Imperial Council (Austria)

The Imperial Council (German: Reichsrat; Czech: Říšská rada; Polish: Rada Państwa; Italian: Consiglio Imperiale; Slovene: Državni zbor; Ukrainian: Райхсрат, Державна рада; Bosnian: Carevinsko vijeće) was the legislature of the Austrian Empire from 1861, and from 1867 the legislature of Cisleithania within Austria-Hungary. It was a bicameral body: the upper house was the House of Lords (German: Herrenhaus), and the lower house was the House of Deputies (German: Abgeordnetenhaus). To become law, bills had to be passed by both houses, signed by the government minister responsible, and then granted royal assent by the Emperor. After having been passed, laws were published in the Reichsgesetzblatt (lit. Reich Law Gazette). In addition to the Imperial Council, the fifteen individual crown lands of Cisleithania had their own diets (German: Landtage).

Imperial Council

Lesser coat of arms of Cisleithania (1915–1918)
HousesHouse of Lords
House of Deputies
Founded26 February 1861 (1861-02-26)
Disbanded12 November 1918 (1918-11-12)
Preceded byImperial Diet
Succeeded byProvisional National Assembly
Alfred III (last)
President of the House of Deputies
Gustav Groß (last)
Last election
Meeting place
Parliament Building

The seat of the Imperial Council from 4 December 1883 was in the Parliament Building on Ringstraße in Vienna. Prior to the completion of this building, the House of Lords met in the Estates House of Lower Austria, and the House of Deputies met in a temporary wooden building designed by Ferdinand Fellner on Währinger Straße. The Imperial Council was dissolved on 12 November 1918, following Austria-Hungary's defeat in the First World War.