|Heinrich von Bibra
Prince-Bishop, Prince Abbot of Fulda
1759 - 1788
Born in 1711 at Schnabelweyd as Karl Sigmund, he was raised in a strict
household with ten brothers and sisters. He entered the Benedictine Order
in 1730 receiving the name Heinrich. He studied philosophy, theology, and
law. Six years later he traveled to Rome.
In 1759 immediately after his selection as Prince Bishop and Abbot of
Fulda, he had to flee his realm As it was overrun by both the French and
the Hessens in the Seven Year War. Finally with peace in 1763 , he
undertook the rebuilding of Fulda and its economy. Rising at 4 am each
morning, he was an energetic and enlightened ruler. With currency reform
came sound money. He built roads, bridges, housing, churches, and
orphanages. He improved the spa at Brückenau, had the land surveyed for
minerals, and founded the porcelain works which became famous. The
porcelain works was disbanded shortly after his death.
He provided freedom of religion, forbidding mistreatment of Jews and
employed Protestants alongside Catholics in his administration. Along with
libraries around the land, he introduced a general school system which was
one of the best of his time.