Post-classical history

Siegfried von Feuchtwangen (d. 1311)

Grand master of the Teutonic Order (1303-1311), who was responsible for moving the order’s headquarters from Venice to Marienburg (mod. Malbork, Poland) in Prussia.

In 1298 Siegfried was German master; a year later he acted as commander of Vienna. In mid-October 1303 he was elected grand master at a chapter in Elbing (mod. Elbląg, Poland). His predecessor Gottfried von Hohenlohe, who probably had been pressed to resign, did not acknowledge the new master and claimed the office for himself. Siegfried went to the order’s headquarters at Venice to assert his authority and proceeded to arrange their transfer to Prussia. The reasons for this were pressing. Venice had become an insecure abode because of the town’s conflict with the pope, and the brothers of the Teutonic Order, terrified by the recent suppression of the Templars, feared for the order’s independence from secular powers. Siegfried therefore proposed a move to Prussia, which had been made more secure as a result of the order’s occupation of the neighboring province of Pomerelia.

On 14 September 1309, Siegfried and his entourage entered Marienburg, where they established their new headquarters. From this time crusading in the Mediterranean region ceased to be an objective for the order. Siegfried died on 5 March 1311 at Marienburg. He was buried in the cathedral at Kulmsee.

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