Julius Echter (von Mespelbrunn)

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Prince-Bishop of Würzburg and Duke of Franconia (b Mespelbrunn, 18 March 1545; d Würzburg, 13 Sept 1617). German ecclesiastic and patron. He was the second son of Peter Echter, a local magistrate; he was educated in Würzburg, Mainz and the Jesuit college in Cologne. He completed his studies by attendance at several European universities before returning in 1569 to join the cathedral chapter in Würzburg. He became Dean in 1570. In a period of low morale for the Roman Catholic church in Germany, his enthusiasm for the ideas of the Counter-Reformation and his reforming zeal caused him to be elected Prince-Bishop of Würzburg at an early age in 1573. He introduced numerous reforms—of an absolutist tendency—in the administration of the diocese and in education, and he founded the university of Würzburg in 1582 (completed 1591). He promoted the building of hospitals throughout the region, the most famous being the Julius Hospital (1576–80) in Würzburg.


From The Grove Encyclopedia of Northern Renaissance Art in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Renaissance Art.