Wolf Dietrich von Raitenau and Salome Alt- A love story



Wolf Dietrich von Raitenau became archbishop of Salzburg at the young age of 28. Shortly after his arrival in Salzburg, he fell in love with a beautiful merchant´s daughter, named Salome Alt. They wanted to marry but their appeal for an dispensation by the pontifex, which would allow the archbishop to marry legally despite his profession, was refused.  Nevertheless, they lived together for over 22 years. To keep their relationship a secret, the archbishop built the palace Mirabell, back than called Altenau. Today the palace is situated in the centre of Salzburg, but in the 17th century it was situated on the edge of the mediaeval city. The archbishop and his mistress had 16 children, of only little is known today. Only 10 children survived their infancy,  two of their sons married and further two followed their father´s profession and became clergymen.  Salome Alt was never an ordinary mistress as she was always the only woman in the bishop´s live. Wolf Dietrich von Raitenau died after political conflicts in the dungeons of his former fortress Hohensalzburg. Salome had to flee with their children to a cousin in Upper Austria. She died there at the old age of 94.


The names of the children (all were born in the beginning of the 17 century), which are known, are:





Maria Salome




Wolf Dietrich


Johann Georg Eberhard





One thought on “Wolf Dietrich von Raitenau and Salome Alt- A love story

  1. I adore a good love story. Many members of the clergy were known for having affairs (they didn’t really hide them all that well), so the Bishop was not unique for doing that. However, it is remarkable, given the times, that he had only one mistress. And they gave their children such wonderful, interesting names. I love seeing Wolf as a given name, and Helena has always been a favourite of mine

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