Conrad von Bibra

Prince Bishop of Würzburg
Duke in Franconia


Born in 1490, he studied at the universities of Cologne, Bologna, Erfurt, and Ingolstadt. His whole life Conrad seemed to have a hard time making up his mind about being a priest. Three times between 1520 and 1532 he entered a priestly position and then resigned. In 1525 during the Peasant Rebellion, Conrad was among the defenders of the fortress Marienberg at Würzburg which was under siege.  Afterward, he served on the commission determining Münster in Würzburg. Already on July 1, 1540, he was surprisingly elected Prince Bishop.  Afterward, he showed an independent even uncooperative attitude. Seven times he put off his ordination as a priest and bishop. Also despite the Kaiser’s admonitions, he gave excuses and refused to personally attend meetings of the Reichstag.

In 1542 when the plague broke out in Würzburg, he moved his court to Aschach and Neustadt. In August of 1544, after reigning only four years, he died, which apparently solved the problem of his never having completed his ordination vows or formal installation as bishop.

He left behind two natural children named Conrad and Katherine Biber. Katherine married a Christoph Kretzen.  Kretzen later murdered the next prince bishop, Melchior Zobel, on behalf of his employer Grumbach.  The spot is marked next to the All Saints Bridge in Würzburg on the fortress side.

Not everyone can be a hero.

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Conrad von Bibra