Prince Provost Ellwangen

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Banner of the Holy Roman Emperor with haloes (1400-1806) .svg
Territory in the Holy Roman Empire
Prince Provost Ellwangen
coat of arms
Coat of arms of the Prince Provost of Ellwangen

Arose from Reichsstift Ellwangen
Form of rule Electoral Principality
Ruler / government Prince Provost
Today's region / s DE-BW
Parliament 1 virile vote on the ecclesiastical bench in the Reichsfürstenrat
Reich register 80 bottles (since 1691)
Reichskreis Swabia
Capitals / residences Ellwangen
Denomination / Religions Roman Catholic
Language / n German
surface 500 km²
Residents approx. 20,000 (1800)
currency Rhine. Gulden and Reichstaler
Incorporated into 1802 Electorate of Württemberg

View of the residence of the prince provosts, Schloss ob Ellwangen

The Fürstpropstei Ellwangen was a spiritual imperial principality of the Holy Roman Empire and had its seat in Ellwangen in what is now East Württemberg . As such, the small state existed from 1460 until the secularization of 1802, with which the prince-provost fell to Württemberg .

Geographical expansion

The prince's provosty initially consisted of the offices of Ellwangen, Tannenburg and Cooking Castle . The office of Rötlen was added in 1471, Wasseralfingen in 1545 and Heuchlingen in 1609 . During the secularization of 1802, around 20,000 people lived in the territory of the prince-provosty, which covered around 500 square kilometers.


The prince provosty of Ellwangen emerged from an imperial abbey in Ellwangen an der Jagst , which was founded in 764 (750?) By Hariolf and Erlolf (bishop of the French city of Langres ) as a Benedictine monastery . In 1460 the abbey was converted into a secular monastery . The collegiate chapter consisted of twelve noble canons and ten vicars. The prince provost had a virile vote in the Reichstag and awarded the municipal offices in Ellwangen for a year for a fee. This affected both the town council and the members of the court, who also formed the council. Even the shepherd's office and the office of the bailiff were filled in this way.

From 1524, the canon preacher Johann Kreß spread the ideas of the Reformation . In 1525, the pastor of Ellwang, Georg Mumpach, declared that serfdom had been lifted and that the monasteries should be converted and destroyed. At his suggestion, the Ellwang farmers gathered in a heap, which was defeated by troops of the Swabian Federation on May 17, 1525 . Mumpach and Kreß were captured, sentenced and beheaded on November 7, 1525 in Lauingen .

In the years 1588 and 1611-1618 around 450 women and men were killed during the witch trials in Ellwangen . In Ellwangen, besides the Bamberg monastery, the witch hunt was the most intensive.

In the Thirty Years' War Ellwangen had joined the Catholic League and made large financial contributions to this alliance. The city was occupied by the Swedes on May 22, 1632 by Colonel Sperreuth and Colonel Degenfeld , King Gustav Adolf gave Ellwangen to his governor- general, Count Kraft von Hohenlohe-Neuenstein , who tried to push through the Reformation. On September 9, 1634, three days after the Battle of Nördlingen , Hohenlohe-Neuenstein vacated Ellwangen.

Under Franz Ludwig von Pfalz-Neuburg (1694–1732) and Franz Georg von Schönborn (1732–1756) Ellwangen was rebuilt into a baroque residential town . The last prince provost from 1787 was Clemens Wenzeslaus of Saxony . In 1802 the prince provosty was dissolved by the Reichsdeputationshauptschluss and assigned to Württemberg . Ellwangen was initially the seat of the government of Neuwuerttemberg . In 1803 the place became the seat of the Oberamt Ellwangen , which in 1806 became part of the Kingdom of Württemberg .

Organization under constitutional law

The rulers of the prince provosty were the prince provosts above Ellwangen, who, however, often did not stay in Ellwangen itself, but at the same time held several ecclesiastical offices such as canon , provost or prince-bishop .

Ellwangen was a consistorial beneficiary ; after an election or postulation of the prince provost by the chapter of the monastery, the office was conferred by the pope .

The office of Prince Provost of Ellwangen was well endowed, which is why several applicants often ran for an upcoming election. In contrast, the political importance was less. Ellwangen had a viril vote each in the Reichstag of the Roman-German Empire and in the district council of the Swabian Empire .

For the administrative organization see the list of the offices of the prince provost of Ellwangen .

Takeover by Württemberg

To compensate for the loss of the county of Mömpelgard and of possessions in Alsace, Duke Friedrich von Württemberg of France had already secured the prince-provost of Ellwangen as compensation in the separate Paris Peace Treaty signed on August 7, 1796 . Even before the Reichsdeputationshauptschluss , Ellwangen was occupied on September 10, 1802 by about 800 Württemberg soldiers under General von Varnbühler. Prince Provost Clemens Wenzeslaus and his deputy, Stiftsdekan Franz von Hohenlohe-Schillingsfürst , were in Augsburg at this time . Since neither the administration nor the residents offered any resistance, half of the quota was withdrawn at the end of September. Most of the remaining soldiers were transferred to the surrounding villages.

The acquisitions of Württemberg in 1803 (in green)

The birthday of Duke Friedrich von Württemberg on November 6, 1802 was celebrated in Ellwangen with, among other things, a high mass held by Auxiliary Bishop Franz von Hohenlohe-Schillingsfürst. The Duke found the plans of Prince Provost Clemens Wenzeslaus to celebrate his name day on November 23 with high mass, banquet, parades, a concert and gun salutes "at all not appropriate to the existing circumstances and in part contradicting them and in this respect also impracticable" . After all, only one mass was held. November 23, 1802 was also the day of "civil possession" by Councilor Karl von Reischach .

The occupation troops withdrew on December 10th, instead an infantry battalion was relocated to Ellwangen on December 20th. In July 1803, Friedrich, now elector , spent five days in Ellwangen, where he received the homage of his new subjects.

See also


  • Curt Meyer: Coins and medals of the Fuerstpropstei Ellwangen. Stuttgart 1980, ISBN 3-8062-0255-9 .
  • Hans Pfeifer: Constitutional and administrative history of the prince provost of Ellwangen. Stuttgart 1959.
  • Matthias Steuer: Your princely graces…. The princes of Ellwangen and their culture . Edited by History and Antiquity Association Ellwangen e. V. and Tourismusverein Ellwangen e. V. 2011, ISBN 978-3-00-024630-2 .
  • Heinz Trommer: The history of forest management in the prince provost of Ellwangen. Freiburg im Breisgau, Univ., Diss., 1933.

Individual evidence

  1. Eugen Weis: Citizens of Ellwangen under Abbot and Provost . In: Ellwangen 764–1964. Schwabenverlag Ellwangen, 1964, pp. 168-178.
  2. a b Hermann Tüchle : Reformation and Counter-Reformation in the prince provost of Ellwangen . In: Ellwangen 764–1964. Schwabenverlag Ellwangen, 1964, pp. 225–244.
  3. ^ Ellwangen in the description of the Oberamt Ellwangen from 1886 .
  4. ^ A b Rudolf Reinhardt: Investigations into the occupation of the Probstei Ellwangen since the 16th century. In Ellwangen 764–1964. Schwabenverlag Ellwangen, 1964, pp. 316–378.
  5. Hans Pfeifer: Ellwangen. Art and history from 1250 years. Süddeutsche Verlagsgesellschaft, Ulm 2000, ISBN 3-88294-295-9 , pp. 105–110.

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