9 September 2013

Wolfgang Dietrich von Raitenau (1587-1617)

Wolfgang Dietrich von Raitenau was born on 26-3-1559 at Hofen Castle in Lochau near Bregenz in Further Austria. He was the son of colonel Hans Werner von Raintenau and Helene von Hohenems, a sister of Markus Sittikus von Hohenems Altemps (1533-1595), a niece of Pope Pius IV (1499–1565), and a sister-in-law of cardinal Charles Borromeo (1538–1584).          

Hofen Castle
Wolfgang Dietrich
Wolfgang Dietrich became Archbishop of Salzburg at the young age of 28 in 1587. After his election Wolfgang Dietrich continued the harsh measures of the Counter-Reformation initiated by his predecessors and in 1588 had all Protestants expelled from the city of Salzburg.  

Salome Alt
Shortly after his installation as Archbishop, Wolfgang Dietrich fell in love with a beautiful merchant´s daughter, named Salome Alt. They wanted to marry, but their appeal for an dispensation by the Pope, which would allow the archbishop to marry legally despite his profession, was refused. Nevertheless, the couple lived together for over 22 years. 
Salome Alt was never an ordinary mistress as she was always the only woman in the bishop´s live. The archbishop and his mistress had 16 children. Only 10 children survived their infancy, 2 of their sons married, and a further 2 followed their father´s profession and became clergymen.   

For his mistress Wolfgang Dietrich built the palace Mirabell, back than called "Altenau". Today the palace is situated in the centre of Salzburg, but in the 17th century it was situated on the edge of the medieval city. 

Wolfgang Dietrich was deposed as Archbishop after political conflicts in 1612. He was locked up in the dungeons of his former fortress Hohensalzburg. Salome had to flee with their children to a cousin in Upper Austria. She died there at the old age of 94. Wolf Dietrich died in captivity on 16-1-1617. 
Altenau was re-named "Mirabell" by Dietrich's cousin and successor, Markus Sittikus von Hohenems (1574-1619). The current neoclasical appearance of Mirabell dates from about 1818, when the place was restored after a blaze. 

Mirabell Palace around 1735

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