Kempten, is a ecclesiastical dukedom/imperial city in Southern Germany. It is bordered by numerous Imperial states including Bavaria, the Bishopric of Augsburg and Memmingen. The population is around 70,500 and the capital is Kempten.
The Head of State is Duke-Abbot Gunther II.
The official language is German.
It uses the Bavarian Taler (BVT).
It is sometimes claimed that Kempten is the oldest town in Germany, having once been a Roman military camp known as Cambodunum. Thanks to Imperial patronage the abbey soon came to be one of the richest communities in Germany. Emperor Frederick II granted the Abbot of Kempten a free city and a dukedom in 1213 while Rudolph I granted Imperial rights to the neighbouring city in 1289.
Intense rivals for centuries, this only increased once the city became Protestant during the reformation. During the Fifty Years War both the city and the Duchy were repeatedly sacked by opposing sides. By the war's close it was occupied by Swiss troops who studiously rebuilt the city walls to protect it from the Austrian and Bavarian armies. The badly damaged abbey was grandly reconstructed in 1693 but the damage inflicted by the war had almost depopulated the countryside and compared to the wealthy city the duchy-abbey soon fell behind economically. These days rivalries are restricted to sporting matches such as football, Háflaeykir and the annual boat race down the River Iller.
In February 2013 the aged Duke-Abbot John XI died. The ruling council, despairing at the state of the treasury were convinced by the Imperial chancellor, Johannes Oberst, to attempt to break the deadlock surrounding the Ecclesiastical Reform Bill by renouncing its independence and handing its territory and treasury to Bavaria, the main opposition to reform. If Bavaria accepted the offer from its fellow Catholic state then it could hardly oppose the mediatisation of many other even smaller ecclesiastic properties. The ruse failed however; Bavaria rejected the offer, leaving the Abbey in a legal grey zone.
Its neighbour came to the rescue however. A hastily cobbled together constitution was signed by both the Mayor of Kempten and the Duke-Abbot elect of Kempten with the option of reviewing it after 24 months. The city and its surrounding lands would henceforth be united. Both the Emperor and the chancellor publicly praised the arrangement as an example for reforming the multitude of small Imperial states.
As per the terms of the new constitution the mayor would take over day-to-day running of the city and dukedom whilst the Duke-Abbot would become Head of State, lead the delegation at the Imperial Diet and assist in appointing ministers. Elections for the city council and mayor are held every three years but have now been extended throughout the Duchy. Fresh elections have therefore been scheduled for August.