The Bishopric of Constance
was a diocese
of the Roman Catholic Church
from about 585 until 1821. Its seat was Konstanz at the
western end of Lake
Constance in the
south-west corner of Germany. The diocese covered,
in present-day borders, a large part of Switzerland, the largest part of Baden-Württemberg, and a small part of Austria.
Bishopric of Constance was founded in the 6th century when the seat
of the bishop of Vindonissa was moved to Constance.
The Bishopric was
originally subordinate to the archbishop of Besançon
the 8th century it was subordinate to the archbishop of Mainz
. From the 12th
century until 1802 it was an Imperial
of the Holy Roman
, confirmed by Frederick I Barbarossa
1155. During the Early
Middle Ages the bishop was also the political ruler of Constance, but towards the end of the 12th Century his power
in the Free City State was reduced to a small zone around the
Numerous bishops hence fell into conflict with
during the Protestant
Reformation, the seat of the bishop was moved to Meersburg.
In 1802, the Bishopric was dissolved as a
state and became part of Baden
The diocese was finally dissolved by Pope
in 1821, after Ignaz Heinrich von Wessenberg
had been elected bishop in 1817. While Wessenberg was supported by
the government of Baden, the Pope never recognized his election.
The Pope disagreed with Wessenberg's liberal views, and dissolved
the diocese in order to prevent Wessenberg from becoming bishop.
The diocese became part of the Archdiocese of Freiburg