Imperial Ducal Abbey of Kempten
|Imperial Ducal Abbey of Kempten in the Allgäu
Free City of Kempten in the Allgäu
Reichsfürststift Kempten im Allgäu
Freie Stadt Kempten im Allgäu
|Imperial Abbey of the Holy Roman Empire|
Coat of arms
|Historical era||Middle Ages|
|-||Abbey rebuilt||941 1213|
as a Duke-Abbey
|-||Abbey property sold,
became Free City
|-||Mediatised to Bavaria||1802/3 1802|
Kempten Abbey was built around 748. It had financial and political support from Hildegard, wife of Charlemagne and become one of the more prominent monasteries in the Frankish Empire. It was rebuilt in 941 by the abbot Ulrich of Augsburg after Magyar raids.
In 1289 the neighbouring settlement became a Free Imperial City, starting a rivalry. In 1525 the last property rights of the abbots in the Imperial City were sold in the so-called “Great Purchase”, marking the start of the co-existence of two independent cities bearing the same name next to each other.
Kempten had a territory of around 40,000 people and was one of the larger monastery states.
Thirty Years' War
More conflict arose after the Imperial City converted to Protestantism in direct opposition to the Catholic monastery (and Free City) in 1527. During the Thirty Years' War (1632–33), the abbey was destroyed by Swedish troops.
Kempten was the center of a religious controversy in 1706 when the abbot confiscated a Reformed church, which provoked Frederick I of Prussia to confiscate all Benedictine monasteries and churches until the church was returned.
The abbey ordered the last execution of a witch in the Holy Roman Empire in 1775.
During the Napoleonic Wars the Abbey came under Bavarian rule (1802–03) and was formerly dissolved in the German Mediatisation with its territory being annexed by Bavaria. In 1819, the abbey's territory was united with the territory of the Imperial City into a single communal entity.
- Beales, Derek Edward Dawson (2003). Prosperity and Plunder: European Catholic Monasteries in the Age of Revolution, 1650-1815 (2003 ed.). Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521590907. - Total pages: 395
- Whaley, Joachim (2011). Germany and the Holy Roman Empire: Volume II: The Peace of Westphalia to the Dissolution of the Reich, 1648-1806 Oxford History of Early Modern Europe Series (2011 ed.). Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780199693078. - Total pages: 752