Catholicism in Germany - How did Nuremberg become predomintly Lutheran

From what I have read Southern Germany is predomintly Catholic so what happened with Nuremberg?

It being an Imperial city and intra-HRE politics probably had something to do with it.

My wife is German, grew up about 20-25 minutes outside Nuremberg (Nuernberg).

It’s very easy, she says. Bavaria, in Southern Germany, is predominantly Catholic. Franconia, which is administratively part of “northern Bavaria” but culturally is a distinct region, is predominantly Protestant. Nuremberg is located in Franconia.

From my own forays into the history of Christianity, I know that Nuremberg was a Protestant stronghold from as early as the 1500’s. For example, early Anabaptist Protestant Hans Denck took refuge there.

Maybe this will help:

The cultural flowering of Nuremberg, in the 15th and 16th centuries, made it the centre of the German Renaissance. In 1525, Nuremberg accepted the Protestant Reformation, and in 1532, the religious Peace of Nuremberg, by which the Lutherans gained important concessions, was signed there. During the 1552 revolution against Charles V, Nuremberg tried to purchase its neutrality, but the city was attacked without a declaration of war and was forced into a disadvantageous peace. At the Peace of Augsburg, the possessions of the Protestants were confirmed by the Emperor, their religious privileges extended and their independence from the Bishop of Bamberg affirmed, while the 1520s’ secularisation of the monasteries was also approved.

The state of affairs in the early 16th century, increased trade routes elsewhere and the ossification of the social hierarchy and legal structures contributed to the decline in trade. Frequent quartering of Imperial, Swedish and League soldiers, the financial costs of the war and the cessation of trade caused irreparable damage to the city and a near-halving of the population. In 1632, the city, occupied by the forces of Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden, was besieged by the army of Imperial general Albrecht von Wallenstein. The city declined after the war and recovered its importance only in the 19th century, when it grew as an industrial centre. Even after the Thirty Years’ War, however, there was a late flowering of architecture and culture – secular Baroque architecture is exemplified in the layout of the civic gardens built outside the city walls, and in the Protestant city’s rebuilding of the Egidienkirche, destroyed by fire at the beginning of the 18th century, considered a significant contribution to the baroque church architecture of Middle Franconia.

After the Thirty Years’ War, Nuremberg attempted to remain detached from external affairs, but contributions were demanded for the War of the Austrian Succession and the Seven Years’ War and restrictions of imports and exports deprived the city of many markets for its manufactures. The Bavarian elector, Charles Theodore, appropriated part of the land obtained by the city during the Landshut War of Succession, to which Bavaria had maintained its claim; Prussia also claimed part of the territory. Realising its weakness, the city asked to be incorporated into Prussia but Frederick William II refused, fearing to offend Austria, Russia and France. At the Imperial diet in 1803, the independence of Nuremberg was affirmed, but on the signing of the Confederation of the Rhine on 12 July 1806, it was agreed to hand the city over to Bavaria from 8 September, with Bavaria guaranteeing the amortisation of the city’s 12.5 million guilder public debt.

At the Religious Peace of Augsburg in 1555 which concerned only Lutherans and Catholics ( Calvinist, Zwiglians and Anabaptist were excluded, these confessions were illegal in the empire until 1648 ), there was a settlement which stated the German entities that made up the Holy Roman Empire had to choose between the Lutheran or Catholic. The way it was done was “whose region, his religion / cuius regio, eius religio”, if the prince was Lutheran, then all the subject had to be Lutheran or they had to leave for a Catholic area or vice versa.

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