Talk:Electorate of Cologne

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Archbishops of Cologne, source:

Modern Hierarchy vs. Ecclesiastical Princes of the HRE[edit]

It seems to me that no good is caused by confusing the two. I think this article should probably restrict itself to the ecclesiastical principality, and that we should have a separate article - Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cologne, about the modern archdiocese. Any thoughts? john k 00:15, 9 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Hi, John is absolutely right. There is a clear difference between the "Archbishopric of Cologne" and the "Electorate of Cologne". The latter was a principality of the Holy Roman Empire, a secular state, which was dissolved in 1803. It was ruled by the archbishop of Cologne not in his function as bishop but as a prince of the empire. The extent of the archbishopric, which exists until today, was much greater than that of the electorate and contained territories of other german princes and Free Imperial Cities. Anyway, in these areas the archbishop of Cologne didn't have any secular but only ecclesiastical power. 14:14, 9 May 2005 (UTC)



Can someone tell me if the arms are correct? The crozier, mitre and the "double-cross" (don't know the name) are all on the image I based this from. More data available at image desc page; feedback to me please. Greentubing 10:06, 31 January 2006 (UTC)

Bonn and Cologne[edit]

So, just to be clear, the Archbishops of Cologne lived for many centuries at Bonn, but they still had the title "Archbishop of Cologne"? Did their secular rule actually encompass the city of Cologne? DId Bonn have a bishop of its own? --Jfruh (talk) 01:27, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

Cologne was an Imperial Free city, and thus free of control by the Archbishop. I assume the Cathedral itself, however, was under his temporal authority, rather than that of the city. The issue of sovereignty is, I think, rather complicated in such cases, so I'm not completely sure. Bonn, like most places in Germany, was not a diocesan seat - there was no Bishop of Bonn. This situation is in mild contrast to the situation of the Archbishopric of Trier, which included the city of Trier, but whose Archbishops mostly lived in Koblenz. The issue of a bishop not having actual temporal control of his technical "seat" was fairly common in the various imperial bishoprics - Augsburg, Regensburg, Basel, Constance, Strasbourg, Worms, Speyer, Besançon, and probably several other town were not under their bishops' temporal control from a fairly early date. john k 21:53, 3 September 2006 (UTC)
You have to make the difference between the territories of the Archbishopric and the much smaller one of the Electoral State. The seat of the Archbishopric was Cologne. Instead the Electoral State (Kurfürstentum Köln) was a political territory, ruled by the Archbishop/Prince-Elector of Cologne. Since the late medieval age, Cologne, now a Free Imperial City was not part of the Electoral State, the residence of the Prince-Elector having been moved to Bonn. --DaQuirin 15:55, 26 June 2007 (UTC)

Title and such[edit]

This article was written to discuss a state, the temporal territories ruled by the Archbishops of Cologne within the Holy Roman Empire, and not a diocese. I indicated this ages ago, and I wrote this article about the state. If someone wants to start an article about the diocese, they should go ahead and w rite Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cologne, or Archdiocese of Cologne, or whatever. But they shouldn't destroy this article to do so. john k 16:46, 31 May 2007 (UTC)

It seems to me that the historic state should be at Electorate of Cologne and the modern diocese at Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cologne. Archbishopric of Cologne could either redirect to the modern diocese or be a disambiguation page. Olessi (talk) 01:16, 19 January 2008 (UTC)
This article should definitely be called Electorate of Cologne (german: Kurfürstentum Köln or Kurköln). As DaQuirin has already pointed out, the Electorate and the Archbishopric of Cologne were two different territories and only partially congruent. The Electorate, consisting only of the temporal possessions of the archbishopric was much smaller than this diocese. It was ruled by the archbishop not as such but as a normal prince elector of the Holy Roman Empire. So, as a Lord temporal, he had a lot of prerogatives (e.g coinage) within the boarders of his Electoral State which he did not have as archbishop in other parts of his diocese. I know, this double function of the ecclesiastical princes - like the whole structure of the Holy Roman Empire - are very complicated and difficult to explain. But anyway it should be done correctly, here as well as in the articles about the Archbishopric of Trier and the Archbishopric of Mainz, whose authors have made the same mistake. I'm a German and I fear my English is not good enough to do it myself but I hope someone else will do. (talk) 16:37, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
Just to note (seven years later, sigh), but "Archbishopric" in English generally refers to a secular principality ruled by an archbishop. The term for the area of a bishop's spiritual or ecclesiastical authority is an "Archdiocese" (or an "Ecclesiastical Province," if you're including the other dioceses under the authority of a particular Archbishop). So the Archbishopric of Cologne is the same thing as the Electorate of Cologne, but the Archdiocese of Cologne is the term for the Church entity. john k (talk) 00:06, 7 September 2015 (UTC)
Thank you for the clarification, but it's explained differently in the article on archbishopric (diocese): "A diocese also may be referred to as a bishopric or episcopal see" / "An archdiocese (or archiepiscopal see or archbishopric)". --DaQuirin (talk) 15:10, 28 August 2016 (UTC)


It'd be really nice if we could have a detailed description of the geography of the Electorate somewhere in this article. john k (talk) 00:07, 7 September 2015 (UTC)