Osnabrück Monastery

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Banner of the Holy Roman Emperor with haloes (1400-1806) .svg
Territory in the Holy Roman Empire
Osnabrück Monastery
coat of arms
Coat of arms of the Hochstift Osnabrück
Map of the Hochstift Osnabrück
Osnabrück Monastery around 1786
Alternative names Principality of Osnabrück, Oßnabrugk
Arose from Developed from the Duchy of Saxony in the 14th century
Form of rule Electoral principality / corporate state
Ruler / government Prince-bishop , administrator or vacant : cathedral chapter
Today's region / s DE-NI , DE-NW
Parliament Reichsfürstenrat : 1 virile vote on the spiritual bench
Reich register 6 horsemen, 36 foot soldiers, 60 guilders (1522)
Reichskreis Lower Rhine-Westphalian
Capitals / residences Osnabrück , Iburg , Fürstenau
Denomination / Religions Roman Catholic , major Reformation movements at the beginning of the 16th century , large Jewish minority
Language / n German , Low German , Latin
surface 1,700 km² (end of 18th century)
Residents 116,000 inhabitants (end of the 18th century)
Incorporated into set in 1802 (de facto), 1803 (officially) to Braunschweig-Lüneburg ( Principality of Osnabrück )

The bishopric of Osnabrück (also known as the Prince Diocese of Osnabrück ) was an imperial territory of the Old Empire and belonged to the Lower Rhine-Westphalian Empire . The territory covered around 2700 km².

Charlemagne founded the Diocese of Osnabrück around 783 , whose district was bordered by the rivers Ems and Hunte . From foundations and legal titles Osnabrück bishopric grew in the Middle Ages a national rule to whose territory is not covered with the diocesan territory: the Bishopric . It existed as a state until 1802 and, since neither of the two denominational parties could prevail in the territory after the Reformation , after the Peace of Westphalia it was ruled alternately by a Catholic and a Lutheran sovereign (see the list of bishops of Osnabrück ). After the resolutions of the Congress of Vienna it was incorporated into the Kingdom of Hanover and after 1866 formed part of the Prussian Province of Hanover .

Expansion of sovereignty and administration

The ruler of the bishopric was the Bishop of Osnabrück . The sovereignty developed mainly in the 13th and 14th centuries through the acquisition of jurisdiction ( Gogerichte ) in 1225, the acquisition of the Osnabrück high bailiwick in 1236 from the Counts of Tecklenburg and the construction of state castles to secure borders. At the end of the 14th century, the bishop's sovereignty was fully developed.

The administration of the bishopric was divided into the offices of Fürstenau , Iburg , Grönenberg , Vörden , Wittlage , Hunteburg, Reckenberg and the quasi-autonomous country town of Osnabrück . For the justice system, see Justice in the Principality of Osnabrück .

From 1543, under the temporarily Lutheran Bishop Franz von Waldeck (1532–1553), Hermann Bonnus drafted the first Protestant church ordinance for the city of Osnabrück and thus initiated the Reformation . In the period that followed, neither the Lutheran nor the Catholic doctrine could prevail in the bishopric. The following bishops, who were partly Catholic and partly Lutheran, did not succeed in enforcing the principle of " Cuius regio, eius religio " laid down in the Peace of Augsburg in the bishopric. There was largely no more effective church leadership; the pastors in the individual parishes were largely left to their own devices. The religious practice of faith was a mixture of Catholic and Lutheran elements. Catholic priests, for example, distributed communion in both forms at mass or had the psalms , which Luther translated into German, sang. This only changed in 1623, when Eitel Friedrich Cardinal von Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen began the Counter-Reformation after being elected bishop .

Alternating sovereignty after the Thirty Years War

During the Thirty Years' War , the bishopric was temporarily occupied by League and Union troops, as well as by Danish and Swedish troops.

According to Article XIII of the Westphalian Peace Treaty and the resolutions passed at the Reichstag in Nuremberg in 1650, in a "perpetual surrender" (Capitulatio Perpetua Osnabrugensis) the rule of the country was alternately between a Catholic bishop elected by the cathedral chapter and a Lutheran bishop from the ducal house of Braunschweig-Lüneburg exercised. During the reign of a Lutheran bishop, the church leadership functions over the Catholic clergy and the Catholic inhabitants of the bishopric were with the Archbishop of Cologne . The regulations for the free exercise of religion by the two denominations set out in the "Perpetual Capitulation" remained valid until 1802. The Osnabrück Monastery was thus one of the few territories in the Old Kingdom without a uniform denominational definition. The assignment of the confession of the pastors was determined by the church, but there were also parishes in which both denominations each had their own church with its own pastor. In some parishes , the only existing church was used simultaneously by both denominations (Catholic and Lutheran). From 1785 the administration of the prince-bishopric had its seat in the prince-bishop's office .

As a result of the principle of compensation laid down in the Treaty of Lunéville in 1801, a year later, through the extraordinary Reichsdeputation set up by the Reichstag - on the basis of a joint Franco-Russian compensation plan of June 3, 1802 - the Osnabrück Monastery was given to the Electorate of Braunschweig-Lüneburg ("Kurhannover") awarded as a hereditary principality. The Reich Deputation, which met on August 24, 1802, confirmed, with a - provisional - resolution of September 8, the compensation provided for in the compensation plan for the King of England as Elector of Braunschweig-Lüneburg. The last Prince-Bishop of Osnabrück, Friedrich, Duke of Braunschweig-Lüneburg, Prince of Great Britain and Ireland , the second son of King George III. of England, thereupon put down the rule of the bishopric on October 29, 1802. Six days later, his father Georg III. the new Principality of Osnabrück officially in possession. This ended the history of the independent spiritual principality.

The secularization was formally confirmed only with the adoption of the main conclusion of the extraordinary Reichsdeputation on February 25, 1803:

§ 4. To the King of England, Elector of Braunschweig-Lüneburg, for his claims to the county of Sayn-Altenkirchen, Hildesheim, Corvey and Höxter, and for his rights and responsibilities in the cities of Hamburg and Bremen, and in the same areas, namely the Territories of the latter, as will be determined below, as well as for the cession of the office of Wildeshausen: the Diocese of Osnabrück.

Principality of Osnabrück after the Reichsdeputationshauptschluss

The Principality of Osnabrück was ruled by the Electors of Braunschweig-Lüneburg from 1802 onwards. In 1806 it became the Kingdom of Prussia , in 1807 the Kingdom of Westphalia , in 1811 it fell to the French Empire , and in 1815 it was added to the newly formed Kingdom of Hanover at the Congress of Vienna . However, the Reckenberg office (today the Gütersloh district ) was ceded as an exclave and added to the Prussian province of Westphalia . Parts of the office Vörden, the parishes of Neuenkirchen and Damme, for which there was a condominium with the Niederstift Münster , were separated and assigned to the Grand Duchy of Oldenburg . Today these areas belong to the district of Vechta . During the territorial reform in 1974, the parish of Vörden also became part of the Vechta district.

The Principality of Osnabrück belonged to the Landdrostei Osnabrück in the Kingdom of Hanover and fell with it to Prussia in 1866 . The Landdrostei was replaced in the course of the Prussian municipal reform in 1885 by the Osnabrück administrative district . At the same time, the districts of Osnabrück, Bersenbrück, Iburg, Wittlage and Melle and the urban district of Osnabrück were formed.

In 1972 the (new) district of Osnabrück was formed from the districts of Osnabrück, Melle , Wittlage and Bersenbrück , the boundaries of which largely correspond to those of the old bishopric.

See also


  • Michael F. Feldkamp : The appointment of the Osnabrück auxiliary bishops and vicars general in the time of the "successio alternativa" according to Roman sources. In: Roman quarterly . Volume 81, 1986, Vol. 3-4, pp. 229-247.
  • Michael F. Feldkamp: On the meaning of the "successio alternativa" in the Osnabrück bishopric during the 17th and 18th centuries. In: sheets for German national history . Volume 130, 1994, pp. 75-110 ( digitized version at the Munich digitization center).
  • Michael F. Feldkamp: The changing sequence between Catholic and Protestant bishops in the Osnabrück Monastery in the 17th and 18th centuries. In: Ders .: Reich Church and Political Catholicism. Essays on church history and church legal history of modern times (= Propylaea of ​​the Christian Occident, Volume 3). Patrimonium-Verlag, Aachen 2019, ISBN 978-3-86417-120-8 , pp. 57-79.
  • Christine van den Heuvel : Civil service and territorial state. Development of authorities and social structure of civil servants in the bishopric of Osnabrück 1550–1800 (= Osnabrück historical sources and research. Volume 24). Osnabrück 1984, ISBN 3-87898-290-9 .
  • Werner Hillebrand : Property and status of the Osnabrück nobility, 800 to 1300. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 1962.
  • Gerhard Köbler : Historical lexicon of the German countries. The German territories from the Middle Ages to the present. 7th, completely revised edition. CH Beck, Munich 2007, ISBN 978-3-406-54986-1 , p. 500.
  • Wolf-Dieter Mohrmann, Wilfried Papst: Introduction to the political history of the Osnabrück country. 2nd Edition. Osnabrück 1992.
  • Joseph Prinz : The territory of the Diocese of Osnabrück. Reprint of the Göttingen 1934 edition. Osnabrück 1973, ISBN 3-87898-066-3 .
  • Reinhard Renger: sovereign and estates in the bishopric of Osnabrück in the middle of the 18th century. Investigations on the institutional history of the corporate state in the 17th and 18th centuries. Goettingen 1968.
  • Harriet Rudolph : "A gentle way of government". Embarrassing criminal justice in spiritual territory. The bishopric of Osnabrück (1716–1803). Konstanz 2001, ISBN 978-3-89669-975-6 ( review ).
  • Mark Alexander Steinert: The alternative succession in the bishopric of Osnabrück. Change of bishops and the right of rule of the House of Braunschweig-Lüneburg in Osnabrück 1648–1802 (= Osnabrück historical sources and research. Volume 47). Osnabrück 2003, ISBN 978-3-9806564-6-7 .
  • Johann Carl Bertram Stüve : History of the bishopric Osnabrück. With register by Julius Jäger. Reprint of the Jena edition, Volume I (1853), Volume II (1872), Volume III (1882). Osnabrück 1980, ISBN 978-3-87898-218-0 .

Web links

Commons : Prince-Bishopric of Osnabrück  - Collection of images, videos and audio files
Wikisource: Osnabrück  - Sources and full texts

Individual evidence

  1. a b Gerhard Köbler: Historical Lexicon of the German Lands. The German territories from the Middle Ages to the present. Munich 2007, p. 500.
  2. Capitulatio Perpetua Osnabrugensis. Issued again by order of a Rev. Cathedral Chapter. Without location 1766 ( digital copy of the SLUB ; further digital copy of an impression in the Privilegia Caesarea Civitatis Osnabrugensis from 1717 in the ULB Münster ).