Bishopric of Havelberg

The diocese Havel Mountain was founded by King Otto I in 948. It was under as a suffragan to the archbishopric of Magdeburg. The territory of the Bishopric was recognized in 1571 after the secularization of the Electorate of Brandenburg.


With a victory in the battle of Lenzen, some 50 kilometers downriver from Havel Berg, Henry I succeeded in 929, a significant foray into the territory of the Slavic tribes. Henry's son Otto I continued the conquest ostelbischer areas and founded the bishoprics of Brandenburg Havel mountain and for the conversion of the local population. The diocese foundation is also the first mention of Havel mountain dar. Already 983 broke out in the region a riot Slavic groups, during which also the episcopal see of Havel mountain was conquered, so that the sphere of influence of the German kings was pushed back to the west side of the Elbe. Now, a new period of Slavic rule followed in Havel mountain.

See also:

  • Slavic uprising of 983
  • History Havel Bergs

Diocesan development since the High Middle Ages

The Magdeburg Archbishop Norbert of Xanten in 1129 consecrated a bishop for Havel mountain, until now-famous Anselm of Havelberg, later Archbishop of Ravenna. 1150 Anselm founded a cathedral chapter consisting of Premonstratensians his diocese. Already in 1151 the property of the diocese was separated from that of the bishop. The chapter was a member of the Saxon Zirkarie of the Premonstratensian order. The provost was also Archdeacon of Havel mountain. Of the 20 to 30 canons were half to two-thirds of noble descent, however, this trend is increasing.

The spiritual structure formation of the diocese withdrew until well into the 13th century. The nine Archidiakonate were referred to in the diocese Havel mountain as deaneries. The episcopal rule in the country Hochstift was divided into four offices. These included the areas around Wittstock and Dossow (Official Wittstock with 17 villages ), Bad Wilsnack and the plate castle (Official plate castle with ten villages ), Schönhausen and Fischbeck (Official Schönhausen with these two places ) and Fehr Bellin (Official Bellin with three villages ).

1506 requested the bishop and chapter transmutation (conversion ) of the chapter so that it now became a Säkularkanonikerstift. 1514 the Elector of Brandenburg was left to the right to appoint the Provost. 1522 undertook the chapter to make any election of bishops without the consent of the electors.

As part of a visitation of Martin Luther, the diocese has been reformed in the period 1540-1545. In the following years the cathedral chapter of bishops chose exclusively sons of the Elector of Brandenburg. 1571 the bishopric was secularized, and the territory of the Bishopric was annexed by the Electorate of Brandenburg. In the course of secularization, the Protestant cathedral chapter was dissolved in 1819.

The most important place of pilgrimage of the diocese was Wilsnack in Prignitz with his miracle Blood Church. The already since Jan Hus (c. 1403 ) controversial blood miracle hosts led to constant clashes between the suffragan and the archbishopric of Magdeburg.


In Havelberg the bishops resided on the disk castle in Prignitz, however, preferred from 1271 to the death of the last Catholic bishop of Havel mountain in 1548, the Old Bishop's Castle in the conveniently located and well- fortified town of Wittstock; so Wittstock was with his Marienkirche real Residenzort of the bishop, while living in mountain Havel was determined by remaining there cathedral chapter.