Province of Saxony

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Province of Saxony
Provinz Sachsen  (German)
Province of Prussia
German Empire - Prussia - Saxony (1871).svg
Saxony (red), within the Kingdom of Prussia (yellow), within the German Empire
Capital Magdeburg
  Coordinates 52°8′N11°37′E / 52.133°N 11.617°E / 52.133; 11.617 Coordinates: 52°8′N11°37′E / 52.133°N 11.617°E / 52.133; 11.617
25,529 km2 (9,857 sq mi)
Political subdivisions
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Coat of Arms of the Archbishopric of Magdeburg.svg Duchy of Magdeburg
DEU Provinz Brandenburg 1864-1945 COA.svg Altmark
Banner of the Electorate of Mainz.svg Electorate of Mainz
Flagge Konigreich Sachsen (1815-1918).svg Kingdom of Saxony
Province of Halle-Merseburg Blank.png
Province of Magdeburg Blank.png
Thuringia Flag of Thuringia.svg

The Province of Saxony (German : Provinz Sachsen), also known as Prussian Saxony (Preußisches Sachsen) was a province of the Kingdom of Prussia and later the Free State of Prussia from 1816 until 1944. Its capital was Magdeburg.


It was formed by the merger of various territories ceded or returned to Prussia in 1815 by the Congress of Vienna: most of the former northern territories of the Kingdom of Saxony (the remainder of which became part of Brandenburg or Silesia), the former French Principality of Erfurt, the Duchy of Magdeburg, the Altmark, the Principality of Halberstadt, and some other districts.

The province was bounded by the Electorate of Hesse (the province of Hesse-Nassau after 1866), the Kingdom of Hanover (the province of Hanover after 1866) and the Duchy of Brunswick to the west, Hanover (again) to the north, Brandenburg to the north and east, Silesia to the south-east, and the rump kingdom of Saxony and the small Ernestine duchies to the south. Its shape was very irregular and it entirely surrounded enclaves of Brunswick and some of the Ernestine duchies. It also possessed several exclaves, and was almost entirely bisected by the Duchy of Anhalt save for a small corridor of land around Aschersleben (which itself bisected Anhalt). The river Havel ran along the north-eastern border with Brandenburg north of Plaue but did not follow the border exactly.

The majority of the population was Protestant, with a Catholic minority (about 8% as of 1905) considered part of the diocese of Paderborn. The province sent 20 members to the Reichstag and 38 delegates to the Prussian House of Representatives (Abgeordnetenhaus).


Early history

The province was created in 1816 out of the following territories:

Later history

The provincial arms as part of the Free State of Prussia after 1918. Wappen preussische Provinz Sachsen.svg
The provincial arms as part of the Free State of Prussia after 1918.

The Province of Saxony was one of the richest regions of Prussia, with highly developed agriculture and industry. In 1932, the province was enlarged with the addition of the regions around Ilfeld and Elbingerode, which had previously been part of the Province of Hanover.

On 1 July 1944, the Province of Saxony was divided along the lines of its three administrative regions. The Erfurt Regierungsbezirk was merged with the Herrschaft Schmalkalden district of the Province of Hesse-Nassau and given to the state of Thuringia. The Magdeburg Regierungsbezirk became the Province of Magdeburg, and the Merseburg Regierungsbezirk became the Province of Halle-Merseburg.

In 1945, the Soviet military administration combined Magdeburg and Halle-Merseburg with the State of Anhalt into the Province of Saxony-Anhalt, with Halle as its capital. The eastern part of the Blankenburg exclave of Brunswick and the Thuringian exclave of Allstedt were also added to Saxony-Anhalt. In 1947, Saxony-Anhalt became a state.

The East German states, including Thuringia and Saxony-Anhalt, were abolished in 1952, but they were recreated as part of the reunification of Germany in 1990 (with some slight border changes; in particular territories around Torgau, which were part of Saxony-Anhalt between 1945 and 1952, passed to Saxony) as modern states of Germany.


Prior to 1944, the province of Saxony was divided into three Regierungsbezirke . In 1945, only the provinces of Magdeburg and Halle-Merseburg were re-merged.

Regierungsbezirk Magdeburg

The Province of Saxony before 1918 Province Saxony (1815-1937).jpg
The Province of Saxony before 1918

Urban districts ( Stadtkreise )

  1. Aschersleben (1901–1950)
  2. Burg bei Magdeburg (1924–1950)
  3. Halberstadt (1817–1825 and 1891–1950)
  4. Magdeburg
  5. Quedlinburg (1911–1950)
  6. Stendal (1909–1950)

Rural districts ( Landkreise )

  1. Calbe a./S.
  2. Gardelegen
  3. Haldensleben
  4. Jerichow I
  5. Jerichow II
  6. Oschersleben (Bode)
  7. Osterburg
  8. Quedlinburg
  9. Salzwedel
  10. Stendal
  11. Wanzleben
  12. Wernigerode
  13. Wolmirstedt

Regierungsbezirk Merseburg

Urban districts ( Stadtkreise )

  1. Eisleben (1908–1950)
  2. Halle a. d. Saale
  3. Merseburg (1921–1950)
  4. Naumburg a. d. Saale (1914–1950)
  5. Weißenfels (1899–1950)
  6. Wittenberg (Lutherstadt)
  7. Zeitz (1901–1950)

Rural districts ( Landkreise )

  1. Bitterfeld
  2. Delitzsch
  3. Eckartsberga
  4. Liebenwerda
  5. Mansfelder Gebirgskreis
  6. Mansfelder Seekreis
  7. Merseburg
  8. Querfurt
  9. Saalkreis
  10. Sangerhausen
  11. Schweinitz
  12. Torgau
  13. Weißenfels
  14. Wittenberg
  15. Zeitz

Regierungsbezirk Erfurt

Urban districts ( Stadtkreise )

  1. Erfurt (1816–18 and 1872–present)
  2. Mühlhausen (1892–1950)
  3. Nordhausen (1882–1950)

Rural districts ( Landkreise )

  1. Hohenstein county
  2. Heiligenstadt
  3. Langensalza
  4. Mühlhausen
  5. Schleusingen
  6. Weißensee
  7. Worbis
  8. Ziegenrück

See also

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