Hochstift Freising

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

Alternative names Principality , Hochstift
Form of rule Electoral principality / corporate state
Ruler / government Prince-bishop , administrator or vacant : cathedral chapter
Today's region / s DE-BY
Parliament 1 virile vote on the ecclesiastical bench in the Reichsfürstenrat
Reichskreis Bavarian

Denomination / Religions Roman Catholic
Language / n German , Latin
Residents 15,000 (1800)
Incorporated into Perished in 1802 (de facto) / 1803 (officially) to the Electoral Palatinate of Bavaria and the Austrian Empire
Environment map
Map of the Hochstift Freising in the Holy Roman Empire (1648)

The Bishopric of Freising was over 500 years, from the year 1294 to 1802, the secular dominion of the prince-bishop of Freising . It was an independent, imperial direct spiritual principality , which was assigned to the Bavarian Imperial Circle .


Map with the city of Freising in the north and the county on the Yserrain stretching east along the Isar

Strictly speaking, only the four immediate parts of the country belong to the bishopric, but the prince-bishop owned a number of court brands in the old Bavarian area and free float in the area of Lower Austria , Styria , Carniola and Tyrol (including South Tyrol ). The Bishopric included in 1800 about 15,000 residents in the following state or rule parts:

Immediate parts of the country

Mediate gentlemen

In the old Bavarian area:

The court marks of Zolling, Marzling, Ottenburg, Hummel, Wippenhausen / Burghausen, Massenhausen, Eisenhofen, Kleinberghofen / Asbach, Eitting, Kopfsburg, Pastetten and Zeilhofen;

In Lower Austria, Styria, Carniola and Tyrol:


Around 720/30 the diocese of Freising was founded by St. Korbinian . The first major land acquisitions were made by Bishop Atto der Kienberger , who bought Innichen in South Tyrol in 783 and what would later become the Burgrain estate in 808. In 973, Emperor Otto II gave the town of Škofja Loka (Bischoflack) in Slovenia to Bishop Abraham von Freising . In 1007 King Heinrich II gave the Freising Church under Bishop Egilbert the Wölzer- and Katschtal in the county of Adalbero . The Freising bishops acquired the county of Werdenfels in two extensive purchases in 1249 and 1294 .

Coat of arms of the Diocese of Freising based on Siebmacher's coat of
arms book from 1605
Coat of arms of Johann Franz Eckher von Kapfing as Prince-Bishop (1696–1727)

In 1294 the elevation to the bishopric took place , Emicho Wildgraf von Kyrburg is considered the first prince-bishop . The crowned Mohrenkopf in the coat of arms, which is typical of the Freising bishops and indicates the imperial immediacy, appeared as a crowned Ethiopian ("caput aethiopis") for the first time in 1284 in the coat of arms of Emichos.

In 1319, the then Duke of Bavaria and later German Emperor Ludwig the Bavarian sold the villages of Ismaning , Unterföhring , Englschalking and Daglfing to the Bishop of Freising for "one hundred March lotrings silver". This created the "Grafschaft auf dem Yserrain" as another closed territory of the Freising bishops.

As a neighbor of the much larger Duchy and later Electorate of Bavaria, the Hochstift was often involved in conflicts with the latter. The destruction of the episcopal bridge over the Isar near "Vöhring" around 1156 by Heinrich the Lion (and the associated founding of Munich ) is just one example. This conflict prevented further land acquisitions by the bishopric over the centuries. The Bavarian dukes and electors tried to bring the bishopric under their influence and, if possible, to put members of their own family on the Freising bishop's chair, which has often been successful since the 15th century.

Bishop Veit Adam von Gepeckh (1618–1651) led Freising through the period of the Thirty Years' War , in which the Swedish King Gustav Adolf came through Freising on his way to Munich in 1632 , demanded 30,000 guilders and nevertheless sacked the city. Hunger and plague raged when the Swedes invaded the city again in 1646. His successor, Bishop Albrecht Sigismund von Bayern , donated the Marian Column in 1674 as a sign of the plague that had been overcome , which still gives the central square in the old town its name. On the Domberg - geographically at the highest point - the prince-bishop's residence from the 14th century was rebuilt and expanded during the Renaissance and Baroque periods.

Freising experienced a heyday under Bishop Johann Franz Eckher von Kapfing and Liechteneck (1696–1727). In 1697 he founded the first Freising University, the ( Lyzeum ) on Marienplatz . On the 1000th anniversary of the diocese (1724), he entrusted the Asam brothers with the most extensive renovation that his bishop's church, the Freising Cathedral , had ever undergone. He also commissioned the Benedictine Father Karl Meichelbeck to create a new chronicle. His two-volume historical work “Historia Frisingensis” is considered to be the first source-critical historical work in Germany; it continued the long tradition of Freising historiography. A dark chapter of this time are the child witch trials in Freising from 1715 to 1723, during which eight boys between 14 and 23 years and three middle-aged beggars were executed.

Even before the Reichsdeputationshauptschluss , Freising was annexed on November 27, 1802 by troops from the Electorate of Bavaria under Johann Adam von Aretin. The secularization meant the dethronement of the last Prince Bishop Joseph Konrad Freiherr von Schroff mountain and the expropriation of church property by the Kingdom of Bavaria . The former royal seat became a small country town in the new kingdom . The Archdiocese of Munich and Freising , newly founded by the Bavarian Concordat in 1817 and established in 1821, succeeded the Diocese of Freising, which moved the bishopric to Munich. The use of the title Prince Archbishop and the use of the secular dignity associated with it (such as the prince's hat and coat ) was approved by Pope Pius XII in 1951 . also formally abolished.


  • Hubert Glaser (Ed.): Hochstift Freising. Contributions to the history of ownership. Wewel, Munich 1990, ISBN 3-87904-167-9 .
  • Josef Maß : The Diocese of Freising in the Middle Ages. s. Edition, Wewel Verlag, Munich 1988.
  • Georg Urban Zacher: An old boundary description of the Hochstift Freysing . Upper Bavarian Archive, Vol. 4 (1843), pp. 425-428.
  • Stahleder / Steigelmann: Historical Atlas of Bavaria : Hochstift Freising. Altbayern series I issue 33, 1974.
  • Albrecht: Historical Atlas of Bavaria: County Werdenfels (Hochstift Freising). Altbayern series I issue 9, 1955.

See also

Individual evidence

  1. steel Eder / Steigelmann: Historical Atlas of Bavaria Bishopric of Freising. P. 3 ff.
  2. Florian Notter: The Hochstift Freising. A principality of "patches and shreds". In: Fink, the magazine for Freising, 03/2011, p. 16 ff.
  3. ^ History of the Archdiocese . Archdiocese of Munich and Freising. 2010. Archived from the original on November 1, 2011. Retrieved on November 10, 2011.
  4. ^ Franz Gall : Austrian heraldry. Handbook of coat of arms science. 2nd edition Böhlau Verlag, Vienna 1992, p. 219, ISBN 3-205-05352-4 .