Dietrich von Fürstenberg was elected prince-bishop of Paderborn in 1585.
His main aim was to re-Catholicise Paderborn. In 1604 he took violent action against the city in the 'Battle of Paderborn' and had the Protestant mayor Liborius Wichard executed. In 1614 Dietrich endowed the university, which was intended to discourage subjects from attending university in Protestant principalities.
When Dietrich von Fürstenberg died in 1618, he was buried in Paderborn Cathedral. Two years before his death he had commissioned cathedral sculptor, Heinrich Gröninger, to create a monumental tomb in the west transept, which was completed in 1622. A Latin inscription on the finished work reads 'Death is certain, the day uncertain, nor is the sorrow of thine certain, set thyself, if thou be wise, thyself thy sepulchral monument.' The largest episcopal monument in Westphalia was considered by Dietrich's contemporaries to be worthy of a pope.
At the centre of the composition, which is rich in figures, is the vision of the prophet Ezekiel with the resurrection of the dead and the raising of Lazarus. Sacred and allegorical figures refer to the diocese and Dietrich's work. The prince-bishop appears kneeling in his episcopal robes. Behind him, in relief, are his three most important building projects: Neuhaus Castle, the Academia Theodoriana and Wewelsburg Castle. In 1924 the tomb was moved to the west wall of the north aisle.
"Death is certain, the day uncertain, nor is the sorrow of thine certain, set thyself, if thou be wise, thyself thy sepulchral monument."
Prince-Bishop Dietrich von Fürstenberg
Dietrich von Fürstenberg
Tomb in Paderborn Cathedral
Katharina von Waldeck
Anna von Canstein
Simon VI. zur Lippe
Hilmar d.j. Münchhausen
Dietrich von Fürstenberg
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