The Info List - Regierungsbezirk

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_REGIERUNGSBEZIRK_ (pronounced , often abbreviated to REG.-BEZ.; English: Administrative district ) is an administrative region at federal state level in Germany. The regional authority is called a _Regierungspräsidium_ or _Bezirksregierung_ (district government) and is headed by a _Regierungspräsident_ (district president).

The _Regierungsbezirke_ do not pass any legislation. Within the federal state authority, they act as a mid-level agency, concerned mostly with administrative decisions on a regional level for the affiliated rural or urban districts .


* 1 Translations * 2 History * 3 _Regierungsbezirke_ by state * 4 Historic _Regierungsbezirke_ * 5 References * 6 External links


_Regierungsbezirk_ is variously translated as "governmental district", "administrative district" or "province", with the first two being closest literal translations.


The first _Regierungsbezirke_ were established in the Kingdom of Bavaria (1808) and in the course of the Prussian reforms between 1808 and 1816, when the Kingdom of Prussia divided its provinces into 25 _Regierungsbezirke_; eventually Prussia had 37 such districts in 12 provinces. By German unification in 1871, the concept of Regierungsbezirke had been adopted by most States of the German Empire .

The _Regierungsbezirke_ of North Rhine-Westphalia are in direct continuation of those created in the Prussian Rhine and Westphalia provinces in 1816. Similar entities in other states were initially named _Kreishauptmannschaft_ (in Saxony) or _Kreis_ (in Bavaria and Württemberg ) (not to be confused with the present-day _Kreis_ or _Landkreis_ districts) or _province_ in Hesse. In Nazi Germany
the naming was unified to _Regierungsbezirk_.


Currently, only four large-area 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 ):

* Baden- Württemberg : Freiburg , Karlsruhe , Stuttgart , Tübingen * Bavaria : Upper Bavaria , Lower Bavaria , Upper Palatinate , Upper Franconia , Middle Franconia
Middle Franconia
, Lower Franconia , Swabia * Hesse
: Darmstadt , Gießen , Kassel * North Rhine-Westphalia : Arnsberg , Cologne , Detmold , Düsseldorf , Münster

On 1 January 2000 Rhineland-Palatinate disbanded its three _Regierungsbezirke_ 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_: Dessau , Halle and Magdeburg . The responsibilities are now covered by a _Landesverwaltungsamt_ with three offices at the former seats of the _Bezirksregierungen_.

At the foundation of Lower Saxony in 1946 by the merger of the three former Free States of Brunswick , Oldenburg , Schaumburg-Lippe and the former Prussian province of Hanover the former two states became _Verwaltungsbezirke_ (roughly administrative regions of extended competence) within Lower Saxony besides the less autonomous Prussian-style _Regierungsbezirke_ comprising the former Province
of Hanover and the tiny Schaumburg-Lippe. These differences were levelled on 1 January 1978, when four territorially redeployed _Regierungsbezirke_ replaced the two _Verwaltungsbezirke_ and the old six _Regierungsbezirke_: Brunswick and Oldenburg as well as Aurich, Hanover (remaining mostly the same), Hildesheim, Lüneburg (old), Osnabrück and Stade . On 1 January 2005, Lower Saxony disbanded its remaining four _Regierungsbezirke_: Brunswick , Hanover , Lüneburg , and Weser-Ems .

On 1 August 2008, Saxony
restructured its districts (_Landkreise_) and changed the name of its _Regierungsbezirke_ to _Direktionsbezirke_. This was necessary because one of the new districts did not fit with the borders of the old _Regierungsbezirke_ and some responsibilities are now covered by the districts. The _Direktionsbezirke_ are still named _Chemnitz_, _Dresden_ and _Leipzig_. As of 1 March 2012, the _Direktionsbezirke_ were merged into one _Landesdirektion_.

Four of the new federal states re-established in 1990, Berlin
, Brandenburg
, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and Thuringia , decided not to implement _Regierungsbezirke_. In Bremen , Hamburg
, Schleswig-Holstein and Saarland
they never existed.


* Prussia

* Berlin
, comprising the city and several suburbs, incorporated into _Regierungsbezirk_ Potsdam
of Brandenburg
in 1822 * Kleve , Province of Jülich-Cleves-Berg , incorporated into Düsseldorf region in 1822 * Reichenbach , Province of Silesia , incorporated into Breslau and Liegnitz regions in 1820 * Stralsund , Province
of Pomerania , incorporated into Stettin Region
in 1932

* Dissolved in 1919/20 after cession of territory according to the Treaty of Versailles
Treaty of Versailles

* Bromberg , Province of Posen * Danzig , Province
of West Prussia
West Prussia
(see Free City of Danzig ) * Lorraine , Imperial Land of Alsace-Lorraine * Lower Alsace , Imperial Land of Alsace-Lorraine * Marienwerder , Province
of West Prussia
West Prussia
, re-established as West Prussia region of the East Prussia province in 1922 * Posen , Province
of Posen * Upper Alsace , Imperial Land of Alsace-Lorraine

* Established after the 1939 Invasion of Poland , dissolved in 1945:

* Hohensalza , _ Reichsgau Wartheland _ * Kattowitz , Province of Silesia (Upper Silesia from 1941) * Litzmannstadt (Kalisch until 1941), _Reichsgau Wartheland_ * Posen , _Reichsgau Wartheland_ * Zichenau , Province
of East Prussia

* Former eastern territories , dissolved in 1945:

* Allenstein , Province
of East Prussia * Breslau , Province
of Silesia * Frankfurt , Province
of Brandenburg * Gumbinnen , Province
of East Prussia * Köslin , Province
of Pomerania * Königsberg , Province
of East Prussia * Liegnitz , Province
of Silesia * Oppeln , Province
of Silesia * Posen- West Prussia
West Prussia
(Schneidemühl ), Province
of Pomerania, established in 1938 * Stettin , Province
of Pomerania

* Allied-occupied Germany