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|Prince-Provostry of Berchtesgaden|
|Fürstpropstei Berchtesgaden (de)|
|State of the Holy Roman Empire|
Collegiate church and provostry
|Historical era||Middle Ages|
|-||Joined Bavarian Circle||1500|
|-||Part of Kingdom of Bavaria||1810|
Berchtesgaden Provostry or the Prince-Provostry of Berchtesgaden (German: Fürstpropstei Berchtesgaden) was a "reichsunmittelbar" canonry, or collegiate foundation, of the Augustinian Canons and its territory, in Berchtesgaden in Bavaria, Germany.
The territory of the principality comprised the communities of the Berchtesgaden valley, that is, the modern communities of Berchtesgaden, Bischofswiesen, Marktschellenberg, Ramsau and Schönau am Königssee, as well as a number of estates further afield.
The monastery, dedicated to Saint Peter and Saint John the Baptist, was founded as a community of Augustinian Canons by Count Berengar of Sulzbach in 1102 AD under the directions of the will of his mother, the late Countess Irmgard.
The site of the monastery was an extremely strategic one. Firstly, it is in an area possessing immensely valuable salt deposits, and was situated in such a way that it was able to act as a buffer state between its much larger neighbours, Bavaria and Salzburg, and to make this situation work to its advantage. Secondly, the Berchtesgaden valley is almost entirely enclosed by high mountains, except for a single point of access to the north, and is thus virtually impregnable. In these circumstances, the provosts had little difficulty in establishing the territorial independence of the monastery, which became an Imperial abbey in 1194. In 1380 the provosts became "Reichsfürste" and from 1559 sat in the Reichstag as Prince-Provosts, a rank almost comparable to that of a Prince-Bishop.
The position of Prince-Provost was frequently held in conjunction with other high ecclesiastical positions, and the provosts often lived elsewhere. For the whole of the 17th century and a few years into the 18th, the title and territories were held by members of the Bavarian royal family, the Wittelsbachs.
In 1802/1803 the provostry and its territories were secularised and passed first to the short-lived Electorate of Salzburg, then in 1805 to the Austrian Empire, and finally in 1810 to the Kingdom of Bavaria. The monastic buildings were used for a while as a barracks, but in 1818 the monastery was designated as a royal residence of the Wittelsbachs, who used it as a summer palace.
Since the end of the monarchy in Bavaria the buildings have belonged to the Wittelsbach Compensation Fund (Wittelsbacher Ausgleichsfond). Some of the rooms are open to the public, while other parts of the building are still used by the Wittelsbachs. The monastic church is now a parish church.
Provosts, later Prince-Provosts, of Berchtesgaden
- Eberwin 1111-1142
- Hugo I 1142-1148
- Heinrich I 1148-1174
- Dietrich 1174-1178
- Friedrich I 1178-1188
- Bernhard I of Schönstätten 1188-1201
- Gerhard 1201
- Hugo II 1201-1210
- Konrad Garrer 1210-1211
- Friedrich II Ellinger 1211-1217
- Heinrich II 1217-1231
- Friedrich III of Ortenburg 1231-1239
- Bernhard II 1239-1252
- Konrad II 1252
- Heinrich III 1252-1257
- Konrad III von Medling 1257-1283
- Johann I Sachs von Sachsenau 1283-1303
- Hartung von Wildon 1303-1306
- Eberhard Sachs von Sachsenau 1306-1316
- Konrad IV Tanner 1316-1333
- Heinrich IV von Inzing 1333-1351
- Reinhold Zeller 1351-1355
- Otto Tanner 1355-1357
- Peter I Pfaffinger 1357-1362
- Jakob I von Vansdorf 1362-1368
- Greimold Wulp 1368-1377
- Ulrich I Wulp 1377-1384 concurrently with
- Sieghard Waller 1381-1384
- Konrad V Thorer von Thörlein 1384-1393
- Pilgrim von Puchheim 1393-1396
- Gregorius Schenk von Osterwitz 1396-1403
- Berthold von Wehingen 1404
- Peter II Pienzenauer 1404-1432
- Johann II Praun 1432-1446
- Bernhard III Leuprechtinger 1446-1473
- Erasmus Pretschlaiffer 1473-1486
- Ulrich II Pernauer 1486-1496
- Balthasar Hirschauer 1496-1508
- Gregor Rainer 1508-1522
- Wolfgang I Lenberger 1523-1541
- Wolfgang II Griestätter 1541-1567 (created Prince-Provost in 1559)
- Jakob II Putrich 1567-1594
- Ferdinand of Bavaria 1594-1650
- Maximilian Heinrich of Bavaria 1650-1688
- Joseph Clemens of Bavaria 1688-1723
- Julius Heinrich von Rehlingen-Radau 1728-1732
- Cajetan Anton von Notthaft 1732-1752
- Michael Balthasar von Christalnigg 1752-1768
- Franz Anton Joseph von Hausen-Gleichenstorff 1768-1780
- Joseph Konrad von Schroffenberg-Mös 1780-1803