Adalbert was a German monk at the Benedictine Monastary of Saint Maximinus in Trier. He was consecrated a bishop and in 961 he was sent to Russia. Princess Olga of Kiev had asked emperor Otto the Great to provide her with a missionary. Her son opposed her and took her crown from her as soon as Adalbert arrived in Russia. His mission companions were slain and Adalbert was barely able to escape. Kievan Rus subsequently accepted conversion from Constantinople.
The archbishoprics of Hamburg and Bremen had been created with the intent that they would act as bases for missionary activity in Northern and Eastern Europe. The archbishopric of Magdeburg was now designated to provide missionary programs for the Eastern European Slavs. Adalbert also established dioceses at Nauemburg, Meissen, Merseburg, Brandenburg, Havelberg and Posen. A student in Adalbert's time who went on to do important work among the Slavs was Voitech of Prague, later canonized as Saint Adalbert of Prague.