Quasi centrum Europae : warum es im mittelalterlichen deutschen Reich keine Hauptstadt gab

Das deutsche Reich des Mittelalters und der Frühen Neuzeit hatte keine Hauptstadt. Anders als in Frankreich und England, wo Paris und London sich schon früh als Herrschaftszentren und nationale Hauptstädte herausbildeten und langfristig etablierten, verfügte das Alte Reich über keine entsprechende Zentralstadt. Erst in der Neuzeit entwickelte sich Berlin zur Hauptstadt Preußens und Deutschlands.

The German Empire of the Middle Ages and Early Modern Times did not have any capital. Unlike France or England, where Paris and London became established as national capitals in the long term, a town or city with a similarly central function was missing in Germany. Rather, there were traditionally several important main cities like Aachen as the venue of the kings’ and queens’ coronations or Frankfurt/Main where the kings’ elections took place. Furthermore, there were a great number of capital-like places with changing significance in the course of the Medieval centuries. The reasons for this were complex. They resulted from the Medieval Empire’s structure of constitution, especially the absence of a central administration as well as the necessity of the king’s presence in the different parts of the realm and his ruling by travelling most of the time. Additionally, Germany remained an electoral monarchy with changing dynasties and a variety of main cities. A single capital could not be established in spite of corresponding demands. Only in modern times did Berlin attain the position of the Germans’ capital, founded by the Prussian rulers.

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Fößel, A., 2009. Quasi centrum Europae: warum es im mittelalterlichen deutschen Reich keine Hauptstadt gab. Geschichtswissenschaft - Europa: Geschichte und Kultur. https://doi.org/10.17185/duepublico/73842
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