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Fabio Chigi

Chigi was papal nuntio in Cologne and later Münster; although he was not originally intended to mediate the negotiations at the congress, parties eventually agreed that he should remain instead being replaced by one of the planned mediators. This was in part the result of France’s beliving Chigi to be pro-French, in which they were disappointed.

Chigi was a humanist and poet as well as a doctor of law and theology. He disliked Münster (as most representatives from sunnier climes and more cosmopolitan settings did), and expressed his discomfort through a satirical poem on the rains that fell endlessly on the city. His diary, written in Latin, is an important source.

Like any papal representative, Chigi would not formally acknowledge the presence of Protestants, which meant his activities were restricted to mediating peace among France, Spain, and the Empire. He did help arrange France’s territorial compensation from the Empire in 1646, but was gradually pushed out of an active role as France became convinced that he supported Spain. He protested the Spanish-Dutch peace (because of the cession of Catholic population to the Protestant Dutch Republic) and drafted the protest against the Peace of Westphalia that Innocent X later issued in 1650.

Chigi went on to become Pope Alexander VII (1655-1667), at which time he received Queen Christina‘s baptism into the Catholic faith and quarrelled with Cardinal Mazarin, two of the major players in the Congress of Westphalia.

External Links

Portrait of Fabio Chigi as Pope Alexander VII

The tomb of Alexander VII, a magnificent work by Bernini, whom Chigi patronized extensively as pope

Books and Articles

La nunziatura di Fabio Chigi (1640–1651) (1943,1946) by Vlastimil Kybal and Giovanni Incisa della Rocchetta. 2 vols.

“Fabio Chigis Instruktion für den Westfälischen Friedenskongreß” (1998) by Konrad Repgen, in Dreißigjähriger Krieg und Westfälischer Friede, ed. by Franz Bosbach and Christoph Kampmann, pp.458–486.