Oesterreichischer Kreis ("Austrian Circle"), one of the 10 Reich districts established by Emperor Maximilian I in 1500 and 1512 for the purpose of appointing counsellors for the Reichsregiment and assessors for the Reichskammergericht court. These "circles" were also meant to levy taxes and recruit troops. The Austrian Circle comprised today's Lower and Upper Austria, Styria, Carinthia, Tirol with the bishoprics of Brixen and Trient, Vorarlberg including Vorderoesterreich (the Habsburg possessions in southwestern Germany), the bishopric of Chur and the domain of Tarasp in Grisons, Carniola and the possessions on the Adriatic coast. Salzburg and the Innviertel region belonged to the Bavarian Circle. This division, which had no practical significance, continued in theory until 1806.