Bishopric of Metz

Prince-Bishopric of Metz
Principauté épiscopale de Metz (fr)
Fürstbistum Metz (de)
State of the Holy Roman Empire
the 10th century–1552

Coat of arms

The Three Bishoprics of Metz, Toul and Verdun, about 1648
Capital Metz
Vic-sur-Seille (from 1234)
Languages Lotharingian French
Government Principality
Historical era Middle Ages
  County of Metz
   Ceded to Metz diocese 10th century the 10th century
  Metz Imperial City 1189 - 1234
  Imperial immediacy
   Three Bishoprics
    annexed by France
  Treaty of Westphalia
    recognises annexation
Preceded by
Succeeded by
County of Metz
Early modern France

The Bishopric of Metz was a prince-bishopric of the Holy Roman Empire. It was one of the Three Bishoprics that were annexed by France in 1552.

The Bishops of Metz had already ruled over a significant amount of territories within the former Kingdom of Lotharingia, which by the 870 Treaty of Meerssen became a part of East Francia. They had to struggle for their independence from the Dukes of Lorraine, acquired the lands of the Counts of Metz, but had to face the rise of their capital Metz to the status of an Imperial City in 1189. In 1234 the unrest of the Metz citizens forced the bishops to move their residence to Vic-sur-Seille.

In 1357 Emperor Charles IV of Luxembourg again confirmed the bishopric's Imperial immediacy. From the accession of Henri of Lorraine-Vaudémont in 1484 however, the diocese was ruled by bishops from the House of Lorraine, who by their close relations with the House of Valois brought Metz unter the influence of the French crown. By the 1552 Treaty of Chambord, an alliance of revolting Protestant Imperial princes led by Elector Maurice of Saxony promised the overlordship over the Three Bishoprics of Metz, Toul and Verdun to King Henry II of France. Metz was occupied by Henry's troops and annexed by the French crown, finally acknowledged by the Empire in the 1648 Peace of Westphalia.

See also

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