Kingdom of Lombardy–Venetia

The Kingdom of Lombardy–Venetia (Latin: Regnum Langobardiae et Venetiae), commonly called the "Lombardo-Venetian Kingdom" (Italian: Regno Lombardo-Veneto, German: Königreich Lombardo–Venetien), was a constituent land (crown land) of the Austrian Empire. It was created in 1815 by resolution of the Congress of Vienna in recognition of the Austrian House of Habsburg-Lorraine's rights to Lombardy and the former Republic of Venice after the Napoleonic Kingdom of Italy, proclaimed in 1805, had collapsed.[3] It was finally dissolved in 1866 when its remaining territory was incorporated into the recently proclaimed Kingdom of Italy.

Kingdom of Lombardy–Venetia

Regno Lombardo–Veneto (it)
Königreich Lombardo–Venetien (de)
Österreichisches Italien ("Austrian Italy")[1]
Coat of arms
Anthem: Gott erhalte Franz den Kaiser
"God Save Emperor Francis"
StatusCrown land of the Austrian Empire
Common languagesLombard, Venetian, Friulian, Italian, and German
Roman Catholic
GovernmentAbsolute monarchy
Francis I
Ferdinand I
Francis Joseph I
Heinrich XV of Reuss-Plauen
Heinrich von Bellegarde
Anton Victor of Austria
Rainer Joseph of Austria
Joseph Radetzky von Radetz
Ferdinand Maximilian of Austria
9 June 1815
22 March 1848
 Lombardy ceded to France
10 November 1859
14 June 1866
23 August 1866
12 October 1866
1852[2]46,782 km2 (18,063 sq mi)
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Napoleonic Kingdom of Italy
Republic of San Marco
Kingdom of Italy
Republic of San Marco
Today part of Italy


In the Treaty of Paris in 1814 the Austrians had confirmed their claims to the territories of the former Lombard Duchy of Milan, which had been ruled by the Habsburg Monarchy since 1718 and together with the adjacent Duchy of Mantua by the Austrian tree branch of the dynasty from 1713 to 1796, and of the former Republic of Venice, which had been under Austrian rule intermittently upon the 1797 Treaty of Campo Formio.

The Congress of Vienna combined these lands into a single kingdom, ruled in personal union by the Habsburg Emperor of Austria; as distinct of the neighbouring Grand Duchy of Tuscany, the Duchy of Modena and Reggio as well as the Duchy of Parma, which remained independent entities under Habsburg rule. The Austrian emperor was represented day-to-day by viceroys appointed by the Imperial Court in Vienna and resident in Milan and Venice.[2][4][5][6]

The Kingdom of Lombardy–Venetia was first ruled by Emperor Francis I from 1815 to his death in 1835. His son Ferdinand I ruled from 1835 to 1848. In Milan on 6 September 1838, he became the last king to be crowned with the Iron Crown of Lombardy. The crown was subsequently brought to Vienna after the loss of Lombardy in 1859 but was restored to Italy after the loss of Venetia in 1866.

Though the local administration was Italian in language and staff, the Austrian authorities had to cope with the Italian unification (Risorgimento) movement. After a popular revolution on 22 March 1848, known as the "Five Days of Milan", the Austrians fled from Milan, which became the capital city of a Governo Provvisorio della Lombardia (Lombardy Provisional Government). The next day, Venice also rose against the Austrian rule, forming the Governo Provvisorio di Venezia (Venice Provisional Government). The Austrian forces under Field Marshal Joseph Radetzky, after defeating the Sardinian troops at the Battle of Custoza (24–25 July 1848), entered Milan (6 August) and Venice (24 August 1849), and once again restored Austrian rule.

Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria ruled over the Kingdom for the rest of its existence. The office of Viceroy was abolished and replaced by a Governor-General. The office was initially assumed by Field Marshal Radetzky, upon his retirement in 1857 it passed it to Franz Joseph's younger brother Maximilian (who later became Emperor of Mexico), who served as Governor-General in Milan from 1857 to 1859.

End of the Kingdom

After the Second Italian War of Independence and the defeat in the Battle of Solferino in 1859, Austria by the Treaty of Zurich had to cede Lombardy up to the Mincio River, except for the fortresses of Mantua and Peschiera, to the French Emperor Napoleon III, who immediately passed it to the Kingdom of Sardinia and the embryonic Italian state. Maximilian retired to Miramare Castle near Trieste, while the capital was relocated to Venice. However, remaining Venetia and Mantua likewise fell to the Kingdom of Italy in the aftermath of the Austro-Prussian War, by the 1866 Peace of Prague.[7] The territory of Venetia and Mantua was formally transferred from Austria to France, and then handed over to Italy on 19 October 1866, for diplomatic reasons; a plebiscite marked the Italian annexation on 21–22 October 1866.[8]


Administratively the Kingdom of Lombardy–Venetia comprised two independent governments (Gubernien) in its two parts, which officially were declared separate crown lands in 1851. Each part was further subdivided in several provinces, roughly corresponding with the départements of the Napoleonic Kingdom of Italy.

Lombardy included the provinces of Milan, Como, Bergamo, Brescia, Pavia, Cremona, Mantua, Lodi-Crema, and Sondrio. Venetia included the provinces of Venice, Verona, Padua, Vicenza, Treviso, Rovigo, Belluno, and Udine.[7]

According to the Ethnographic map of Karl von Czoernig-Czernhausen, issued by the Imperial and Royal Administration of Statistics in 1855, the Kingdom of Lombardy–Venetia then had a population of 5,024,117 people, consisting of the following ethnic groups: 4,625,746 Italians; 351,805 Friulians; 12,084 Germans (Cimbrians in Venetia); 26,676 Slovenians and 7,806 Jews.

For the first time since 1428, Lombardy reappeared as an entity, the first time in history that term "Lombardy" was officially used to call specifically this entity and not for the whole Northern Italy


King Reign Marriage(s)
Succession right(s) Viceroy(s)
Francis I
(Francesco I)

(aged 67)
9 June 1815

2 March 1835
18151816: Heinrich von Bellegarde
18161818: Anton Victor of Austria
18181848: Rainer Joseph of Austria
Ferdinand I
(Ferdinando I)

(aged 82)
2 March 1835

2 December 1848
(Abdicated due to
1848 revolutions
Maria Anna of Savoy
(m. 1831; w. 1878)
Franz Joseph I
(Francesco Giuseppe I)

(aged 86)
2 December 1848

12 October 1866
(Forced to cede
Lombardy and Venetia
Elisabeth of Bavaria
(m. 1854; d. 1898)
4 children
(3 survived to adulthood)
18481857: Joseph Radetzky
18571859: Maximilian of Austria
1859: Ferenc Gyulay

Governors of Lombardy

Governors of Venetia

  • Peter Goëss 1815–1819
  • Ferdinand Ernst Maria von Bissingen-Nippenburg 1819–1820
  • Carlo d'Inzaghi 1820–1826
  • Johann Baptist Spaur 1826–1840
  • Aloys Pállfy de Erdöd 1840–1848
  • Ferdinand Zichy zu Zich von Vasonykeöy 1848 (acting)
  • Laval Nugent von Westmeath 1848–1849 (military governor)
  • Karl von Gorzowsky 1849
  • Stanislaus Anton Puchner 1849–1850
  • Georg Otto von Toggenburg-Sargans 1850–1855
  • Kajetan von Bissingen-Nippenburg 1855–1860
  • Georg Otto von Toggenburg-Sargans 1860–1866 (second time)


  1. Pütz, Wilhelm (1855). Leitfaden bei dem Unterricht in der vergleichenden Erdbeschreibung. Freiburg.
  2. Fisher, Richard S. (1852). The Book of the World: Volume 2. New York.
  3. Rindler Schjerve, Rosita (2003). Diglossia and Power. Berlin.
  4. Francis Young & W.B.B. Stevens (1864). Garibaldi: His Life and Times. London.
  5. Pollock, Arthur William Alsager (1854). The United Service magazine: Vol.75. London.
  6. Förster, Ernst (1866). Handbuch für Reisende in Italien: Vol.1. Munich.
  7. Rosita Rindler Schjerve (2003) "Diglossia and Power: Language Policies and Practice in the 19th Century Habsburg Empire", ISBN 3-11-017653-X, pp. 199-200
  8. "21st-22nd October 1866: annexation of Veneto to Italy" (in Italian)
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