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Archbishopric of Riga

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Subject: Principality of Koknese, History of Latvia, Livonian Crusade, Prince-bishop, Principality of Jersika
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Archbishopric of Riga

Archbishopric of Riga
Archiepiscopatus Rigensis (la)
Erzbisdom Riga (nds)
Prince-Bishopric of Terra Mariana






Archbishopric of Riga (in yellow), shown within Terra Mariana
Capital Riga
Languages Latin
Low German
Government Monarchy
Archbishop of Riga
 •  1245–73 Albert Suerbeer (first)
 •  1539–63 Wilhelm von Brandenburg (last)
Historical era Middle Ages
 •  Established 1186
 •  Disestablished 1561
Currency Livonian Penny
Livonian Schilling

The Archbishopric of Riga (Latin: Archiepiscopatus Rigensis, Low German: Erzbisdom Riga) was an archbishopric in Medieval Livonia, a subject to the Holy See. It was established in 1186 as the bishopric of Livonia at Üxküll, then after moving to Riga it became the bishopric of Riga in 1202 and was elevated to an archbishopric in 1255.

Archbishops of Riga

The archbishops of Riga were also the secular rulers of Riga until 1561 when during the reformation the territory converted from Catholicism to Lutheranism and all church territories were secularized. The see was restored as a diocese of the Catholic Church in 1918 and raised into an archdiocese in 1923.

Bishops and Archbishops of Riga

Bishopric of Livonia, 1186–1255
1186–1196 Saint Meinhard
1196–1198 Berthold of Hanover
1199–1229 Albert of Riga
1229–1253 Nikolaus of Nauen
Archbishopric of Riga, 1255–1561
1245–1273 Albert Suerbeer
1273–1284 Johannes I of Lune
1285–1294 Johannes II of Vechten
1294–1300 Johannes III of Schwerin
1300–1302 Isarnus Tacconi of Fontiès-d'Aude
1303–1310 Jens Grand
titular, never came to Riga
1304–1341 Friedrich von Pernstein
1341–1347 Engelbert von Dolen
1348–1369 Bromhold von Vyffhusen
1370–1374 Siegfried Blomberg
1374–1393 Johannes IV von Sinten
1393–1418 Johannes V von Wallenrodt
1418–1424 Johannes VI Ambundi[1]
1424–1448 Henning Scharpenberg
1448–1479 Silvester Stodewescher
1479–1484 Sede vacante (empty seat)
1484–1509 Michael Hildebrand
1509–1524 Jasper Linde[2]
1524–1527 Johannes VII Blankenfeld[3]
1528–1539 Thomas Schöning
1539–1563 Wilhelm von Brandenburg

A new Bishopric of Livonia was established in Latgalia in 1621 during the Inflanty Voivodeship of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth.


The Archbishops of Riga were innovators in the field of minting currency, reviving techniques abandoned since the collapse of Rome. The names of individual archbishops after 1418, as well as the years of their respective reigns, are stamped on Livonian pennies excavated at archaeological sites. In many cases, this is the only biographical data available. No Livonian pennies before 1418 have been found.

See also

External links

  • More information about the role of the Archbishopric of Riga in the history of coinage is available at by William UrbanMedieval Livonian Numismatics
  • Archbishopric of Riga (Archived 2009-10-25)
  • Rīgas arhibīskapija (1255-1562)
  • Rīgas bīskapija un virsbīskapija


  1. ^
  2. ^ due to deflation, no coins were minted during the reign of Jasper Linde; biographical data exists in alternate formats
  3. ^ due to deflation, no coins were minted during the reign of Johannes VII Blankenfeld; biographical data exists in alternate formats

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