Rhenish Franconia

Rhenish Franconia

Rhenish Franconia ("Rheinfranken") was the western half of Franconia, immediately east of the Rhine. It was the heartland of the Salian dynasty, which provided four emperors in the 11th and 12th centuries: Conrad II, Henry III, Henry IV, and Henry V. Rhenish Franconia contained the ancient cities of Mainz, Speyer, and Worms, the latter two being countships within the hands of the descendants of Conrad the Red (the Salians). These counts were sometimes referred to informally, on account of the great power in the region, as dukes of Franconia.

Rhenish Franconia was actually governed, however, as a constellation of small states, like the free cities (Frankfurt and Worms), the bishoprics (Mainz, Speyer, and Worms), and the Landgraviate of Hesse. Alongside these powerful entities there were many smaller, petty states. In 1093, the Salian Franconian territories were granted as a fief to the Count Palatine of Aachen, a territory that would evolve into the important German principality of the Rhenish Palatinate. In this way, Rhenish Franconia was divided and extinguished.

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