Archbishopric and Duchy of Bremen

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Banner of the Holy Roman Emperor with haloes (1400-1806) .svg
Territory in the Holy Roman Empire
Archbishopric Bremen, Duchy of Bremen
coat of arms
Bremen Archdiocese.PNG
The Duchy of Bremen around 1655,
the imperial city of Bremen insufficiently delimited ,
the Duchy of Verden in pink on the lower right

Arose from 1180 from the dissolution of the Duchy of Saxony
Form of rule Electoral principality / corporate state , from 1648: Duchy
Ruler / government Prince-bishop , administrator or vacant : cathedral chapter , from 1648: duke
Today's region / s Lower Saxony

Reichskreis Lower Saxony
Capitals / residences Bremen , Bücken , Bremervörde
Dynasties 1648: Sweden
1712: Denmark
1715: Kurhannover
Denomination / Religions Roman Catholic until the Reformation , then Evangelical Lutheran
Language / n German , Low German

Incorporated into 1807/10: Kgr Westphalen
1815: Kingdom of Hanover

The Archbishopric of Bremen , Duchy of Bremen since the Peace of Westphalia in 1648 , was a state structure in what is now northern Lower Saxony and Bremen .

It emerged from the secular property of the Archdiocese of Bremen . During its time as an archbishopric, it was very often imprecisely referred to as the Archdiocese of Bremen , Latin A RCHIEPISCOPATVS B REMENSIS , no different from the other principal dioceses .

Archbishopric Bremen

Urbis Bremæ Territorium (land owned by the imperial city) is distinguished from Dioecesis Bremensis (land owned by the diocese), Dilich 1603

From the 11th century onwards, the archbishops of Bremen succeeded in creating a territory, called the archbishopric , which comprised around a third of the Bremen diocese and around 10% of the neighboring diocese of Verden (3rd mile of the Old Country and Buxtehude and its hinterland).

Until 1180 the diocese belonged to the tribal duchy of Saxony . 1180, after the overthrow of Duke Heinrich the Lion , the duchy was divided up by the Gelnhausen deed of Emperor Friedrich I. Since then, the diocese of Bremen existed as imperial territory. Archbishop was the Ascan Siegfried I. von Anhalt in 1180 . Since 1500 the Archbishopric of Bremen belonged to the Lower Saxon Empire within the Holy Roman Empire .

The cathedral chapter was a power factor not only in the organizational and financial administration of the cathedral, but also in the administration of the archbishopric. His right to self-amendment meant that the 24 canons came from the nobility and the city of Bremen since the high Middle Ages.

The estates (cathedral chapter, knighthood , prelates as representatives of the clergy, cities) met from 1398 to 1648 in the state parliament of the archbishopric of Bremen mostly in Basdahl .

Even before Bremen officially became a Free Imperial City in 1646 , the archbishops were increasingly staying outside the city. Bücken initially acted as residence , then Vörde (today Bremervörde ). Within the city of Bremen, only the cathedral freedom remained under archbishop's sovereignty. Due to the increasing economic difficulties of the archbishops, the monastery estates strengthened , so that from 1540 the territory was under estate administration. During these years, the Reformation gained a foothold, which was reinforced by the influence of the Protestant-dominated Bremen cathedral chapter . Archbishop Georg von Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel tolerated this development. Since 1567, the Bremen cathedral chapter elected Lutherans as bishops, although the Pope refused to recognize them. The archbishopric became Lutheran and remained so when the imperial city of Bremen converted from Lutheranism to Calvinism at the end of the 16th century .

Duchy of Bremen

The Archbishopric was secularized by the Peace of Westphalia . The newly created Duchy of Bremen, together with the also secularized Duchy of Verden, came to Sweden as the territory of Bremen-Verden with its administrative headquarters in Stade .

In the Swedish-Brandenburg War from 1675 to 1676, the Swedish Duchy of Bremen was conquered in a campaign by several states of the Holy Roman Empire and Denmark and remained in Allied ownership until the end of the war in 1679. In the course of the Peace of Saint-Germain in 1679, the duchy returned to Sweden.

In 1712 it came to Denmark and in 1715 it was sold to the Electorate of Braunschweig-Lüneburg . From then on, the Duchy of Bremen shared the history of the state and the later Prussian province of Hanover and became part of Lower Saxony in 1946 , where it initially formed the administrative district of Stade together with the former Duchy of Verden and the Land of Hadeln . Cultural-political tasks in the area of ​​the former duchies of Bremen and Verden are now performed by the Stade Regional Association.

See also


  • Claus August Elfser: The ore monastery of Bremen in the age of the Reformation , Göttingen 1929.
  • Johann Martin Lappenberg: Historical sources of the archbishopric and the city of Bremen , reprint of the edition from 1841, Aalen 1967.
  • Gottfried Lorenz: The Archbishopric Bremen and the Administrator Friedrich during the Westphalian Peace Congress. A contribution to the history of the Swedish-Danish power struggle in the 17th century , Münster 1969.
  • Otto Merker: The knighthood of the Archbishopric of Bremen in the late Middle Ages. Rule and political position as a state estate (1300–1550) Stade 1962.
  • Arend Mindermann: The state parliament farewells of the Archbishopric Bremen and the Hochstift Verden , Hanover 2008, ISBN 978-3-7752-6044-2 .
  • Karl H. Schleif: Government and administration of the Bremen Archbishopric at the beginning of the modern era (1500–1645). A study on the nature of modern statehood , Hamburg 1972.
  • Siegfried Stölting: Studies on the medieval German-language documents in the area of ​​the Archbishopric Bremen and the Stift Verden , Hamburg 1977.

supporting documents

  1. A RCHIEPISCOPATVS B REMENSIS as a neighboring state on a map of the county of Oldenburg from 1648
  2. ^ Adalbert Müller: The Bremen Cathedral Chapter in the Middle Ages . Greifswald 1908. - Günther Möhlmann: Property ownership of the Bremen cathedral chapter from its beginnings to the beginning of the 14th century . Bremen 1933.

Web links

Wikisource: Duchy of Bremen  - Sources and full texts