A Landtag is a representative assembly or parliament
A parliament is a legislature, especially in those countries whose system of government is based on the Westminster system modeled after that of the United Kingdom. The name is derived from the French , the action of parler : a parlement is a discussion. The term came to mean a meeting at which...

 in German-speaking countries with some legislative authority.


The German word Landtag is composed of the words Land (eng. state, country or territory), which stays for Bundesland (eng. federal state), and Tag, which is the shortening of the german word Tagung (eng. meeting). The german word Tagung derives from the german word Tag (eng. day) because such meetings were hold at daylight and did sometimes span over several days. The english word diet
Diet, in relation to food, might mean:*Diet , the sum of the food consumed by an organism or group*Dieting, the deliberate selection of food to control body weight or nutrient intake*Diet food, foods that aid in dieting...

(ger. Tag, Tagung) comes likewise from the latin word dies (eng. day).

Holy Roman Empire

In feudal society, the formal class system was reflected in the composition of the state's 'representative' assembly (The States
The States
The States or the Estates signifies the assembly of the representatives of the estates of the realm, called together for purposes of legislation or deliberation...

 ("Landstände")), regardless of its name well described as estates
Estates of the realm
The Estates of the realm were the broad social orders of the hierarchically conceived society, recognized in the Middle Ages and Early Modern period in Christian Europe; they are sometimes distinguished as the three estates: the clergy, the nobility, and commoners, and are often referred to by...

: it was not intended as an elected reflection of public opinion, but a fixed expression of established power as recognized in formal privileges, including the right to be seated in person (granted to many aristocrats and prelates, as well as certain cities) or to be represented as elector in a college that is entitled to one or more seats.
In some of the German states that were known as Land, the name of such estates assembly was Landtag, analogous to the Reichstag, or Imperial Diet, mainly comprising most of the princes of the Church and hereditary states plus the Imperial Cities. The precise composition obviously varied greatly, and could change over time, as the result of privileges granted or lost, entities split or merged, border changes et cetera.

Royal Prussia

Since 1466, Prussian Landtag were held in Royal Prussia
Royal Prussia
Royal Prussia was a Region of the Kingdom of Poland and of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth . Polish Prussia included Pomerelia, Chełmno Land , Malbork Voivodeship , Gdańsk , Toruń , and Elbląg . It is distinguished from Ducal Prussia...

. Prior to that, Prussian Landtag meetings were held in the Monastic state of the Teutonic Order. See also Prussian estates
Prussian estates
The Prussian estates were representative bodies of Prussia, first created by the Monastic state of Teutonic Prussia in the 14th century but later becoming a devolved legislature for Royal Prussia within the Kingdom of Poland...


Ducal Prussia

Since 1525, Prussian Landtag were held in Ducal Prussia
Ducal Prussia
The Duchy of Prussia or Ducal Prussia was a duchy in the eastern part of Prussia from 1525–1701. It was the first Protestant duchy with a dominant German-speaking population, as well as Polish and Lithuanian minorities...

. See also Preußischer Landtag
Preußischer Landtag
Preußischer Landtag or Prussian Landtag was the Landtag of the Kingdom of Prussia, which was implemented in 1849 after the dissolution of the Prussian National Assembly, building on the tradition of the Prussian estates that had existed from the 14th century in various forms and states in Teutonic...


German Confederation

As Austria
Austrian Empire
The Austrian Empire was a modern era successor empire, which was centered on what is today's Austria and which officially lasted from 1804 to 1867. It was followed by the Empire of Austria-Hungary, whose proclamation was a diplomatic move that elevated Hungary's status within the Austrian Empire...

 and Prussia
Prussia was a German kingdom and historic state originating out of the Duchy of Prussia and the Margraviate of Brandenburg. For centuries, the House of Hohenzollern ruled Prussia, successfully expanding its size by way of an unusually well-organized and effective army. Prussia shaped the history...

 escaped the French 'exporting the revolution', and Napoleon was happy to maintain satellite monarchies in most German territories under his control (members of the Confederation of the Rhine
Confederation of the Rhine
The Confederation of the Rhine was a confederation of client states of the First French Empire. It was formed initially from 16 German states by Napoleon after he defeated Austria's Francis II and Russia's Alexander I in the Battle of Austerlitz. The Treaty of Pressburg, in effect, led to the...

), the more democratic principles of the Enlightenment
Age of Enlightenment
The Age of Enlightenment was an elite cultural movement of intellectuals in 18th century Europe that sought to mobilize the power of reason in order to reform society and advance knowledge. It promoted intellectual interchange and opposed intolerance and abuses in church and state...

 would have less effect in the German-speaking lands, or only much later.

1806 the German Confederation
German Confederation
The German Confederation was the loose association of Central European states created by the Congress of Vienna in 1815 to coordinate the economies of separate German-speaking countries. It acted as a buffer between the powerful states of Austria and Prussia...

 ("Deutscher Bund") was founded as successor of the Holy Roman Empire. § 13 of the "Bundesakte" (the constitution
A constitution is a set of fundamental principles or established precedents according to which a state or other organization is governed. These rules together make up, i.e. constitute, what the entity is...

 of the German Confederation) forced the German states to pass constitutions and implement parliaments called Landstände or Landtag.

The first constitution was passed in Nassau
Nassau (state)
Nassau was a German state within the Holy Roman Empire and later in the German Confederation. Its ruling dynasty, now extinct in male line, was the House of Nassau.-Origins:...

. Until 1841 (Luxembourg
Luxembourg , officially the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg , is a landlocked country in western Europe, bordered by Belgium, France, and Germany. It has two principal regions: the Oesling in the North as part of the Ardennes massif, and the Gutland in the south...

) all but 2 states got their constitution and parliaments.

German Empire

1871 the German Empire was founded. All 25 states of the German Empire and the "Reichsland Elsaß-Lothringen" (since 1911) had Landtage as legislative authorities. The most important one was the Prussian Landtag.

Weimar Republic

In the Weimar Republic
Weimar Republic
The Weimar Republic is the name given by historians to the parliamentary republic established in 1919 in Germany to replace the imperial form of government...

 1918 till 1933 all German states had Landtage. In difference to the former Landstände and Landtage the Weimar Republik Landtage have been elected in free an equal elections.

1933 the Nazis abandoned the federal structure of the Weimar Republic and established a unitary state
Unitary state
A unitary state is a state governed as one single unit in which the central government is supreme and any administrative divisions exercise only powers that their central government chooses to delegate...

. The Landtage were abolished as a result.


The parliament of Finland
Parliament of Finland
The Eduskunta , is the parliament of Finland. The unicameral parliament has 200 members and meets in the Parliament House in Helsinki. The latest election to the parliament took place on April 17, 2011.- Constitution :...

, which was created when the country was ceded from Sweden to Russia in 1809, was called lantdag (Swedish for Landtag) until 1919, when Finland adopted its first constitution as an independent country (independence was declared in 1917). Since then, the official term in Swedish is riksdag, equivalent of the German Reichstag. The Finnish name is eduskunta.

Baltic countries

The first Landtag of Livonian Confederation
Livonian Confederation
Terra Mariana was the official name for Medieval Livonia or Old Livonia which was formed in the aftermath of the Livonian Crusade in the territories comprising present day Estonia and Latvia...

 was called by archbishop of Rīga Johannes Ambundii
Johannes Ambundii
Johannes VI Ambundii, Archbishopric of Riga 1418-1424, secular name Johannes Ambundii de Swan, also Abundi, Ambundij, Habundi, Habendi, Habindi, Almanni and ~ von Schwan was a German ecclesiastic. Ambundii is thought to be born in the area of Stettin in Pomerania...

 in 1419 and continued on regular basis till the incorporation of Livonian lands in Grand Duchy of Lithuania
Grand Duchy of Lithuania
The Grand Duchy of Lithuania was a European state from the 12th /13th century until 1569 and then as a constituent part of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth until 1791 when Constitution of May 3, 1791 abolished it in favor of unitary state. It was founded by the Lithuanians, one of the polytheistic...

, Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

 and Denmark
Denmark is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. The countries of Denmark and Greenland, as well as the Faroe Islands, constitute the Kingdom of Denmark . It is the southernmost of the Nordic countries, southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and bordered to the south by Germany. Denmark...

 in 1561. Separate landtags of Livonia
Livonia is a historic region along the eastern shores of the Baltic Sea. It was once the land of the Finnic Livonians inhabiting the principal ancient Livonian County Metsepole with its center at Turaida...

, Courland
Courland is one of the historical and cultural regions of Latvia. The regions of Semigallia and Selonia are sometimes considered as part of Courland.- Geography and climate :...

 and Estonia
Estonia , officially the Republic of Estonia , is a state in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland, to the west by the Baltic Sea, to the south by Latvia , and to the east by Lake Peipsi and the Russian Federation . Across the Baltic Sea lies...

 continued to exist as legislative authorities of Duchies of Livonia
Duchy of Livonia
The Duchy of Livonia was a territory of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania — and later the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth — that existed from 1561 to 1621...

, Estonia
Duchy of Estonia
The Duchy of Estonia may refer to:*Danish Estonia, Hertugdømmet Estland, a Dominum directum of King of Denmark from 1219 until 1346.*Swedish Estonia, Hertigdömet Estland a dominion of Swedish Empire from 1561 until 1721....

, Courland and Semigallia
Duchy of Courland and Semigallia
The Duchy of Courland and Semigallia is the name of a duchy in the Baltic region that existed from 1562 to 1569 as a vassal state of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and from 1569...

, later Russian Empire Governorates of Livonia, Estonia
Governorate of Estonia
The Governorate of Estonia or Estland, also known as the Government of Estonia or Province of Estonia, was a governorate of the Russian Empire in what is now northern Estonia.-Historical overview:...

 and Courland.

Modern legislatures

In the contemporary Federal Republic of Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

, the Republic of Austria
Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

 and the Italian Republic
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

's province of South Tyrol
South Tyrol
South Tyrol , also known by its Italian name Alto Adige, is an autonomous province in northern Italy. It is one of the two autonomous provinces that make up the autonomous region of Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol. The province has an area of and a total population of more than 500,000 inhabitants...

 (with a German-speaking majority), a Landtag is a unicameral legislature for a constitutive federal state (Bundesland).
In the Principality of Liechtenstein, the Landtag is the sole national parliament, because Liechtenstein has no federal structure due to its size.

German Legislatures

In most of the German constitutive federal states
States of Germany
Germany is made up of sixteen which are partly sovereign constituent states of the Federal Republic of Germany. Land literally translates as "country", and constitutionally speaking, they are constituent countries...

 (Bundesländer), the unicameral legislature is called "Landtag". In the city states the parliamentary city council
City council
A city council or town council is the legislative body that governs a city, town, municipality or local government area.-Australia & NZ:Because of the differences in legislation between the States, the exact definition of a City Council varies...

 serves the function of the state parliament within the federal system - in Bremen
The City Municipality of Bremen is a Hanseatic city in northwestern Germany. A commercial and industrial city with a major port on the river Weser, Bremen is part of the Bremen-Oldenburg metropolitan area . Bremen is the second most populous city in North Germany and tenth in Germany.Bremen is...

 and Hamburg
-History:The first historic name for the city was, according to Claudius Ptolemy's reports, Treva.But the city takes its modern name, Hamburg, from the first permanent building on the site, a castle whose construction was ordered by the Emperor Charlemagne in AD 808...

 it's called the Bürgerschaft (short of Stadtbürgerschaft, municipal assembly), and in Berlin
Berlin is the capital city of Germany and is one of the 16 states of Germany. With a population of 3.45 million people, Berlin is Germany's largest city. It is the second most populous city proper and the seventh most populous urban area in the European Union...

 it's called "Abgeordnetenhaus" (House of Representatives).
  • Landtag of Baden-Württemberg
    Landtag of Baden-Württemberg
    The Landtag of Baden-Württemberg is the state diet of the German federal state of Baden-Württemberg. It convenes in Stuttgart and currently consists of 139 members of four Parties...

  • Landtag of Bavaria
    Landtag of Bavaria
    The Landtag of Bavaria is the unicameral legislature of the state of Bavaria in Germany. Between 1946 and 1999 there was an upper house, the Senate of Bavaria. The parliament meets in the Maximilianeum....

     (Until 1999, the large federal state of Bavaria
    Bavaria, formally the Free State of Bavaria is a state of Germany, located in the southeast of Germany. With an area of , it is the largest state by area, forming almost 20% of the total land area of Germany...

     was the only state with a bicameral legislature, with a lower house called the Landtag, and an upper house called the Senate)
  • House of Representatives of Berlin (West Berlin
    West Berlin
    West Berlin was a political exclave that existed between 1949 and 1990. It comprised the western regions of Berlin, which were bordered by East Berlin and parts of East Germany. West Berlin consisted of the American, British, and French occupation sectors, which had been established in 1945...

    , and the new federal capital's city-state)
  • Landtag of Brandenburg
    Landtag of Brandenburg
    The Landtag of Brandenburg is the unicameral legislature of the state of Brandenburg in Germany.It has 88 members of parliament, currently belonging to four parties.-History:...

  • Bürgerschaft of Bremen
    Bürgerschaft of Bremen
    The Bremische Bürgerschaft is the state diet of the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen. It currently consists of 83 members from five parties. The current majority is a coalition of the Social Democratic Party and the Alliance '90/The Greens, supporting Mayor and Senate president Jens Böhrnsen...

  • Bürgerschaft of Hamburg
    Hamburg Parliament
    The Hamburg Parliament is the unicameral legislature of the German state of Hamburg according to the constitution of Hamburg. As of 2011 there were 121 members in the parliament, representing a relatively equal amount of constituencies...

  • Landtag of Hesse
    Landtag of Hesse
    The Landtag of Hesse is the state Parliament of the German State of Hesse. It convenes in Wiesbaden and currently consists of 118 members of five Parties. Currently there is coalition between the CDU and the FDP....

  • Landtag of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern
    Landtag of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern
    The Landtag of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern is the state diet of the German federal state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern . It convenes in Schwerin and currently consists of 71 members of five Parties...

  • Landtag of Lower Saxony
  • Landtag of North Rhine-Westphalia
    Landtag of North Rhine-Westphalia
    The Landtag of North Rhine-Westphalia is the state diet of the German federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia. It convenes in Düsseldorf and currently consists of 181 members of five Parties...

  • Landtag of Rhineland-Palatinate
    Rhineland-Palatinate Landtag
    The Rhineland-Palatinate Landtag is the state diet of the German federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate.Article 79, Section 1 of the Rhineland-Palatinate constitution provides: "The Landtag is the supreme organ of political decision-making, elected by the people...

  • Landtag of Saarland
    Landtag of Saarland
    The Landtag of Saarland is the state diet of the German federal state of Saarland. It convenes in Saarbrücken and currently consists of 51 members of four Parties. Currently governed by the minority coalition of Christian Democratic Union and Free Democratic Party that holds only 24 seats, 2...

  • Landtag of Saxony
    Landtag of Saxony
    The Landtag of Saxony, also referred to as the Parliament of Saxony or the Saxon Parliament, is the German state of Saxony's legislature...

  • Landtag of Saxony-Anhalt
    Landtag of Saxony-Anhalt
    The Saxony-Anhalt Landtag is the state diet of the German federal state of Saxony-Anhalt. It convenes in Magdeburg and currently consists of 97 members of four Parties...

  • Landtag of Schleswig-Holstein
    Landtag of Schleswig-Holstein
    The Schleswig-Holstein Landtag is the state diet of the German federal state of Schleswig-Holstein. It convenes in the state's capital Kiel and currently consists of 95 members of six parties. Its main competences are in the fields of education, culture, regional planning and domestic politics...

  • Landtag of Thuringia
    Landtag of Thuringia
    The Landtag of Thuringia is the state diet of the German federal state of Thuringia. It convenes in Erfurt and currently consists of 88 members of three Parties...

The national bicameral Parliament comprises the directly elected Bundestag and Bundesrat which represents the constitutive states but which has limited competence.

Austrian Legislatures

  • Landtag of Burgenland (Transleithanian, never a separate Crown land)
  • Landtag of Carinthia
  • Landtag of Lower Austria
  • Landtag of Upper Austria
  • Landtag of Salzburg
  • Landtag of Styria (Steiermark)
  • Landtag of Tyrol
  • Landtag of Vorarlberg
  • Gemeinderat of Vienna (statehood granted late; not unlike Berlin
    Berlin is the capital city of Germany and is one of the 16 states of Germany. With a population of 3.45 million people, Berlin is Germany's largest city. It is the second most populous city proper and the seventh most populous urban area in the European Union...

    , it is identical to its municipal 'Gemeinderat
    The Bernese city council, called Gemeinderat, is the executive body of the city of Bern.It consists of five full-time members who represent proportionally the voting population of the city of Bern; they are elected for four years, and each one leads one of the directorates of the city administration...

    ', as the federal capital is a city-state: state
    States of Austria
    Austria is a federal republic made up of nine states, known in German as Länder . Since Land is also the German word for a country, the term Bundesländer is often used instead to avoid ambiguity. The Constitution of Austria uses both terms...

     and municipality
    A municipality is essentially an urban administrative division having corporate status and usually powers of self-government. It can also be used to mean the governing body of a municipality. A municipality is a general-purpose administrative subdivision, as opposed to a special-purpose district...

     at the same time)

In seven cases the modern Landtage are the democratic successors of the Landtage of the corresponding imperial Kronland
Kronland may refer to:* the German name of Lanškroun, a town in the Czech Republic* a "crown land", a constituent territory of Cisleithania, the Austrian half of former Austria–Hungary...

s. Exceptions are the city of Vienna (which belonged to the Lower Austria Kronland) and Burgenland (which belonged to the kingdom of Hungary, in personal union).

Austria's national bicameral parliament, the Bundesversammlung (Federal Assembly)
Federal Assembly of Austria
The Federal Assembly is the name given to a formal joint session of the two houses of the Austrian federal parliament, the National Council and the Federal Council....

, consists of a directly elected Nationalrat (National Council)
National Council of Austria
The National Council is one of the two houses of the Austrian parliament. According to the constitution, the National Council and the complementary Federal Council are peers...

 and a Bundesrat (Federal Council)
Federal Council of Austria
The Federal Council of Austria or Bundesrat is the second chamber of the Austrian parliament, representing the nine States of Austria on federal level. As part of a bicameral legislature alongside of the National Council of Austria , it can be compared with an upper house or a senate...



Italy's predominantly German-speaking province of South Tyrol
South Tyrol
South Tyrol , also known by its Italian name Alto Adige, is an autonomous province in northern Italy. It is one of the two autonomous provinces that make up the autonomous region of Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol. The province has an area of and a total population of more than 500,000 inhabitants...

 has its own Landtag
Landtag of South Tyrol
The Landtag of South Tyrol is the provincial parliament of the autonomous province of South Tyrol in northeast Italy.As a legislature it is responsible for passing laws at the provincial level and enact the budget. Its most important function is to elect and control the government of South Tyrol...



In the Sovereign principality of Liechtenstein the national parliament is called the Landtag of Liechtenstein
Landtag of Liechtenstein
The Diet is the parliament or legislature of Liechtenstein. It has 25 members, elected for a four year term by proportional representation in two multi-seat constituencies....

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