Reichstadt Convention of 1876

Reichstadt Convention of 1876


a secret agreement between Russia and Austria-Hungary on the Balkan question.

The convention was concluded on June 26 (July 8) during a meeting of Emperor Alexander II and Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince A. M. Gorchakov with Austrian Emperor Francis Joseph and Minister of Foreign Affairs G. Andrássy in Reichstadt Castle (now Zákupy, Bohemia). There was no official text of the convention; only notes were taken of the negotiations, and the Austrian and Russian versions differed.

By the convention both sides pledged noninterference in Serbia’s and Montenegro’s war against Turkey. In the event of a Turkish victory, it was proposed that the status quo be restored and administrative reforms be introduced in Bosnia and Hercegovina. According to the Russian notes, if Serbia and Montenegro won the war, Serbia was to receive Hercegovina and the Adriatic port of Spizza (Spič), and Montenegro a part of old Serbia and Bosnia. Turkish Croatia and border districts of Bosnia were to be transferred to Austria-Hungary. According to the Austrian notes, Serbia and Montenegro were to obtain only border districts of Bosnia and Hercegovina; the larger part of these provinces was to be given to Austria-Hungary, which did not want the creation of a large Slavic state in the Balkans. In addition, Austria-Hungary agreed to the return to Russia of southwestern Bessarabia, which had been taken away by the Treaty of Paris of 1856, and the unification of Batumi with Russia.

In the event of the “complete collapse” of Turkey, the convention, according to the Russian notes, provided for the formation of Bulgaria and Rumelia as independent principalities. In the Austrian version, Bulgaria and Rumelia, together with Albania, were to be granted autonomy while remaining part of the Ottoman Empire. Both powers agreed that Greece be given Thessaly and Epirus (according to the Russian notes) and Crete (according to the Austrian), recognizing the possibility of transforming Istanbul into a “free city.” As the situation in the Balkans became more acute, the Reichstadt Convention was supplemented by the Russo-Austrian Convention of 1877.


Sb. dogovorov Rossii s drugimi gosudarstvami. Moscow, 1952.