The “Golden Bull” – All seven originals and the “King Wenceslaus’ luxury manuscript copy” of the Österreichische Nationalbibliothek

Documentary heritage submitted by Austria and Germany and recommended for inclusion in the Memory of the World Register in 2013.

The “Golden Bull” of 1356 is the most important constitutional document of the Holy Roman Empire. At that time the Empire included territories which today constitute several European countries (Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Germany, the Netherlands, Slovenia, Switzerland ) or parts of them (France, Italy, Poland). It was the creation of Emperor Karl IV who wanted a constitutional framework for the election of a new king whose succession had often been a source of dispute or war. The Golden Bull is on a par with the Magna Carta (1215) as it was crucial for the political development of Germany, Austria and Bohemia, and for the stability of the Holy Roman Empire.

Back to top