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Archbishopric of Hamburg
Erzbistum Hamburg
Arms-Bremen-Diocese
831 - 1223

Capital
Circle
Bench
Hamburg
none
none
Established 831
Merged with Bremen 848
Relocated to Bremen 1223

The Archbishopric of Hamburg was a Roman Catholic archdiocese based in Hamburg in northwestern Germany. It existed from 1223 until 1223, when the diocese was transferred to nearby Bremen.

The Archdiocese (831 - 1223)Edit

The Emperor Charlemagne conquered the region of Hamburg and fortified the city between 805 and 810, and used it as a base for the Christianisation of the Saxons and Wends. With permission from Pope Gregory IV, the Emperor Louis I established an archiepiscopal see at Hamburg with jurisdiction over all missions in Scandinavia, northern Russia, Iceland and Greenland. The see was given to St Ansgar but Viking and Obodrite raids forced him to relocate to Bremen. After the death of the Bishop of Bremen in 845, St Ansgar petitioned to have the two sees united. The request was granted and the sees were united in 848, however the consolidation was not ratified by Pope Nicholas I until 864.

Archbishop Rimbert (865 - 888) worked for the conversion of the Danes despite continuous Wendish attacks. Rimbert's successors, St Adalgar (888 - 909) and St Holger (909 - 916), were both monks from Corvey and during their reign the Archbishopric of Cologne renewed their claim to Bremen. St Unni (918 - 936) was known as the third "Apostle of the North" through his efforts to convert the Danes and Swedes. His successor St Adalgag (936 - 988) established the suffragan sees of Oldenburg (later Lübeck) (940), Aarhuus (946), Schleswig (c. 948), Ripen (950) and Odensee (980).

Hamburg was rebuilt in 1015. After constructing a cathedral and an archiepiscopal palace, Archbishop Bezzelin Alebrand (1035 - 1043) officially moved the seat of the archdiocese to Hamburg. Archbishop Adalbert I the Great (1043 - 1072), a member of the Saxon ducal family, brought the archbishopric to its height. Adalbert's successors were far less capable and witnessed the separation of Lund and the north Germanic sees from it, which left only nominal sees. The Archbishops Frederick I (1104 - 1123), Adalbert II (1123 - 1148) and Hartwig I of Stade (1148 - 1168) failed in their attempts to restore the failing fortunes of the archbishopric.

During the incumbency of Baldwin of Holland (1168 - 1178), the archbishopric came under the temporal and ecclesiastical control of Duke Henry III the Lion of Saxony. After the death of Hartwig II of Ultede (1184 - 1207), a disputed election occurred in which the cathedral of Hamburg elected Waldemar of Schleswig whilst the cathedral of Bremen elected Burchard I of Stumpenhausen. A conflict quickly ensued and even the early death of Burchard did not cease hostilities. In 1210 both chapters elected Gerard I of Wildeshausen (1210 - 1219) although he couldn't take control of the see until 1216.

Gerard II of Lippe (1219 - 1258) officially moved the see to Bremen in 1223.


See alsoEdit