Jakob Villinger von Schönenberg

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Glass window in the ambulatory of the Freiburg Minster donated by: Jakob Villinger von Schönenberg Rö [misch] key [serlicher] Maj [estät] Treasurer in T [e] utschen Landen and Ursula Adlerin sin ehlich husfrow in the jor do man zalt nach Christi purt 1524. The donor figures kneel at the side of the apostle James

Jakob Villinger von Schönenberg (* 1480 probably in Schlettstadt ; † 1529 ) had been the treasurer of Maximilian I from 1510 .

Coming from a humble background, Jakob Villinger von Schönenberg attended the then famous Latin school in Schlettstadt. From 1501 he worked in the royal finance chamber, initially as a registrar and accountant. Under Chancellor Konrad Stürtzel , he took part as Reichspfennigmeister in negotiations with the Swiss who were not willing to pay. Because of his services, the king ennobled him in 1504 with the title of Schönenberg . In 1508 he took over the royal finance chamber as chamber master and from 1510 had his own office with an annual salary of 2000 guilders.

Villinger as a financial strategist

Endowed with great powers, the Emperor appointed him Imperial Treasurer in 1512. In this office Villinger developed into Maximilian's great fundraiser, to whom he won the Prince's Day in Vienna in 1515 , the planned “great Milan offensive ” to regain the Sforza inheritance that had been lost to France in 1516, the Augsburg Diet of 1518 and the preparations for the election of his grandson Charles V as king . had to finance. To this end, the Reich Treasurer, like his predecessors, pledged monopolies, mines and real estate and, after prolonged spreading, even took advantage of the financial aid of Jakob Fugger “the rich”. Villinger often financed government spending out of his own pocket. When Maximilian died in 1519, his claims against the emperor and the court chamber amounted to 189,554 guilders, so that he feared "to ruin".

Villinger's relationship with Freiburg

The Freiburg city council probably got to know Villinger shortly after taking up his post in the royal finance chamber, when he was responsible for the repayment of 9,000 guilders, debts that the royal couple had made with the citizens during their stay during the Reichstag in 1498/99. Since 1506 Villinger owned a house in Freiburg's Barfüßergasse (today Franziskanergasse). Because of his intentions to marry Afra Spilman, a Freiburg citizen's daughter, he tried to acquire the valley bailiwick in Kirchzarten , but the city council rejected his request and the planned marriage also failed.

When Villinger had received Freiburg citizenship in 1511 , he sent a request to the city council from his "haws zu Freyburg in the parfuesser gassen to perform a paw by name". After Ludwig Villinger, possibly a brother of Jacob, acquired the neighboring buildings in 1514 and had them torn down with a view to the construction of "the well-known building", the city council did not issue the building permit until 1516. In 1517 Villinger was able to move into the Haus zum Walfisch , which had been built in place of the original houses . In the same year, the city council allowed him to expand his property to include additional farmsteads in Gauchstrasse at the rear of the Haus zum Walfisch, with the condition that "house wards" be rebuilt across from Schiffstrasse. On the rest of the land he was allowed to build a "pleasure garden".

Even after he moved to Augsburg in 1512, where he married into the esteemed Adler merchant family, bought a house and joined the merchants' guild, Villinger continued to stand up for Freiburg as the “one who cares for (before) everyone else which we ye set unsuccessful hopes to quiver, duly and willingly confessed and especially a Fryburger ernempt (called) and pliben for and for too pliben ". In 1524 , Villinger and the knight Wilhelm Böcklin von Böcklinsau , provost of the cathedral in Magdeburg , founded a chapel in the ambulatory of the Freiburg Minster .


  • Clemens Bauer : Jakob Villinger. Grand Treasurer of Emperor Maximilian. An outline . In Syntagma Friburgense: historical studies, presented by Hermann Aubin on his 70th birthday on December 23, 1955 . Thorbecke, Lindau 1956, pp. 9-28.
  • Hans Schadek : The emperor and his city. Maximilian I and his relationship with Freiburg . In: Hans Schadek (ed.): The emperor in his city, Maximilian I. and the Reichstag in Freiburg . Korf Edition, Freiburg 1998, ISBN 3-933056-64-0 .

Individual evidence

  1. Hermann Wiesflecker : Emperor Maximilian I. The Empire, Austria and Europe at the Turning Point , Volume 5, R. Oldenbourg Verlag, Munich 1996, p. 260.
  2. a b Schadek, p. 228.
  3. Schadek, p. 235.