Electorate of Cologne
1356 - 1803


Bonn after 1525
Electoral Rhenish
Council of Electors
Confirmed Electors 1356
Banned 1706 - 1714
Secularised 1803

The Electorate of Cologne was the seat the Archbishopric of Cologne held in the College of Electors in the Holy Roman Empire. From 1238, the Archbishops of Cologne were consistently electors (permanently from 1263), and the Golden Bull of 1356 confirmed the Archbishops rights to partake in Imperial and German elections. The Archbishops of Cologne were the third electors, and they voted second.

The Electorate was part of the Electoral Rhenish Circle, which also included three other electors: the Electorate of Mainz, the Electorate of Trier and the Electorate of the Palatinate. For their part in the War of the Spanish Succession, the Archbishop of Cologne came under the Imperial Ban in 1706 and were stripped of their electoral rights, but these were restored in 1714 after the Peace of Baden. In 1795, the Electorate's territories on the western bank of the Rhine River were annexed by France, and were formally ceded in 1801. The Archbishopric was secularised in 1803 (although there was not a recognised archbishop since 1801) and the Electorate was abolished.