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Archbishop Adolf I von Altena was Canon, Dechant and Dean of the Cathedral before being chosen Archbishop. He was an important figure in defeating the plans for a hereditary empire. He was also considered the chief culprit in the
succession conflicts between the Guelfs and the Hohenstaufens. In 1198 he crowned the Guelf Otto IV. In 1205 he transferred his loyalty to the Hohenstaufens and crowned Phillip of Swabia in Aachen. In the same year he was excommunicated by Pope Innocence III for disloyalty and deposed from his Cathedral office in the presence of the Guelf King Otto IV. For two years he held his successor, Bruno IV, in captivity. He died in 1220 without regaining his status as bishop.