Jakob Anton Graf von Fugger with a view of Meersburg, 1623

Builder from a famous familyJakob Fugger

There is no record of his reason for building it, but the Prince's Little House was constructed circa 1600 at the request of a wealthy Canon with a famous family name: Jakob Fugger, a relative of the legendary merchants and bankers. He became the Prince-Bishop of Meersburg.

Town of Meersburg, seaside with Meersburg New Palace

Meersburg Castle and the New Palace.

Where was Jakob Fugger from?

His name gives a clear clue: Jakob Fugger, born October 18, 1567, originated from a branch of the wealthy Fugger family of Augsburg merchants. He studied theology at the universities in Dillingen and Ingolstadt, lived on Lake Constance for many years and died in Meersburg on January 14, 1626.

Neues Schloss Meersburg

The Meersburg New Palace.

When did he become prince-bishop?

In 1604, Jakob Fugger was elected as Prince-Bishop of Constance. Church dignitaries had resided in the neighboring Meersburg since the Reformation. Fugger's primary role was to reorganize the domain of the Bishopric of Constance in Switzerland. He donated a silver high altar to the Constance Cathedral and had the monastery at the St. Mary Cathedral on Reichenau Island rebuilt.

Fürstenhäusle Meersburg

Jakob von Fugger commissioned the Prince's Little House.

What was his connection to the Prince's Little House?

He commissioned its construction! The garden house, built circa 1600 in a vineyard belonging to prince-bishops, was likely altered in the 18th century. It was only through secularization in the early 19th century that the church property was transferred to Baden. Only decades later did the poet, Annette von Droste-Hülshoff, acquire the little house.

Portrait of Jakob Anton Graf von Fugger hanging in the Meersburg Prince's Little House

Portrait of Jakob Anton Graf von Fugger.

Another connection between the Fuggers and the Drostes:

Around 1700, a century after Jakob Fugger had the Meersburg Prince's Little House built, a direct ancestor of Annette von Droste-Hülshoff had a dispute with a relative of Jakob Fugger. They dueled, supposedly in St. Peter's Square in Rome! Droste's ancestor stabbed Fugger's ancestor.

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