Cologne a celebrated city on the Rhine, the seat of an early bishopric. The legend that a disciple of the apostle Peter, by the name of Maternus, was the founder and first bishop of the church of Cologne, is now generally abandoned even by Roman Catholic writers. Maternus, the first (historical) bishop of Cologne, is mentioned as early as 313 (Mansi, Collectio Concil. t. 2, fol. 436). The successor of Maternus, Euphrates, attended in 347 the Synod of Sardica, and was one of the delegates of this synod to the Emperor Constantius. The acts of a Synod of Cologne of 346, which state that Euphrates was deposed for being an Arian, are now generally regarded as spurious. In 623-663 we: find Cunibert mentioned as archbishop of Cologne (Rettberg, Kirchengesch. Deutschlands. 2:602); yet it does not appear to have been at the time a regular archbishopric, for bishops of Cologne are mentioned after that date, and Bonifacius (q.v.) in 748 subjected it to the metropolitan of Mayence, from which it was probably detached under Charlemagne, between 794 and 799, in order to be, raised to the dignity of an archbishopric. A national synod was held at Cologne in 874, to regulate the administration of the goods of the Church, and to consecrate the cathedral. The importance this see had obtained in the 10th century is proved by the fact that the Emperor Otto I gave it to his brother Bruno I, the first archbishop who was at the same time a prince of the German Empire. Popes and emperors vied in increasing the wealth and power of the archbishop of Cologne, and synods held at that place declared him to have the right of precedence over all other clergy, the papal legates a latere alone excepted. About the middle of the 12th century, the archbishops of Cologne were elevated to the rank of electors. Prominent among the archbishops of this period were Anno II, who abducted the young emperor Henry IV, and Rainald, count of Dossel, an able general of the Emperor Frederick I, who patronized the anti-popes, and brought from Milan to Cologne the pretended bodies of the "three holy kings," which up to this day are venerated as the most precious relics of Cologne. The political troubles of the 12th and 13th centuries diminished the power of the archbishopric, but it rose again under Conrad von Hochstaden (1238- 1261). But, while outwardly prospering, the see was inwardly weakened by the relaxation of the clergy, which became so great that complaint was made of it to Pope Alexander IV, by whose direction Conrad held a synbd at Cologne in 1260, for the purpose of reforming abuses (Hartzheim, Concil. Germ. 3. p. 588 sq.). In 1266 (according to others, 1271 or 1272) another council was held against the violators of the rules of discipline. After the Reformation of the 16th century, two archbishops of Cologne, Herman V, count of Wied, and Gebhard II, turned Protestants, and were on that account deposed. After that, the see was held for 178 years without interruption (until 1761) by Bavarian princes. Joseph Clement († 1723), who was elected in 1688, was not even ordained a priest until 1706. Clement Augustus (1723-1761) was at the same time bishop of Munster, Paderborn, Hildesheim, and Osnabruck. Maximilian Frederick (1761-1784) founded the Academy of Bonn. Maximilian Francis, archduke of Austria (1784-1801), changed the Academy of Bonn into a university, and supported his brother, Emperor Joseph II, in his ecclesiastical reforms, SEE EMS, CONGRESS OF. His successor, Anthony Victor, archduke of Austria, was the last elector, as in 1803 the dominions of the archbishop were secularized, and divided among other princes. The electorate of Cologne at that time had about 2545 English sq. miles ana 230,000 inhabitants. But the diocese of Cologne was much more extensive than the electorate. Even the city of Cologne, being a free city of the empire, was subject only to the spiritual, not to the temporal rule of the archbishops who resided at Bonn. At the time of the Reformation the diocese had about 800 parishes, divided into 22 deaneries; in the 18th century the number of parishes was about 1300 (a map of the diocese is given in Spruner's Histor. Atlas, No. 11). After the reorganization of Germany by the Vienna Congress, Cologne, now belonging to Prussia, was reconstituted an archbishopric by a bull of July 16, 1821, with the sufferagan bishoprics of Treves, Munster, and Paderborn. The diocese of Cologne had, in 1867, 44 deaneries, about 600 parishes, and a population of about 1,000,000. The first archbishop, Ferdinand Joseph, count Spiegel (1824-1835), was a man of moderate principles, and a patron of the Hermesians (q. v ). His successor. Clement Augustus Droste von Vischering (1835-1845), had a violent controversy with the Prussian government on the subject of marriages between Protestants and Roman Catholics, was arrested in 1837, and set free in 1840 only on condition that he resigned the administration of the diocese into the hands of a coadjutor. Joannes von Geissel, who succeeded him in 1845, was created a cardinal in 1850, and died in 1864. He was succeeded by Paul Melchers, who was the incumbent in 1867. SEE GERMANY AND PRUSSIA.
Of the councils of Cologne, besides those already mentioned, the most important were, (1) in 1280, called by the Archbishop Sifridnss (Sifroi), in which eighteen canons of discipline were drawn up; (2) in 1536, by Herman, on discipline, the duties of bishops, offices of the Church, etc.; (3) in 1549, by Adolphus, where several statutes were made for the reformation of the Church. The restoration of learning was recommended as one of the means of accomplishing this end. Wetzer u. Welte, Kirchen- Lex. 2:673; Rettberg, Kirchen-Gesch. Deutschlands (Gott. 1846); Friedrich, Kirchen-Gesch. Deutschlands (Bamberg, 1867); Binterim & Mooren, Die alte und neue Erzdioc. Coln (4 vols. Mayence, 1828); Mering u. Reischert, Die Bischafe u. Erzbisch. von Coln (Cologne, 1843); Ersch u. Gruber, s.v. (vol. 18:175 sq.; here a complete list of the bishops and archbishops of Cologne is given); Landon, Manual of Councils, s.v.; Smith, Tables of Ch. History.