Ruprecht von der Pfalz (Cologne)

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Archbishop Ruprecht of the Palatinate; contemporary representation.
Ruprecht's tomb in Bonn Minster

Ruprecht von der Pfalz (* February 27, 1427 , † July 16, 1480 at Blankenstein Castle ) was Archbishop and Elector of Cologne (1463-1480).


His parents were Elector Ludwig III. von der Pfalz and Mechthild von Savoyen. In 1443 he was enrolled as "illustris d [omi] nus Robertus Dux Bawariae Comes Palatinus" at the law faculty of the old University of Cologne ( Universitas Studii Coloniensis ).

Ruprecht was elected archbishop on March 30, 1463. It was only confirmed by the Pope in August 1464 that he should not diminish the rights of the Kurköln estates through his weak energy and grant the archbishopric due to his origins external security. At the same time he was supposed to solve the internal problems of the archdiocese.

After a good government was confirmed to him for the first years of his episcopate, the impatient Ruprecht got into a dispute with his councilors and threw himself into foreign policy activities. An alliance entered into in 1467 should lead to the reconquest of the cities of Soest , Xanten and Rees . After he had received the regalia from the emperor in August 1471, he demanded an increase in the tax from the estates that autumn. In order to get to this, he occupied the city ​​of Zons, which was held in pledge by the Cologne Cathedral Chapter . This led to an irreparable break with the cathedral chapter.

He also tried to curtail the privileges of the cities within the archbishopric, but was defeated during the siege of Neuss in 1474/75. With military support from his brother Friedrich I the Victorious , he began the collegiate feud in Cologne . Ruprecht then called Charles the Bold , Duke of Burgundy, to help.

Now the estates gave up their loyalty to him and brought an action against him with the Pope and Emperor. The estates broke out into an open rebellion when they proclaimed Canon Hermann von Hessen to be captain and protector of the archbishopric. Only a few smaller lords of the knighthood and cities stood behind him.

In December 1473, Emperor Friedrich III tried . to mediate in the Cologne collegiate feud , however, failed. Rather, Ruprecht tied himself even more closely to his allies and referred to the Duke of Burgundy as his trustee.

Over time, the position of the archbishop became weaker and weaker, until finally only the offices of Kempen and Altenahr stood by him when he was taken prisoner in Hesse in March 1478. On Burg Blankenstein in Gladenbach in captivity, one maintaining confessed to his title as archbishop and a decent living under jülich-bergischer mediation. For this, however, he should forego the Archdiocese of Cologne.

Before the Pope accepted his resignation, Ruprecht died and was buried in Bonn Minster . His successor was the defender of the city of Neuss, Hermann IV of Hesse .

Ruprecht, who received his episcopal ordination on Palm Sunday 1468, could look back on successes in the monastery reforms of his diocese. Even seldom St. Celebrating mass, he let himself be read every day. In autumn 1478 he had a diocesan synod held in Büderich through his auxiliary bishop, Heinrich von Rübenach . In contrast to many of his predecessors, he followed the consequences of the excommunication imposed on him by the Pope and did not ignore him.

The archbishop was a passionate hunter and bird fitter.


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predecessor Office successor
Dietrich II of Moers Archbishop Elector of Cologne
Hermann IV of Hesse