Hildebold, Archbishop of Cologne
Succeeded by

Hadbold, Archbishop of Cologne

Biographic information

Before 787





Military information

Archbishopric of Cologne

Hildebold (? - 818) was the Bishop of Cologne from 787 until 795 and the Archbishop of Cologne from 795 until 818.

Bishop of CologneEdit

Hildebold, a friend of Charlemagne, was appointed the Bishop of Cologne in 787. In 791 Hildebold was made the Arch-Chaplain and the Chancellor of the Imperial Council. On request from Charlemagne Pope Adrian I lifted from Hildebold the requirement to reside in Cologne.

Archbishop of CologneEdit

Pope Adrian I raised Hildebold to an Archbishop in 795. The dioceses of Utrecht, Liège, Münster, Minden, Osnabrück and Bremen were made suffragan. Hildebold began the construction of an extension of the Cologne Cathedral which was completed only in 870, which in later times was called the Hildebold Cathedral. In 805 he met the first bishop of Münster, St. Ludgar.

Hildebold was the first witness to Charlemagne's will in 811. He led the Synod of Mainz in 813, and in the same year he prepared Louis the Pious to succede his father Charlemagne. When Charlemagne died in 814 he donated to the construction of his tomb in Aachen. With Pope Stephen IV he prepared the coronation of Louis the Pious to become the Holy Roman Emperor in Reims. Hildebold died on 3 September 818 and was buried in the Abbacy of St. Geron.

Friendship of Charlemagne and HildeboldEdit

The friendship of Charlmagne and Hildebold has become something of a legend. It is said that they first met when Charlemagne was hunting in the forests outside of Cologne. After a long day hunting, Charlemagne wanting a rest came to a small chapel to rest. After a while the chapel filled with worshippers and Hildebold gave his sermon. Charlemagne was impressed by Hildebold's sermon that he offered him gold to his chapel. Hildebold rejected, thinking he was only a hunter and not the king, and asked only for a small piece of leather of the deer he killed next so he could bind his old prayer book. Charlemagne was so impressed by this modesty that they became good friends and he widely promoted Hildebold.

Preceded by:


Succeeded by:

Rikulf Bishop of Cologne
787 - 795
Archbishop of Cologne
795 - 818