Final Act of the Congress of Vienna/Act III

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ACT, No. III.—Additional Treaty relative to Cracow, between Austria, Prussia, and Russia of 21st April (3d May) 1815.[1][2][3]
The plenipotentiaries of the powers that signed the treaty

The Treaty was drawn up in French as specified in the Article CXX of the General Treaty of the Final Act of the Congress of Vienna, as it was the lingua franca of diplomacy at the time.[4] This translation was laid before the British Parliament on 2 February 1816, with some additional formatting from the French original.

In the Name of the Most Holy and Undivided Trinity.

His Majesty the Emperor of Austria, King of Hungary and Bohemia, his Majesty the King of Prussia, and his Majesty the Emperor of all the Russias, wishing to give effect to that Article of their respective treaties which relates to the neutrality, liberty, and independence of the city of Cracow and of its territory, have appointed, to fulfil their benevolent intentions in this respect, namely:

His Majesty the Emperor of Austria, King of Hungary and Bohemia, the Sieur Clement Winceslas Lothaire, Prince de Metternich-Winnebourg-Ochsenhausen, Knight of the Golden Fleece, Grand-Cross of the Royal Order of St. Stephen of Hungary, Knight of the Orders of St. Andrew, St. Alexander Newsky, and of St. Anne of the First Class, Grand-Cordon of the Legion of Honour, Knight of the Order of the Elephant, of the Supreme Order of the Annunciation, of the Orders of the Red and Black Eagle, of the Seraphim of Sweden, of St. Joseph of Tuscany, of St. Hubert, of the Golden Cross of Wurtemburg, of the Order of Fidelity of Baden, of St. John of Jerusalem, and of several others, Chancellor of the Military Order of Maria Theresa, Curator of the Academy of the Fine Arts, Chamberlain, Privy Counsellor to his Majesty the Emperor of Austria, King of Hungary and Bohemia, his Minister of State, of Conference and of Foreign Affairs, and his Plenipotentiary at the Congress;

His Majesty the King of Prussia, the Prince Hardenburg, his Chancellor of State, Knight of the Grand Order of the Black Eagle and of the Red Eagle, of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem, and of the Iron Cross of Prussia, of the Orders of St. Andrew, St. Alexander Newsky, and of St. Anne of the First Class of Russia, Grand-Cross of the Royal Order of St. Stephen of Hungary, Grand Eagle of the Legion of Honour, Knight of the Order of St. Charles of Spain, of the Supreme Order of the Annunciation, of the Seraphim of Sweden, of the Elephant of Denmark, of the Golden Eagle of Wurtemburg, and of several others, his First Plenipotentiary at the Congress; and

His Majesty the Emperor of all the Russias, the Sieur Andrew Count Rasoumoffsky, his Privy Counsellor, Knight of the Orders of St. Andrew, and of St. Alexander Newsky, Grand-Cross of the Order of St. Wolodimir, and his First Plenipotentiary at the Congress;

who, after having exchanged their full powers, found in good and due form, have agreed upon, concluded, and signed the following Articles:

ART. I. Cracow with its territory, shall be considered for ever as a free, independant, and strictly neutral city, under the protection of the Three High Contracting Powers.

ART. II. The territory of the free city of Cracow shall have for its frontier, on the left bank of the Vistula, a line which shall commence at the village of Wolica, on the spot where a rivulet falls into the Vistula, and ascend this rivulet by Clokoscielnicki as far as Czulice, so that these villages are comprised in the free city of Cracow: From thence, passing along the frontiers of the villages, it shall continue by Dziekanovice, Garlice, Tomaszow, Karniowice, which shall also remain to the territory of Cracow, to the point where the limit, which separates the district of Krezezovice from that of Olkusz, commences: From thence it shall follow the limit between the two districts above-mentioned, till it reaches the frontier of Prussian Silesia.

ART. III. His Majesty the Emperor of Austria being anxious, on his part, to improve the commercial relations and good understanding between Gallica and the free city of Cracow, grants in perpetuity to the city of Podgorze, bordering on the river, the privileges of a free commercial city, with the same advantages as enjoyed by the city of Brody. The freedom of commerce shall extend to a line of 500 hundred toises from the barriers of the suburbs of the city of Podgorze. In virtue of this privilege, which, however, is not to affect the rights of sovereignty of his Imperial and Royal Apostolic Majesty, Austrian custom-houses shall be established in no places but those situated beyond the above-mentioned line, nor shall any military establishment be formed which can menace the neutrality of Cracow, or prevent the freedom of commerce which his Imperial and Royal Apostolic Majesty is desirous of affording to the town and district of Podgorze.

ART. IV. In pursuance of this concession, his Imperial and Royal Apostolic Majesty has determined to grant permission for the city of Cracow to extends its bridges over to the right bank of the Vistula, and to fasten its boats at those places through which it has always been in the habit of communicating with Podgorze. The city shall be at the expense of repairing the bank where its bridges are anchored or moored. It shall also be at the expense of repairing the bridges, as well as the ferry-boats provided for the season, when a bridge of boats cannot be maintained. Should there, however, be any relaxation, neglect, or ill-will, in the establishment, the three Courts shall, if any such facts be proved, order such a police, at the charge of the town, as may be competent to guard against any abuses of this description in the future.

ART. V. Immediately after the signature of the present Treaty, a joint Commission shall be appointed, composed of an equal number of commissioners and engineers, to mark out the line of demarcation, to place the boundary-posts, to describe the angles and bearings, and to construct a map containing a local description, so that no misunderstanding or doubt may in future arise upon these points. The boundary-posts, describing the territory of Cracow, shall be numbered and marked with the arms of the Power bordering on that territory, and of those of the free city of Cracow. The frontiers of the Austrian territory, opposite to that of Cracow, being formed by the Thalweg of the Vistula, the Austrian boundary-posts shall be fixed on the right bank of that river. The circle comprehending the free commercial territory of Podgorze shall be pointed out by particular posts, marked with the arms of Austria, and bearing the inscription, "Free Line of Commerce." Wolny, Okrog, Dlahandlu.

ART. VI. The three Courts engage to respect, and to cause to be respected, at all times, the neutrality of the free city of Cracow and its territory, and no armed force shall enter it under any pretence whatsoever.

On the other hand, it is understood, and expressly stipulated, that the free city arid territory of Cracow shall not afford any asylum or protection to runaways, deserters, or persons under prosecution, belonging to the countries of either of the three Contracting Powers, and that, on the demand of their surrender by the competent authorities, such individuals shall be arrested without delay, and delivered up, under a proper escort, to the guard appointed to receive them at the frontier.

ART. VII. The three Courts having approved of a constitution, by which the free city of Cracow and its territory shall be regulated, and which is annexed to the present Article as an integral part thereof, respectively guarantee that constitution. They moreover engage, respectively to appoint a Commissioner, who shall proceed to Cracow, to act in concert with a temporary and local Commission, composed principally of individuals holding public situations, or of persons of character. Each of the three Powers shall, for this purpose, make choice of a candidate, either from the nobility, the clergy, or the commonalty. Each of the commissioners of the three Courts, shall fill the office of President, alternately, by the week. He who shall first preside shall be appointed by ballot, and the President shall enjoy all the rights and privileges belonging to that office. This committee shall be employed in laying down the constitutional bases in question, and shall carry them into effect. It shall also have the gift of the first official appointments; excepting, however, those who may have been appointed to the senate by the High Contracting Parties, who, for this time, reserve to themselves the right of choosing some well known persons. It shall also employ itself in assembling and putting into action the new government of the Free city of Cracow and its territory. It shall enter into immediate communication with the existing administration, and is authorized to make all such changes therein as may be necessary for the public service, so long as this temporary state of affairs shall continue.

ART. VIII. The constitution of the free city of Cracow and its territory, does not admit of the right, or establishment, of customhouses. The city is, however, permitted to levy barrier-duties and bridge-tolls.

ART. IX. In order to establish a fixed regulation with regard to the tolls to be collected on the bridges and roads of the free city of Cracow, which are to be levied in proportion to the expense required to keep them in repair, it has been agreed that a general tarif shall be made by the Commission specified in the 7th Article. This tarif shall only apply to goods, beasts of burden, or of draught and cattle. It shall not apply to individuals, except at those times when the passage must be effected by water.

The toll-houses shall be established on the left bank of the Vistula.

The same Commission shall also agree upon the principles concerning the currency.

ART. X. All the rights, obligations, advantages, and privileges, stipulated by the three High Contracting Parties, in the Articles relative to individuals possessing property under different governments, to a general amnesty, to free trade and navigation, are equally granted to the free city of Cracow and it's territory.

In order to facilitate the provisioning the city and territory of Cracow, the three High Courts consent to allow fire-wood, coals, and every other article of first necessity, freely to pass and repass through the territory of the city of Cracow.

ART. XI. A Commission shall regulate the rights of property, and the rents to be paid by the peasantry on ecclesiastical and crown lands, in the manner best calculated to relieve and ameliorate that class of individuals.

ART. XII. The free city of Cracow shall preserve for itself and upon its territory, the privileges of the post. Each of the three Courts, however, shall have the option of establishing either their own post-office at Cracow, for mails proceeding to and from their states, or merely to appoint a secretary at the post-office at Cracow, to superintend this department. The postage of foreign letters, and of those of the interior, shall be settled in the regulations to be agreed upon, by the Commission mentioned in the 7th Article.

ART. XIII. Whatever may be found in the free city and territory of Cracow, to have been national property of the duchy of Warsaw, shall, as such, belong in future to the free city of Cracow. This property shall constitute one of its financial funds, and the revenue arising therefrom shall be applied to the support of the academy, to other literary institutions, and principally to the improvement of the means of public education. The revenues arising from the barrier duties and bridge-tolls, are, from their nature, to be appropriated to keeping the bridges and highways in repair; both in the free city as well as in the territory of Cracow, the government shall be responsible for the execution of this part of the public service, so necessary to intercourse and commerce.

ART. XIV. The revenues of the free city of Cracow; being so regulated that the surplus of the expenses of administration shall be appropriated to the purposes mentioned in the preceding Article, the city of Cracow shall not be called upon to contribute towards the payment of the debts of the duchy of Warsaw, and, on the other hand, it shall have no share in the reimbursements which may be made to that duchy. The inhabitants of Cracow shall always be at liberty to submit the arrangement of their private claims to the Commission which shall be authorized to settle the accounts.

ART. XV. The buildings and library belonging to the academy of Cracow, its landed property, and mortgaged capital, together with all the privileges which it at present enjoys, are hereby secured to it.—Permission shall be granted to the inhabitants of the neighbouring Polish provinces to repair to that academy, and to study there, as soon as it shall be regulated conformably with the intentions of each of the three High Courts.

ART. XVI. The Bishopric of Cracow, and the Chapter of that free city, as well as all the secular and regular clergy, shall be continued. The funds, endowments, immoveable effects, rents, or collections, which constitute their property, shall be secured to them. The Senate, however, shall be at liberty to propose to the Assemblies of December, a different mode of expenditure from that which may exist, if it shall be proved that the present appropriation of the revenues, especially with regard to public instruction and the distressed situation of the inferior clergy, has been conducted in a manner contrary to the intention of the founders. In every change to be made, the same formalities shall be observed as are usual in respect to the adoption of a law of the state.

ART. XVII. As the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the Bishopric of Cracow is not to extend to the Austrian and Prussian territories, the nomination of the bishop of Cracow is specially reserved to his Majesty the Emperor of all the Russias, who, on this particular occasion, shall make the first nomination agreeably to his own choice. In future, the Chapter and Senate shall each have the privilege of recommending two candidates for that appointment, from among whom his said Majesty shall select the new bishop.

ART. XVIII. A copy of the Articles, before-mentioned, as likewise of the constitution which forms a principal part of them, shall be formally deposited, by the joint commission designated in the 7th Article, with the archives of the free City of Cracow, as a permanent proof of the generous principles adopted by the three High Powers in favour of the free City and territory of Cracow.

ART. XIX. The present Treaty shall be ratified, and the ratifications shall be exchanged in six days.

In faith of which the respective Plenipotentiaries have signed the same, and have affixed thereunto the seal of their arms.

Done at Vienna, the 21st April, 3d May, 1815.[2]


(L. S.) The Prince de Metternich.
(L. S.) The Prince de Hardenberg.
(L. S.) The Count de Rasumoffsky.


  1. Hansard, The Parliamentary Debates from the Year 1803 to the Present Time …, Volume 32. 1 February to 6 March 1816, T.C. Hansard, 1816. pp. 131135.
  2. 2.0 2.1 The Russian Empire was still using the Julian calendar, the first date (21 April) is in the Julian calendar the second date (3 May) is in the Gregorian Calendar used by Western Europe including Britain (see Old Style and New Style dates)
  3. Cracow is also known as Kraków.
  4. British Foreign Office British and Foreign State Papers. 1814—1815 Volume II. Compiled by the librarian and keeper of the papers, Foreign Office-London: James Rigway and Sons, Piccadilly, H.M.S.O., 1839. pp. 74-79. (Annexe III)—TRAITE ADDITIONNEL, entre l’Autriche, la Prusse, et la Russe, relatif à Cracovie — Signé à l'Vienne, le 21 Avril/3 Mai, 1815.