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Ingelheim am Rhein

In Ingelheim Charlemagne built a palace as an important temporary seat of residence and government to kings and emperors mainly of the early Carolingian and Ottonian dynasties. After the recent excavations, a selection of features was preserved in situ, allowing visitors to appreciate them in their historic context.

  • Personalities

Personalities

Otto I, the Great Fig. 41

Fig. 41: Otto I, the Great from the anonym imperial chronicle of Henry V, about 1112/1114. Credit: : Creators of the Chronicle of Bishop Otto of Freising (Source: www.bildindex.de) [Public domain, CC-PD-Mark], via Wikimedia Commons

Fig. 41: Otto I, the Great from the anonym imperial chronicle of Henry V, about 1112/1114. Credit: : Creators of the Chronicle of Bishop Otto of Freising (Source: www.bildindex.de) [Public domain, CC-PD-Mark], via Wikimedia Commons

Otto I, the Great (912–973) descends from the Liudolfings, and became emperor of the Holy Roman Empire in 962. Under his rule and the rule of the following Ottonians, the Pfalz at Ingelheim was preferred and favoured with numerous royal visits. There are ten visits documented for Otto I including two large imperial synods (948 and 972), one ‘Hoftag’ or irregular royal assembly (956), and two Easter celebrations (958 and 965). An Easter celebration in 953 was cancelled as Otto I left the Pfalz prematurely after a conspiracy by his sons came to be known, and Ingelheim was not deemed safe enough.69

Otto III Fig. 9

Otto III (980–1002) became king in 983 and emperor of the Holy Roman Empire in 996. He is the ruler with the most proven stays at the Pfalz at Ingelheim. His grandmother Adelheid and his mother Theophanu, who oversaw the running of the royal affairs for Otto III when he was still under age, also spent a lot of their time at Ingelheim together with Otto III. The preference for Ingelheim was probably due to its proximitiy to Willigis (940–1011 ), archbishop of Mainz and godfather of Otto III. When Otto III took over his own affairs after 994, Aachen became his favourite Pfalz.70

Henry III Fig. 42

Fig. 42: Henry III at 5th June 1040, at his anniversary of acceptance of reign, Staats‐ und Universitätsbibliothek Bremen. Credit: Unknown, monastery of Echternach [Public domain, PD-Art (PD-100)], via Wikimedia Commons

Fig. 42: Henry III at 5th June 1040, at his anniversary of acceptance of reign, Staats‐ und Universitätsbibliothek Bremen. Credit: Unknown, monastery of Echternach [Public domain, PD-Art (PD-100)], via Wikimedia Commons

Henry III (1017–1056) became king in 1039 and emperor of the Holy Roman Empire in 1046. He married his second wife Agnes, daughter of William III, Duke of Aquitaine, in 1043. The connection brought Henry III primarily political advantages. Initially Agnes was crowned in Mainz; the wedding itself took place in Ingelheim. As with any festivity of this order, many important personalities of the time congregated for this significant event. The wedding is generally thought of as the last great imperial festivity to have taken place at Ingelheim.71

Johanna of Ingelheim (Pope Joan) Fig. 43

Fig. 43: Johanna von Ingelheim / Pope Joan at the ‘Schedelsche Weltchronik’, 1493. Credit: Hartmann Schedel [Public domain, CC‐PD‐Mark], via Wikimedia Commons

Fig. 43: Johanna von Ingelheim / Pope Joan at the ‘Schedelsche Weltchronik’, 1493. Credit: Hartmann Schedel [Public domain, CC‐PD‐Mark], via Wikimedia Commons

Pope Joan or Johannes Anglicus is a legendary figure mentioned in various documents since the 13th century  and said to be born in Ingelheim. According to different sources, the female scholar pretending to be a man became pope either in the 9th century following Leo IV, or towards the end of the 11th century. The exact course of events also differs depending on the documents.72 The story does not only occupy historians, it has repeatedly been the topic of fictional works, the most famous of which is probably the novel ‘Pope Joan’ by Donna W. Cross.73

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Fig. 44

Fig. 44: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe at the oil painting of Joseph Karl Stieler, 1828. Credit: Joseph Karl Stieler [Public domain, PD‐Art (PD‐old‐100)], via Wikimedia Commons

Fig. 44: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe at the oil painting of Joseph Karl Stieler, 1828. Credit: Joseph Karl Stieler [Public domain, PD‐Art (PD‐old‐100)], via Wikimedia Commons

The poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749–1832) visited the ‘Pfalz’ in September 1814. He describes the Pfalz with the following words: “This site, situated on a gentle hillock, belongs to the district known as the valley of the Holy Roman Empire. We found the palace of Charlemagne half destroyed, fragmented, parcelled out; the area can still be recognized by the high walls which might be of later date. A piece of a white marble column can be seen build into the gate (…). Different investigations were carried out during the reign of the French, and some of the columns were brought to Paris.”.74

References

69 Kohtz, Harald, ‘Ingelheim als Schauplatz historischen Geschehens. Aus Annalen, Chroniken, Biographien, Briefen und Geschichtsdarstellungen’, in Lachenal, François and Weise, Harald T. (eds), Ingelheim am Rhein 774-1974. Geschichte und Gegenwart, Ingelheim am Rhein, 1974, p. 240
Laudage, Johannes, Otto der Große (912-973). Eine Biographie, Regensburg, 2001

70 Eckhoff, Ekkehard, Theophanu und der König. Otto III. und seine Welt, Stuttgart, 1996
Eickhoff, Ekkehard, Kaiser Otto III. Die erste Jahrtausendwende und die Entfaltung Europas, Stuttgart, 1999
Struve, Tilmann, ‘3. Otto III.’, in Angermann, Norbert et al. (eds), Lexikon des Mittelalters, vol. 6, München, Zürich, 1993, pp. 1568f.

71 Laudage, Johannes, ‘Heinrich III. (1017-1056). Ein Lebensbild’, in Rathofer, Johannes (ed.), Das salische Kaiser-Evangeliar. Kommentar 1, Madrid, Münster, 1999, pp. 87-145
Struve, Tilmann, ‘3. Heinrich III.’, in Bautier, Robert-Henri et al. (eds), Lexikon des Mittelalters, vol. 4, München, Zürich, 1993, pp. 2039f.
Ziemann, Daniel, ‘Heinrich III. Krise oder Höhepunkt des salischen Königtums?’, in Struve, Tilman (ed.), Die Salier, das Reich und der Niederrhein, Köln, Weimar, Wien, 2008, pp. 13-46

72 Groll, Karin, ‘Johanna’, in Bautz, Traugott (ed.), Biographisch-Bibliographisches Kirchenlexikon, vol. 3, Herzberg, 1992, pp. 190-192
Kerner, Max and Herbers, Klaus, Die Päpstin Johanna. Biographie einer Legende, Köln, Wien, Weimar, 2010

73 Cross, Donna W., Pope Joan: a novel (New York, 1996), German: Die Päpstin: Roman, Berlin, 1996

74 Kohtz, Harald, ‘Dichter über Ingelheim. Aus Tagebüchern, Briefen und einer Autobiographie’, in Lachenal, François and Weise, Harald T. (eds), Ingelheim am Rhein 774-1974. Geschichte und Gegenwart, Ingelheim am Rhein, 1974, pp. 336f.