Middle Franconia (German: Mittelfranken) is one of the three administrative regions of Franconia in Bavaria, Germany. It is in the west of Bavaria and adjoins the state of Baden-Württemberg. The administrative seat is Ansbach but the most populated city is Nuremberg.
The region is divided into seven Landkreise (districts) and five Kreisfreie Städte ('district-free cities'):
After the founding of the Kingdom of Bavaria the state was totally reorganised and, in 1808, divided into 15 administrative government regions (German: Regierungsbezirke (singular Regierungsbezirk)), in Bavaria called Kreise (singular: Kreis). They were created in the fashion of the French departements, quite even in size and population, and named after their main rivers.
In the following years, due to territorial changes (e. g. loss of Tyrol, addition of the Palatinate), the number of Kreise was reduced to 8. One of these was the Rezatkreis (Rezat District). In 1837 king Ludwig I of Bavaria renamed the Kreise after historical territorial names and tribes of the area. This also involved some border changes or territorial swaps. Thus the district name of Rezatkreis changed to Upper Franconia.
Next to the major city Nuremberg, the capital Ansbach and the former residence city Erlangen, the towns of the Romantic Road Rothenburg ob der Tauber and Dinkelsbühl belong to the major tourist attractions. The Lichtenau Fortress, Rothenberg Fortress, Hohenstein and Cadolzburg belong to the most important castles of Middle Franconia. The Franconian Jura and the northern valley of the River Altmühl are among the scenic attractions.
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