulmerfeld Castle and the castle near Hollenburg . He also achieved Enzersdorf, where he initiated the construction of the city ​​fortifications Groß-Enzersdorf , the elevation to the city.

Berthold von Wehingen is an important sponsor and reformer of the University of Vienna in the sensitive phase between the foundation of the university (1365) and the papal approval of the theological faculty, which is essential for the university (1384).

Death and grave

Berthold von Wehingen died in Vienna in 1410 and was buried together with his brother Reinhard in the Wehinger Chapel, built in 1394 in the cloister of Klosterneuburg Abbey, under magnificently crafted tombstones.


Web links

Commons : Berthold von Wehingen  - Collection of images, videos and audio files
predecessor Office successor
Leopold von Sturmberg Bishop of Freising
Konrad V. von Hebenstreit