Ulrich of Passau

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Ulrich von Passau († February 20 or 24, 1099 ) was a Bavarian nobleman from the Diepoldinger Rapotonen family . From 1078 until his death in 1099 he ruled the newly created Burgraviate of Passau . He was considered one of the richest men of his time, which is why he was referred to as "the wealthy". Ulrich was Count of Finningen , Count in Isengau , Burgrave of Passau , and he was Vogt of Osterhofen , Asbach and Passau .


Little is known about his life because of the poor sources. Only in the founding history of the Baumburg monastery , originated around 1150, and in the Bamberg court law from 1172 it is tangible. It also appears in the Baumburger Nekrolog und Traditionscodex . Thanks to an extensive donation to the St. Ulrich and Afra monastery in Augsburg , it is also recorded there in the necrology. He is also mentioned by the historians Frutolf von Michlsberg, Ekkehard von Aura and Annalista Saxo. Only more recent research in connection with the investiture dispute in Eastern Bavaria yielded further results after the first purely genealogical investigations.

Live and act

Ulrich was born as one of three sons of Rapotos IV. Just like his two brothers Rapoto V , who later became Count Palatine of Bavaria, and Hermann von Vohburg , who became Bishop of Augsburg in 1096, Ulrich was one of the most powerful and influential people of his time in the Holy Roman Empire and the Duchy of Bavaria .

On July 17th, 1072 Ulrich appeared for the first time in a document at the consecration of the Michaelbeuern monastery church . Together with his father Rapoto IV and his brother Rapoto he is named as a witness there.

In the investiture dispute he was a supporter of King Henry IV , and owed his growing influence in Eastern Bavaria to him. The decline in power of the Formbachers is closely related to his rise .

Rise to power

In order to break the strong resistance in Eastern Bavaria, which was led by the Formbachers and Bishop Altmann von Passau, who was loyal to the Pope, the king, returning from Italy, moved with his army to the Passau area in 1078. After the siege of three Formbach festivals, Neuburg am Inn , Formbach and Griesbach or Windberg, and the capture of Passau , the Formbachers fled to Hungary together with Bishop Altmann . Heinrich IV then re-awarded the former Formbach fiefs and other goods in order to remove the ground from the local resistance.

It is possible that at that time there was also a change in the county rights by Heinrich IV, because the Formbachers lost their count rights in Künziggau and Rottachgau , which they held before 1077. In 1079, however, Count Palatine Kuno I von Rott and a Count Rapoto appeared there. The latter is likely to have been Ulrich's brother, who can already be found in Passau in 1078. It is obvious, if not verifiable, that Ulrich was installed in the newly created office of Burgrave of Passau . As early as 999 Emperor Otto III. All rights in the city were granted to Bishop Christian von Passau , but this bond seems to have been broken again by Heinrich IV. Since Heinrich only installed Hermann von Eppenstein as Passau's counter-bishop in 1085, it seems reasonable to conclude that Ulrich represented the royal interests in the city against Bishop Altmann and his followers. The title Graf von Passau indicates a position that has not grown or has been inherited. It is not known whether these count's rights extended beyond Passau into the area of ​​immunity of the episcopal church.

Thanks to Heinrich's support, Ulrich was able to acquire county and sovereign rights in the Passau area, as well as the bailiwicks over Bamberg's own monastery Osterhofen and the surrounding Bamberg property. A letter from Heinrich to the Bamberg bishop Rupert can be seen that the emperor had bought the right to have a say in the allocation of the bailiffs for Ulrich. However, this was not just about the Vogteikomplex around Osterhofen, but probably also the majority of the Bamberg possessions in all of Eastern Bavaria and the Upper Palatinate, which Ulrich presided over as Vogt or which he had as a fief. The goods complex extended both north and south of the Danube. In the aforementioned letter from Heinrich, it can also be seen that Ulrich must have already had a large say in the awarding of the fiefs by the king, since it was apparently he himself who caused the Bamberg bishop, who was actually loyal to the king, to grant the fief for himself. This is indicated by a message in the Bamberg court law that he had usurped the property of the bailiwicks . In addition to ecclesiastical goods, Ulrich must also have received the former fiscal goods at Eggenfelden from Heinrich as basic equipment. It is also assumed that he was endowed with Passau fiefdoms, but apart from a few possessions between Vilshofen and Ortenburg , he could not pass these on to his later heirs, which makes it difficult to prove. Whether he was also bailiff of Passau remains open, but it is also possible. In any case, he appears in 1080 and 1090 as Vogt of Passau, whereby it can be assumed that the Vogtei referred to Passau's own monastery St. Nikola.

Presumably Ulrich exercised county rights in the Rottachgau on both sides of the Inn . It is considered proven that he was a count in the Reichersberg area , i.e. in the area to the right of the Inn.

In 1079 Ulrich appeared as a Count in Isengau , but this was an ancestral Aribon County . How Ulrich came into possession of these goods is unknown, but there is a possibility that he got them through his marriage to Adelheid von Frontenhausen . The marriage with Adelheid is passed down through the founding history of the Baumburg monastery. She was the daughter of Kunos von Frontenhausen. Around 1078 she married the heir of the Sieghardinger possessions, Markwart von Marquartstein. However, this was murdered shortly after the wedding. Adelheid then married Ulrich von Passau and brought the rich Sieghardinger and Frontenhausen estates as dowries into the marriage.

Before 1077 the Formbachers held count rights in the Lungau , although it is assumed that this county was a Bamberg fiefdom. In 1090 Ulrich appeared here as a count. How he came to these areas is unclear.

Ulrich borrowed 500 talents silver from the Veronese in 1096 and bribed Heinrich IV with it in order to secure the bishopric of Augsburg for his brother Hermann. In order to be able to take out and repay such a loan, it probably required a considerable amount of assets. Even during his lifetime, Ulrich was tellingly referred to as “the wealthy” or “the rich”.

In 1099 Ulrich was named as Vogt of the Asbach monastery as well as the Osterhofen monastery and the surrounding Bamberg possessions. It is also assumed that Ulrich also governed the rich Bamberg possessions of Ering and Mattighofen .

Ulrich von Passau died around February 20, 1099 without a male heir. What Ulrich died of is nowhere mentioned. Death at a tournament was only suspected later.

Happened after his death

After Ulrich's death in February 1099, Emperor Heinrich IV asked Bishop Rupert von Bamberg to talk to him about interests. It was about the reallocation of the fallen goods. The emperor wanted to prevent the Formbachers and other supporters of Pope Gregory VII from coming into possession of the rich estates. Instead, the property should go to its own followers. Since the imperial counter-bishop Tiemo ruled in Passau until 1104 , the emperor had the best prerequisites to continue to assert his interests in Ulrich's succession.

After Ulrich's death Heinrich seems to have consciously split up his position of power. In April 1099, Heinrich met Margrave Leopold of Austria in Regensburg , and there was certainly also negotiations on Ulrich's inheritance and his fiefdom. Heinrich handed back the county rights of the city to Tiemo, who was loyal to him. The bailiwick of the Passau bishop's church came to the noble free Ulrich von Wilhering , although it is not certain whether Ulrich actually held it. The Bamberg property north of the Danube and in the Upper Palatinate as well as the bailiwick of the Niedernburg monastery fell to the Counts of Sulzbach . Count Berengar I von Sulzbach had married Ulrich's widow Adelheid. It is therefore possible that he enforced his claims to Ulrich's rights in this way. The count's rights in Lungau also fell to the Sulzbachers, as they appeared there as counts in the 12th century and held rich estates. Ulrichs Bamberger Vogteien south of the Danube to Osterhofen and Asbach and probably also to Ering and Mattighofen, fell in 1099 to his follower, the noble free Mazili the Elder of Kamm . It is not certain, however, whether Mazili had not guarded the goods at Ering and Mattighofen beforehand.

What is striking about the re-allocation of the goods is that, contrary to custom, Henry IV included non-noble people in the allocation. The choice of Berengar I von Sulzbach, who was not one of the emperor's leading followers, is also surprising. Five years later, Berengar took the side of his son Heinrich V against the emperor . Without this rich fief, the strong influence of the Sulzbachers in Bavaria would never have been possible.

The majority of Ulrich's allodial possessions came to the Spanheimers around 1100 through the marriage of Engelbert II von Spanheim with Ulrich's heir-daughter Uta . These included goods near Dillingen as well as in Isengau and in Rottal near Eggenfelden , Weihmörting and near Pocking . He was also able to bring smaller parts of his Passau fiefs to the Spanheimers. It is assumed that the fortress of Ortenburg , which later became the county seat, was built on Passau fiefdom. With this inheritance Engelbert and his sons Engelbert III succeeded. and Rapoto I. to gain a foothold in the south-eastern Bavarian region in the course of the 12th century and to establish the counties of Kraiburg and Ortenburg .

The rule of Vohburg an der Donau fell to his cousin Diepold III. from Vohburg .

As quickly as Ulrich's exceptional position was created, it fell apart after his death. Nevertheless, the process significantly influenced the development of Southeast Bavaria. The Formbachers were pushed back from their dominant position before 1077 to their core area on the Inn, a defeat from which they have hardly recovered. Likewise, in the course of the 12th century, with the up-and-coming Spanheimers in the form of the Counts of Ortenburg, they should become powerful rivals in Eastern Bavaria. Without Ulrich von Passau's legacy, the Spanheimers would not have maintained this outstanding position in the Bavarian region. Without the marriage mentioned, their sphere of influence would have remained limited to Carinthia and the neighboring areas. The Sulzbach counts, on the other hand, experienced the heyday of their lineage after Ulrich's death.

Although Ulrich had died before the Baumburg monastery was founded, he is listed as a co-founder. The monastery was founded in 1105 by Berengar I and his wife Adelheid.


Ulrich von Passau was married to Adelheid von Frontenhausen . The daughter comes from this marriage

Research situation


Ulrich's ancestry has been discussed for years. It was initially assumed that he was a son of Rapotos IV von Cham and thus from the Rapotonen-Diepoldinger family. Later, due to his former property in Formbach, it was assumed that he came from the Formbach family . It was assumed that he was identical with Ulrich von Radlberg, or that he was the son of Udalrich von Formbach and thus the grandson of Tiemo I. von Formbach. At the same time it was assumed that Ulrich was just as closely related to Kuno von Rott. The fact that he was the son of Count Palatine Aribo II, who was deposed in 1055, or the son of his successor Count Palatine Kuno von Rott, has also been thrown into the debate. Still others were of the opinion that there were two people named Ulrich von Passau. However, Tyroller's thesis from 1923 could be proven that he was Rapotone.

Name research provided further evidence of the descent from the Rapotons. From the marriage of his daughter Uta to Engelbert von Spanheim, five sons emerged who not only bore the Spanheimer lead names, but also lead names from Ulrich's family. So three of the descendants had the Spanheimer names Engelbert, Heinrich and Hartwig , while the other two were called Ulrich and Rapoto. The names Ulrich and Rapoto, however, are neither Vornbacher nor Aribonen leading names, but the leading names of the Rapotonen-Diepoldinger.

Further doubts about the origin could be removed by researching his property. In the vicinity of Dillingen the Ratpotonen-Diepoldinger family was wealthy and was the only sex to be proven there. But after Ulrich's death, the Spanheimers also performed there. This sudden appearance of the Rhineland-Franconian family can only be explained if Ulrich had possessions there, so that he consequently had to be a Rapotone. Furthermore, the earliest domains of the Margrave Engelbert von Spanheim and his son Rapoto were in the Weihmörting area near Rotthalmünster and in the Pocking area. In these places too there were possessions of the Rapotonen-Diepoldinger, especially Ulrich's brother, Bishop Hermann von Augsburg. All this only allows the conclusion that all these goods came to the Spanheimers through Uta's wedding with Engelbert II.

Another problem arose when the historian Frutolf named Ulrich as the cousin of Count Palatine Rapoto V. However, in the necrology of St. Ulrich and Afra he is expressly referred to as his brother. However, the Latin word patruelis not only means cousin, but it was rather used to clarify blood relationship . In this context, Frutolf's traditions and the information in the monastery necrology would not contradict each other.

Time of death

The monastery of St. Ulrich and Afra states the time of his death in the necrology on February 24th. The historian Frutolf is the only contemporary to report about the year 1099 that Rapoto and Ulrich died between January and June 1099. This is consistent with the information provided by the monastery. Only Ekkehard von Aura brings both of them in connection with the unknown plague in April 1099 in Regensburg, when the emperor was there. For this reason, Ulrich's death date is also given in some sources on April 14, 1099, which led to the fact that some historians and genealogists saw Ulrich as two people. Here, however, it is overlooked that Frutolf's mention is older than Ekkehard's tradition. The necrology of Ortisei and Afra also coincides with the day of his brother Rapoto V's death on April 14, 1099. Therefore, the latter are preferable as a source for the day of his death.

In the Baumburg monastery necrology, Ulrich's death date is given as February 20, 1099. This date is only four days away from the entry in the necrology of the St. Ulrich and Afra monastery, which suggests the conclusion that this is one and the same person. What is difficult here is that he was referred to as the son of Rapotos V in Baumburg's necrology . However, this could be a copy error from the 15th century, since the original necrology is no longer available.

Individual evidence

  1. Loibl Vornbacher , p. 149.
  2. Loibl Vornbacher , p. 153.
  3. Loibl Vornbacher , p. 154.
  4. Loibl Vornbacher , p. 154.
  5. Loibl Vornbacher , p. 155.
  6. Loibl Vornbacher , p. 156.
  7. Loibl Vornbacher , p. 156.
  8. Loibl Vornbacher , p. 162.
  9. Loibl Vornbacher , p. 162.
  10. Loibl Vornbacher , p. 160.
  11. Information according to the history sheetsTemplate: dead link /! ... nourl  ( page no longer available ) of the Kraiburg cultural district (PDF; 1.1 MB).
  12. Loibl Vornbacher , p. 162.
  13. Loibl Vornbacher , p. 161.
  14. Loibl Vornbacher , p. 156.
  15. Loibl Vornbacher , p. 161.
  16. Loibl Vornbacher , p. 164.
  17. Loibl Vornbacher , p. 164.
  18. Veit Passau , p. 32 f.
  19. Loibl Vornbacher , p. 162.
  20. Loibl Vornbacher , p. 161.
  21. Loibl Vornbacher , p. 165.
  22. Diepoldinger Adelsherrschaften , p. 54.
  23. Loibl Vornbacher , p. 160.
  24. Loibl Vornbacher , p. 160.
  25. Loibl Vornbacher , p. 158.
  26. Loibl Vornbacher , p. 156.
  27. Loibl Vornbacher , p. 158.
  28. Loibl Vornbacher , p. 158.
  29. Loibl Vornbacher , p. 159.
  30. Loibl Vornbacher , p. 159.


  • Richard Loibl : The rulership of the Counts of Vornbach and their successors (= Historical Atlas of Bavaria, Altbayern, Series II, Issue 5 ), Munich 1997 (pp. 149-164).
  • Ludwig Veit : Passau. Das Hochstift (= Historical Atlas of Bavaria, Altbayern, Series I, Issue 35 ), Munich 1978 digitized .
  • Gertrud Diepolder: Upper and Lower Bavarian aristocratic rule in the Wittelsbach territorial state of the 13th - 15th century. In: Journal for Bavarian State History , Volume 25, 1962 (pp. 33–70) Digitized .
predecessor Office successor
Burgrave of Passau