Leonhard von Keutschach

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Painting by Leonhard von Keutschach
Coat of arms of Leonhard von Keutschach

Leonhard von Keutschach (* around 1442 , probably in Viktring , Carinthia , † June 8, 1519 in Salzburg ) was Archbishop of Salzburg from 1495 to 1519 and the last to rule Salzburg in a feudal and knightly manner. The coat of arms of the Keutschach family is the white turnip in the black field.


Origin and early years

Leonhard von Keutschach's parents were the Viktring court judge Otto von Keutschach and Gertrud von Möderndorf . The family seat was on the north bank of the Keutschacher See in what is now southern Carinthia . Leonhard was first an Augustinian canon , provost in Eberndorf monastery and was appointed provost of the cathedral in 1490 . In 1495 he was elected Archbishop of Salzburg.

Acting as archbishop

The 1481 by Emperor Friedrich III. The privilege of free election of the city council and the mayor, granted to the city of Salzburg in a large council letter, led to disputes lasting for years. In 1511 Leonhard ended this dispute with cunning and violence: He captured the city representatives (mayor and city council) who had been invited to a banquet and thus forced the handover of the privileges.

As a nepot , he filled many important offices with family members.

His work was also accompanied by failures: the deeply religious and pious archbishop, who lived according to the Augustinian canon rule for life, had to recognize a coadjutor ( Matthäus Lang von Wellenburg ) who, against his will, took over the cathedral chapter in 1514, which also lived according to the Augustinian canon rule secularized .

In 1498 he again expelled the Jews from his sphere of influence, who had resettled since the second expulsion in 1404, and had the synagogue in Salzburg destroyed.

His personal physician was temporarily the early humanist Wenzeslaus Brack .


At the beginning of his reign, the finances of the archdiocese were in ruins. Incapable predecessors left behind heavy debts. The new and planned economic measures led to prosperity and the first great blossoming of art and culture in Salzburg. The city experienced a great economic and political boom. Salzburg even became one of the richest principalities of the Roman-German Empire; it was the fourth richest country in the empire after the Habsburg hereditary lands, Bavaria and Cologne .

Since Emperor Maximilian I was constantly in debt and Leonhard was a particularly influential financier, he kept receiving new imperial concessions. No predecessor achieved such a high level of power as Leonhard von Keutschach. With a clever policy he was able to obtain the repurchase of pledged property.

His most important reforms were in land management, the use of leases, salt production, ore mining and long-distance trade. Under his leadership, the silver and gold mining in Rauris and the Gastein Valley was intensified. This, together with the increase in salt exports and a tight and smart reorganization of the country, enabled him to make great profits.

Leonhard von Keutschach also made extensive changes in monetary and coinage. He thus became the founder of the modern coinage of Salzburg. Today, the Rübenthaler from Salzburg is a numismatic rarity that is sought after worldwide .

Construction activity

During his reign, the Hohensalzburg fortress was expanded around 1500 . a. Reck, Hasen and Geyerturm were rebuilt, and the Georgskirche, the Ross- and Schleuderpforte and in 1502 a large organ barrel, the Salzburg bull , was built. Built into the fortress, it was supposed to transmit military or non-military signals that could be heard from far and wide, and indicate the beginning and end of the working day to the population. For this work, renewed in 1753, Johann Ernst Eberlin and Leopold Mozart composed 12 small pieces (one for each month).

At that time, the tear train was also built, which is now the world's oldest preserved funicular railway . The large Keutschachbastei and its outbuildings were built, making the fortress impregnable. The newly built large Keutschach cistern ensures the survival of the soldiers in a time of siege. The princely rooms on the high floor were expanded, the magnificent golden room with the filigree masterpiece of a tiled stove and the golden hall with its mighty marble columns were created. Obviously the prince, who lived and resided mainly at the fortress after 1504, tried to make life as comfortable as possible. On the southern bastions Leonhard had vineyards and rose gardens laid out, in the cellar he stored large quantities of Wachau Easter wine as well as various sweet wines that the archbishop particularly liked, and dozens of half-tame white peacocks lived in the courtyard.

Under his aegis, the Taggenbrunn castle complex in Carinthia was expanded into a fortification that was very modern at the time, but also in Gmünd , Friesach , Althofen , Tanzenberg , Stein and St. Andrä im Lavanttal (all in the today's Carinthia) the castle complexes were expanded or renewed. In the Salzburg Abbey, the castles of Itter , Windisch-Matrei , Lengberg , Staufeneck , Tettelham , Lebenau , Mauterndorf and Glanegg , and especially the city fortifications of Radstadt, were expanded. In 1496 he had the handsome Gothic church consecrated to St. Leonhard built in St. Leonhard am Wonneberg (near Waging am See ). In 1489 Leonhard von Keutschach bought the civil brewery Elsenheimerische Brauerei zu Kaltenhausen and the brewery thus became the property of the prince-archbishop's court chamber . Hofbräu Kaltenhausen developed into the largest brewery in Salzburg and the greatest competition for the bourgeois breweries in Hallein. The Archbishops of Salzburg enlarged and promoted the brewery, which, thanks to the secured sales, represented an important source of income due to a temporary requirement to only serve beer from the archbishopric breweries. His ultimately failed project earned the archbishop the nickname Liedl-Wirt among the Salzburg population .

He promoted road construction in order to expand long-distance trade and, in addition to several other roads, had a road built over the Radstädter Tauern , following an old Roman road. He also built new Salzach dams in Hallein to improve flood security.


Web links

Commons : Leonhard von Keutschach  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Salzburgwiki sv Salzburger Stier
  2. The morning and the evening , the inhabitants of the Hochf. Residenz Stadt Salzburg announced melodically and harmoniously. First printed in 1759 by Lotter's heirs in Augsburg. Cf. MGG sv Eberlin.
  3. Das Hofgräu Kaltenhausen , in: The Halleiner Heimatbuch by Dr. Sepp Kaufmann , "Heimat Österreich", episode 16-20, Hallein 1954
  4. Wattek, W .: The Halleiner Brewing , Salzburg 1928
predecessor Office successor
Sigmund II of Hollenegg Archbishop of Salzburg
Matthäus Lang von Wellenburg