|This article is part of a series on the|
politics and government of
A Regierungsbezirk (pronounced [ʁeˈɡiːʁʊŋsbəˌtsɪʁk] , often abbreviated to Reg.-Bez.) is a type of administrative division in Germany.
Regierungsbezirke serve as regional mid-level local government units in four of Germany's sixteen federal states: Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Hesse, and North Rhine-Westphalia. Each of the nineteen Regierungsbezirke features a non-legislative governing body called a Regierungspräsidium or Bezirksregierung (district government) headed by a Regierungspräsident (district president), concerned mostly with administrative decisions on a local level for districts within its jurisdiction.
Regierungsbezirk is a German term variously translated into English as "governmental district","administrative district" or "province", with the first two being the closest literal translations.
The first Regierungsbezirke were established in the Kingdom of Bavaria and the Kingdom of Prussia in 1808. During the course of the Prussian reforms between 1808 and 1816, Prussia subdivided its provinces into 25 Regierungsbezirke, eventually featuring 37 such districts within 12 provinces. By 1871, at the time of German unification, the concept of Regierungsbezirke had been adopted by most States of the German Empire. Similar entities were initially established in other states under different names, including Kreishauptmannschaft in Saxony, Kreis in Bavaria and Württemberg (not to be confused with the present-day Kreis or Landkreis districts), and province in Hesse. The names of these equivalent administrative divisions were standardized to Regierungsbezirk in Nazi Germany, but after World War II these naming reforms were reverted.
The Regierungsbezirke in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia in modern Germany are in direct continuation of those created in the Prussian Rhine and Westphalia provinces in 1816. Regierungsbezirke never existed in Bremen, Hamburg, Schleswig-Holstein, and Saarland.
In 1946, Lower Saxony was founded by the merger of the three former Free States of Brunswick, Oldenburg, Schaumburg-Lippe, and the former Prussian province of Hanover. Brunswick and Oldenburg became Verwaltungsbezirke (roughly administrative regions of extended competence) alongside six less autonomous Prussian-style Regierungsbezirke comprising the Province of Hanover and Schaumburg-Lippe. These differences in autonomy and size were levelled on 1 January 1978, when four Regierungsbezirke replaced the two Verwaltungsbezirke and the six Regierungsbezirke: Brunswick and Oldenburg, Aurich, Hanover (remaining mostly the same), Hildesheim, Lüneburg, Osnabrück and Stade.
Following the reunification of Germany in 1990, the territory of the former East Germany was organized into six re-established new federal states, including a reunified Berlin. Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt established three Regierungsbezirke each, while the other new states didn't implement them.
During the 2000s, four German states discontinued the use of Regierungsbezirke. On 1 January 2000, Rhineland-Palatinate disbanded its three Regierungsbezirke of Koblenz, Rheinhessen-Pfalz and Trier. The employees and assets of the three Bezirksregierungen were converted into three public authorities responsible for the whole state, each covering a part of the former responsibilities of the Bezirksregierung.
On 1 January 2004, Saxony-Anhalt disbanded its three Regierungsbezirke of Dessau, Halle and Magdeburg. The responsibilities are now covered by a Landesverwaltungsamt with three offices at the former seats of the Bezirksregierungen. On 1 January 2005, Lower Saxony followed suit, disbanding its remaining four Regierungsbezirke of Brunswick, Hanover, Lüneburg, and Weser-Ems.
On 1 August 2008, Saxony restructured its districts (Landkreise), changed the name of its Regierungsbezirke to Direktionsbezirke, and moved some responsibilities to the districts. The Direktionsbezirke were still named Chemnitz, Dresden, and Leipzig, but a border change was necessary because the new district of Mittelsachsen crossed the borders of the old Regierungsbezirke. On 1 March 2012, the Direktionsbezirke were merged into one Landesdirektion.
Currently, only four German states out of 16 in total are divided into Regierungsbezirke; all others are directly divided into districts without mid-level agencies. Those four states are divided into a total of 19 Regierungsbezirke, ranging in population from 5,255,000 (Düsseldorf) to 1,065,000 (Gießen):
Lüneburg was one of the four Regierungsbezirke of Lower Saxony, Germany, located in the north of the federal state between the three cities Bremen, Hamburg and Hanover.
Germany is a federal republic consisting of sixteen states. Since today's Germany was formed from an earlier collection of several states, it has a federal constitution, and the constituent states retain a measure of sovereignty. With an emphasis on geographical conditions, Berlin and Hamburg are frequently called Stadtstaaten (city-states), as is the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen, which in fact includes the cities of Bremen and Bremerhaven. The remaining 13 states are called Flächenländer.
The Kingdom of Prussia was a German kingdom that constituted the state of Prussia between 1701 and 1918. It was the driving force behind the unification of Germany in 1871 and was the leading state of the German Empire until its dissolution in 1918. Although it took its name from the region called Prussia, it was based in the Margraviate of Brandenburg, where its capital was Berlin.
Prussia was a historically prominent German state that originated in 1525 with a duchy centred on the region of Prussia on the southeast coast of the Baltic Sea. It was de facto dissolved by an emergency decree transferring powers of the Prussian government to German Chancellor Franz von Papen in 1932 and de jure by an Allied decree in 1947. For centuries, the House of Hohenzollern ruled Prussia, successfully expanding its size by way of an unusually well-organised and effective army. Prussia, with its capital first in Königsberg and then, in 1701, in Berlin, decisively shaped the history of Germany.
The Province of Silesia was a province of Prussia from 1815 to 1919. The Silesia region was part of the Prussian realm since 1740 and established as an official province in 1815, then became part of the German Empire in 1871. In 1919, as part of the Free State of Prussia within Weimar Germany, Silesia was divided into the provinces of Upper Silesia and Lower Silesia. Silesia was reunified briefly from 1938 to 1941 as a province of Nazi Germany before being divided back into Upper Silesia and Lower Silesia.
The Province of Saxony, also known as Prussian Saxony was a province of the Kingdom of Prussia and later the Free State of Prussia from 1816 until 1945. Its capital was Magdeburg.
The Province of Lower Silesia was a province of the Free State of Prussia from 1919 to 1945. Between 1938 and 1941 it was reunited with Upper Silesia as the Province of Silesia. The capital of Lower Silesia was Breslau. The province was further divided into two administrative regions (Regierungsbezirke), Breslau and Liegnitz.
Reichsgau Danzig-West Prussia was a Nazi German province created on 8 October 1939 from annexed territory of the Free City of Danzig, the Greater Pomeranian Voivodship, and the Regierungsbezirk West Prussia of Gau East Prussia.
The Frontier March of Posen-West Prussia was a province of Prussia from 1922 to 1938. Posen-West Prussia was established in 1922 as a province of the Free State of Prussia within Weimar Germany, formed from merging three remaining non-contiguous territories of Posen and West Prussia, which had lost the majority of their territory to the Second Polish Republic and Free City of Danzig in the Treaty of Versailles. From 1934, Posen-West Prussia was de facto ruled by Brandenburg until it was dissolved in 1938 by Nazi Germany, and its territory divided between the Prussian provinces of Silesia, Pomerania, and Brandenburg. Schneidemühl was the provincial capital. Today, the province is entirely contained within the modern state of Poland.
Posen was the southern of two Prussian administrative regions, or Regierungsbezirke, of the Grand Duchy of Posen (1815–49) and its successor, the Province of Posen (1849–1918). The administrative region was bordered on the north by Regierungsbezirk Bromberg, to the west by the Province of Brandenburg, to the south by the Silesia Province, and to the east by Russian Congress Poland.
The Provinces of Prussia were the main administrative divisions of Prussia from 1815 to 1946. Prussia's province system was introduced in the Stein-Hardenberg Reforms in 1815, and were mostly organized from duchies and historical regions. Provinces were divided into several Regierungsbezirke, sub-divided into Kreise (districts), and then into Gemeinden (townships) at the lowest-level. Provinces constituted the highest level of administration in the Kingdom of Prussia and Free State of Prussia until 1933, when Nazi Germany established de facto direct rule over provincial politics, and were formally abolished in 1946 following World War II. The Prussian provinces became the basis for many federal states of Germany, and the states of Brandenburg, Lower Saxony, and Schleswig-Holstein are direct successors of provinces.
Farther Pomerania, Further Pomerania, Transpomerania or Eastern Pomerania, is the part of Pomerania which comprised the eastern part of the Duchy and later Province of Pomerania. It stretched roughly from the Oder River in the West to Pomerelia in the East. Since 1945, Farther Pomerania has been part of Poland; the bulk of former Farther Pomerania is within the West Pomeranian Voivodeship, while its easternmost parts are within the Pomeranian Voivodeship. The Polish term Pomorze Zachodnie, in modern Polish usage, is a synonym to the West Pomeranian Voivodship; in Polish historical usage it applied to all areas west of Pomerelia.
The German Emperor was the official title of the head of state and hereditary ruler of the German Empire. A specifically chosen term, it was introduced with the 1 January 1871 constitution and lasted until the official abdication of Wilhelm II on 28 November 1918. The Holy Roman Emperor is sometimes also called "German Emperor" when the historical context is clear, as derived from the Holy Roman Empire's official name of "Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation" from 1512.
The Province of Hanover was a province of the Kingdom of Prussia and the Free State of Prussia from 1868 to 1946.
Międzychód is a town in Greater Poland Voivodeship, Poland, the administrative seat of Międzychód County. It is located on the southern shore of the Warta river, about 75 km (47 mi) west of Poznań. Population is 10,915 (2009).
The Free State of Prussia was a state of Germany from 1918 to 1947.
This is a list of coats of arms of Germany.
During World War II, Germany had a system of military districts to relieve field commanders of as much administrative work as possible and to provide a regular flow of trained recruits and supplies to the Field Army. The Field Army was separate from the Home Command (Heimatkriegsgebiet). The responsibilities of training, conscription, supply, and equipment were entrusted to the Home Command.
The Prussian State Council was the upper chamber of the bicameral legislature of the Free State of Prussia between 1920 and 1933. The lower chamber was the Prussian Landtag.
The German Emperors after 1873 had a variety of titles and coats of arms, which in various compositions became the officially used titles and coats of arms. The title and coat of arms were last fixed in 1873, but the titles did not necessarily mean that the area was really dominated, and sometimes even several princes bore the same title.