Hochstift Minden

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Banner of the Holy Roman Emperor with haloes (1400-1806) .svg
Territory in the Holy Roman Empire
Hochstift Minden
coat of arms
Coat of arms of the Hochstift Minden
Location of the Hochstifts Minden (in the center of the picture) around 1500
Minden bishopric around 1500

Arose from Formed from the Duchy of Saxony in 1180
Form of rule Electoral principality / corporate state
Ruler / government Prince-bishop , administrator or vacant : cathedral chapter
Today's region / s DE-NW
Parliament Reichsfürstenrat : 1 virile vote on the spiritual bench
Reich register 6 horsemen, 15 foot soldiers, 60 guilders (1522)
Reichskreis Lower Rhine-Westphalian
Capitals / residences Minden , Petershagen
Denomination / Religions Roman Catholic
Language / n German , Low German

Incorporated into 1648: Principality of Minden

Boundary stone to Ravensberg from 1542 (Bad Oeynhausen spa gardens)

The Hochstift Minden (also called Stift Minden , Fürstbistum Minden or imprecisely simply as the Diocese of Minden ) was a spiritual territory of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation . The Minden bishopric was part of the Lower Rhine-Westphalian Empire .

The bishopric emerged in the 12th century as the secular domain of the Minden prince-bishops , whose diocese was much larger. In 1648 the bishopric was secularized and fell under the name " Principality of Minden " to Brandenburg-Prussia .


The bishop's court was located next to the Minden Cathedral in Minden an der Weser, now in North Rhine-Westphalia . The seat of the administration was the Petershagen Castle , located downstream from the Weser . The area of ​​the Hochstift Minden, like the successor territory of the Principality of Minden, comprised the areas of today 's Minden-Lübbecke district and a small part of today 's Herford district for the longest period of its existence .



The diocese of Minden was founded by Charlemagne in 799 after the end of the Saxon wars and was under the church province of Cologne . The rise and heyday of the diocese fell in the time of the Saxon and Salian emperors (919–1125).

middle Ages

In the high Middle Ages, the bishopric was established as an imperial principality , the scope of which was significantly smaller than the ecclesiastical diocese. After the fall of Henry the Lion in 1180, the Minden bishop's seat was given ducal power over its territory.

The bishop ruled the bishopric with the participation of the estates: the Minden cathedral chapter , the ministry , the noble free and the city of Minden . Between approx. 1250 and 1350, offices were set up that were administered by episcopal officials / Drosten at the castles Rahden , Reineberg , Schalksburg , Petershagen and Schlüsselburg . The offices were temporarily assigned to ministerials of the bishopric or, more often, pledged to financially powerful state ministers.

From 1259 to 1277 Hamelin was also owned by the bishopric. Until 1397 the bailiwick rights were held by the nobles from the mountains , after which the territory was reduced as a result of territorial power struggles to what is now the Minden-Lübbecke district . The capital Minden became independent in the 13th century.

On his trip to Westphalia, the papal legate Nikolaus von Kues had to deal with the grievances in the diocese of Minden.

Reformation and repeal

In the 16th century, under Bishop Franz von Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel, the Reformation began in the monastery , especially after Nikolaus Krage gave the city of Minden a Protestant church order in 1530 . In 1535, Bishop Franz von Waldeck , the Minden Cathedral Chapter and the city of Minden signed a treaty that guaranteed unhindered Catholic worship in Minden Cathedral. Since Franz von Waldeck (bishop from 1530 to 1553) there have always been men at the head of the diocese and the prince-bishopric who tolerated or even openly promoted Lutheran doctrine so that it could quickly prevail. The delicate confessional balance was regulated in 1555 by the Peace of Augsburg , which gave the sovereigns the right to determine the denomination of their subjects. In addition to this, the Declaratio Ferdinandea assured the Protestant subjects in the Catholic spiritual territories the exercise of their denomination. In addition, the Augsburg Religious Peace established a guarantee of existence for Catholic monasteries and foundations, which secured the St. Mauritius monastery and the St. Johannis monastery in Evangelical Minden.

By decree of Bishop Heinrich Julius von Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel, all clergymen in the prince-bishopric (except at the Mindener Dom) were obliged to the Protestant denomination.

During the Thirty Years' War , Minden was occupied by Catholic imperial troops in 1625. The reigning bishop Franz Wilhelm von Wartenberg from 1630 tried to enforce the counter-reformation as sovereign , but was driven out of the city of Minden by the war events, which was occupied by Swedish Protestant troops in 1634. With the Peace of Westphalia in 1648, the bishopric fell as a secularized principality of Minden to Brandenburg-Prussia as compensation for the loss of entitlement to Western Pomerania that Sweden received.

coat of arms

The coat of arms of the bishopric and the diocese showed the crossed keys of St. Peter on a red background, turning their beards away . Peter was the patron saint of the diocese and Minden Cathedral . The coat of arms remained the coat of arms of the Principality of Minden after 1648 and was included in the large Prussian coat of arms . To this day it is represented in the coat of arms of many municipalities in the region, e.g. B. in the coat of arms of the city of Minden. The now dissolved districts of Minden and Lübbecke also had the keys in their coat of arms. The coat of arms of the Minden – Lübbecke successor district takes up this old symbol again.

See also

Web links

Wikisource: Minden  - sources and full texts


Individual evidence

  1. Hans Nordsiek: From the Bishopric of Minden for Minden-Lübbecke . Minden 1977, p. 5ff.
  2. ^ Heinrich Schoppmeyer: The formation of the estates in the prince-bishopric of Minden. Messages of the Mindener Geschichtsverein, year 65 (1993), pp. 7–47.
  3. Hans Nordsiek: From the Prince Bishopric to the Principality of Minden. In: Westfälische Zeitschrift 140, 1990, pp. 251–274, here p. 252.
  4. Hans Nordsiek: From the Prince Bishopric to the Principality of Minden. In: Westfälische Zeitschrift 140, 1990, pp. 251-274, here p. 253.
  5. Hans Nordsiek: From the Prince Bishopric to the Principality of Minden. In: Westfälische Zeitschrift 140, 1990, pp. 251-274, here p. 257.
  6. Hans Nordsiek: From the Prince Bishopric to the Principality of Minden. In: Westfälische Zeitschrift 140, 1990, pp. 251-274, here p. 258.
  7. Hans Nordsiek: From the Prince Bishopric to the Principality of Minden. In: Westfälische Zeitschrift 140, 1990, pp. 251–274, here p. 259.

Coordinates: 52 ° 19 ′  N , 8 ° 51 ′  E