Adalbert of Hamburg

Adalbert of Bremen (also: Albert, Adalbert I, * 1000 probably in Goseck, † March 16, 1072 in Goslar ) was Archbishop of Bremen and Hamburg from 1043 to 1072 and one of the leaders of the empire at the time of Henry IV


Adalbert came from the Saxon dynasty of the Counts of Goseck on the Saale, which later became the House of Wettin hung out. He was educated at the cathedral school of Halberstadt and was also canon and provost in 1032. His brothers were the Counts Palatine Dedo and Frederick of Saxony. Adalbert was considered an experienced and ambitious politician, but with a penchant for vanity and aufbrausendem temperament.

With the Emperor Henry III. Adalbert joined a close and trusting relationship; among other things, the Archbishop warned the rulers against an attempted assassination of Bill Unger. Adalbert was the successor of Archbishop Becelin called Adalbrand invested and of Benedict IX. provided with the archiepiscopal pallium. Adalbert tried to build in Hamburg patriarchy and claim this suggestion, the sole jurisdiction in his diocese, which he many Saxon feudal lords, particularly the Bill Unger, made ​​his bitter enemies. As an accompanying advisor to the Emperor, he increasingly exerted influence on the policies of Henry III. Shortly before then Clement II was enthroned as Pope, Adalbert had even acted briefly as a candidate of the Emperor of the Roman Pontificate. But in 1046 he renounced the papacy in favor of the experiment, a patriarchate of the North with twelve suffragan sees in Scandinavia to build on Iceland and Greenland. In 1056 he dedicated the Icelanders Isleifur Gissurarson bishop over Iceland and Greenland.

The offer of the Pope's chair is considered in more recent research due to the only appearing in Adam of Bremen and vague mention and other ambiguities as disproved.

The broad-based patriarchy plans were thwarted by the resistance of the curial reform party that wanted to leave no new intermediate instances. As a formal balance, however which hardly brought a gain in power with him, stretched Pope Leo IX. the Archdiocese to the Arctic Ocean and Adalbert appointed legate. Since 1056 Adalbert won great influence on the immature King Henry IV, he repressed all other princes, in particular Archbishop Anno II of Cologne from the regency and 1064 sole ruler. He was at this time extensive forest and hunting rights in forests of Bremen, Emsgau, Engerngau, Duisburg, Weser Uplands and Westphalia. 1066 Adalbert was himself overthrown because he had taken advantage of the sovereign power to enrich his Church from the crown estate. As a result, brought the Abodrites against his missionary work in the new bishoprics Oldenburg, Ratzeburg and Mecklenburg.

After the kidnapping of Henry IV by the Archbishop Anno II of Cologne, he was next to this then regent of the kingdom. By pursuing his idea of ​​patriarchy but increasingly came into conflict with Rome. And through the great influence on the imperial policy was the resistance of the German princes, especially the Bill Unger, transported, which eventually operated Adalbert deposed and forced him to flee to Goslar. 1069 he returned to the court and probably encouraged Henry IV in his policy on the establishment of a royal territory in the resin. However, Adalbert was able to leave a arrondiertes and powerful archbishopric.

In Bremen, he was the leading sponsor the rebuilding of 1041 spent Domes, for building materials he had this, among other things, built by his predecessors wall of Domburg again outwear. In honor of Adalbert's a valuable memorial and grave plate was installed in 1940 in the Ostkrypta of Bremen Cathedral, which can still be seen today.

The chronicler Adam of Bremen reported in its Hamburg church history in detail about his work.


  • Adam of Bremen: Gesta Pontificum Hammaburgensis ecclesiae. In: Werner Trillmich / Rudolf Buchner ( eds.), Sources of the 9th and 11th centuries, the history of the Hamburg Church and the Empire ( FSGA 11), 7, opposite the 6th at a supplement from Volker Scior expanded edition, Darmstadt 2000, pp. 137-499, ISBN 3-534-00602- X.
  • Otto Heinrich May: synopses of the archbishops of Bremen, Bremen Vol 1 1937, 33ff.