August 14, 2022
Burkmeister (sometimes also pudmeister, from the German Bürgermeister) was a mayor from the 13th century, originally the chairman of the town council (council of aldermen), the counterpart of the magistrate as the highest appointed official. Aldermen initially took turns in the function of burgomaster, later the burgomaster was elected and confirmed by the authorities. The first burgomaster of the year was called primas or mayor. In the late Middle Ages, his powers gradually expanded until he largely took over or even replaced the function of the magistrate. From the end of the 15th century, city self-government was gradually reduced until in the 18th century it was replaced by a municipal office with appointed and paid officials. Elected municipal councils were restored by Francis Joseph I in 1848.