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Archbishop of Cologne

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Title: Archbishop of Cologne  
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Subject: House of Limburg-Stirum, Paul Melchers, Felix von Hartmann, Clemens August von Droste-Vischering, Engelbert II of Berg
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Archbishop of Cologne

Cologne was one of the seven electorates of the Holy Roman Empire

The Archbishop of Cologne is an archbishop of the Catholic Church in western North Rhine-Westphalia and northern Rhineland-Palatinate in Germany and was ex officio one of the electors of the Holy Roman Empire, the Elector of Cologne, from 1356 to 1801.

Since the early days of the Catholic Church, there have been ninety-four bishops and archbishops of Cologne. Seven of these ninety-four retired by resignation, including four resignations which were in response to impeachment. Eight of the bishops and archbishops were coadjutor bishops before they took office. Seven individuals were appointed as coadjutors freely by the Pope. One of the ninety-four moved to the Curia, where he became a cardinal. Additionally, six of the archbishops of Cologne were chairmen of the German Bishops' Conference.

Currently, Rainer Maria Cardinal Woelki is the Archbishop of Cologne, since his 2014 transfer from Berlin, where he had been Cardinal Archbishop.


  • Bishops and Archbishops of Cologne 1
    • Bishops of Colonia Agrippina, 88–784 1.1
    • Archbishops of Cologne, 784–1238 1.2
    • Archbishop-Electors of Cologne, 1238–1803 1.3
    • Modern Archbishops of Cologne: 1824 to date 1.4
  • External links 2

Bishops and Archbishops of Cologne

Bishops of Colonia Agrippina, 88–784

All names before Maternus II are to be approached with considerable skepticism, as little contemporary evidence is available. Maternus was present at a council in Rome in 313. The bishops between Severinus and Charentius are also apocryphal. Domitianus was the Bishop of Maastricht (Mosa Traiectum). The given dates of office before Gunther are also conjectural, at best.

  • Maternus I c. 88–128
  • Paulinus
  • Marcellinus
  • Aquilinus
  • Levoldus c. 248–285
  • Maternus II c. 285–315
  • Euphrates c. 315–348
  • Severinus c. 348–403
  • Ebergisil I ? c. 403–440
  • Solatius c. 440–470
  • Sunnovaeus c. 470–500
  • Domitianus fl. c. 535
  • Charentinus fl. c. 570
  • Eberigisil II ? c. 580–600 ?
  • Remedius c. 600 ? –611 ?
  • Solatius c. 611 ? –622
  • Cunibert c. 623–663
  • Bodatus c. 663–674
  • Stephen 674–680
  • Adelwin 680–695
  • Giso 695–708
  • Anno I 708–710
  • Faramund 710–713
  • Agilolf 713–717
  • Reginfried 718–747
  • Hildegar 750–753
  • Bertholm 753–763
  • Rikulf 763–784

Archbishops of Cologne, 784–1238

Saint Engelbert II of Berg, Archbishop of Cologne

Archbishop-Electors of Cologne, 1238–1803

Image Name From To Notes
Konrad von Hochstaden 1238 1261
Engelbert II von Falkenburg 1261 1274
Siegfried II of Westerburg 1274 1297
Wikbold I von Holte 1297 1304
Heinrich II von Virneburg 1304 1332
Walram von Jülich 1332 1349
Wilhelm von Gennep 1349 1362 First Elector of Cologne under the Golden Bull of 1356
Adolf II von der Marck 1363 1363
Engelbert III von der Marck 1364 1369
Kuno von Falkenstein 1370 1371
Friedrich III von Saarwerden 1372 1414
Dietrich II von Moers 1414 1463
Ruprecht of the Palatinate 1463 1480
Hermann IV of Hesse 1480 1508
Philip II of Daun-Oberstein 1508 1515
Hermann V von Wied 1515 1546 Sought to reform religious practice in the Electorate; converted to Protestantism; deposed and excommunicated.
Adolf III of Schauenburg 1546 1556
Anton of Schauenburg 1556 1558
Gebhard I von Mansfeld-Vorderort 1558 1562 A founding member of the Schmalkaldic League
Friedrich IV of Wied 1562 1567
Salentin von Isenburg-Grenzau 1567 1577 Upon the deaths of his younger and older brothers, there were no more brothers to carry on the family name; he left Church administration in 1577, married, had two sons and conducted a successful military career. He died in 1610.
Gebhard II Truchsess von Waldburg 1577 1583 Converted to Calvinism in 1582; married Agnes von Mansfeld-Eisleben (cousin once removed of the archbishop and Prince-Elector Gebhard I von Mansfeld-Vorderort); Competing archbishop elected; Cologne War decides the outcome.
Ernest of Bavaria 1583 1612 Brother of William V, Duke of Bavaria; Papal Nunciature established permanently in Cologne.
Ferdinand of Bavaria 1612 1650 Brother of Maximilian I, Elector of Bavaria, nephew of Ernest of Bavaria. Principle of Secundogeniture.
Maximilian Henry of Bavaria 1650 1688 First cousin of Ferdinand Maria, Elector of Bavaria
Joseph Clemens of Bavaria 1688 1723 Brother of Maximilian II Emanuel, Elector of Bavaria. Put under Imperial ban for siding with France in the War of the Spanish Succession.
Clemens Augustus I of Bavaria 1723 1761 Brother of Charles, Elector of Bavaria and Emperor. Last Wittelsbach to hold the office.
Maximilian Frederick of Königsegg-Rothenfels 1761 1784
Maximilian Franz of Austria 1784 1801 The electorate's left-bank territories were seized and annexed by France in 1795
Anton Viktor of Austria 1801 1803 The electorate's remaining territories were secularized and given to the Landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt in 1803.

Modern Archbishops of Cologne: 1824 to date

External links

  • (German) List of Bishops and Archbishops of Cologne Archdiocese of Cologne (Erzbistum Köln)
  • (English) List of Bishops and Archbishops of Cologne Cologne Cathedral (Kölner Dom)
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