What was the Cologne War (1583-1588)?

Introduction The Cologne War (1583-1588) was a conflict between Protestant and Catholic factions that devastated the Electorate of Cologne, a historical ecclesiastical principality of the Holy Roman Empire, within present-day North Rhine-Westphalia, in Germany. The war occurred within the context of the Protestant Reformation in Germany and the subsequent Counter-Reformation, and concurrently with the Dutch… Read More


What was the Siege of Godesberg (1583)?

Introduction The Siege of Godesberg, 18 November to 17 December 1583, was the first major siege of the Cologne War (1583 to 1589). Seeking to wrest control of an important fortification, Bavarian and mercenary soldiers surrounded the Godesberg, and the village then of the same name, now Bad Godesberg, located at its foot. On top… Read More

What was the Destruction of Neuss (1586)?

Introduction The Destruction of Neuss occurred in July 1586, during the Cologne War (1583 to 1588). Alexander Farnese, Duke of Parma’s troops surrounded the city of Neuss, an important Protestant garrison in the Electorate of Cologne. After the city refused to capitulate, Parma’s army reduced the city to rubble through a combination of artillery fire,… Read More

What was the Battle of Werl (1586)?

Introduction The Battle of Werl occurred between 03 to 08 March 1586, during a month-long campaign in the Duchy of Westphalia by mercenaries fighting for the Protestant (Calvinist) Archbishop-Prince Elector of Cologne, Gebhard Truchsess von Waldburg. The action at Werl had been preceded by a general plundering of Vest and Recklinghausen by troops of Hermann… Read More