The Info List - Regierungsbezirk

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A German Regierungsbezirk
(pronounced [ʁeˈɡiːʁʊŋsbəˌt͡sɪɐ̯k], often abbreviated to Reg.-Bez.; English: administrative district) is an administrative district of one of the nation's federal states. Its governing body is called a Regierungspräsidium or Bezirksregierung (district government), and is headed by a Regierungspräsident (district president). The Regierungsbezirke do not legislate; rather, each acts as a mid-level agent of its federal state, and is concerned mostly with administrative decisions on a local level for the (rural or urban) locale that is its jurisdiction.[1]


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

Translations[edit] Regierungsbezirk
is variously translated as "governmental district",[2] "administrative district"[3][4] or "province",[5][6] with the first two being closest literal translations. History[edit] The first Regierungsbezirke were established in the Kingdom of Bavaria (1808) and in the course of the Prussian reforms
Prussian reforms
between 1808 and 1816, when the Kingdom of Prussia
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
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. Regierungsbezirke by state[edit] 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, 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
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
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
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. Historic Regierungsbezirke[edit]


Berlin, comprising the city and several suburbs, incorporated into Regierungsbezirk
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:

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, 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
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:

Erfurt, dissolved in 1944/1945 Frankfurt, dissolved in 1945, Province of Brandenburg Liegnitz, Province of Silesia, dissolved in 1945 Magdeburg, dissolved in 1945, reestablished in 1990 and redissolved in 2004 Merseburg, dissolved in 1944/1945 Minden, Province of Westphalia, incorporated into Detmold in 1947 Potsdam, dissolved in 1945, Province of Brandenburg Schleswig, dissolved in 1946, Province of Schleswig-Holstein Sigmaringen, Province of Hohenzollern, incorporated into Württemberg-Hohenzollern
in 1946. Stettin, dissolved in 1945, Province of Pomerania


^ Regional Governments in France, Germany, Poland and The Netherlands (HTML version of PowerPoint presentation) – Cachet, A (coordinator), Erasmus University, Rotterdam[dead link] ^ regierung.oberbayern.bayern.de ^ regierung.oberfranken.bayern.de ^ regierung.unterfranken.bayern.de ^ Jablonsky, David. The Nazi Party in Dissolution: Hitler and the Verbotzeit 1923-25, London: Routledge, 1989, p. 27. ^ Shapiro, Henry D. and Jonathan D. Sarna, Ethic Diversity and Civic Identity, Illinois: UIP, 1992, p. 135.

External links[edit] Media related to Regierungsbezirk
at Wikimedia Commons

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Designations for types of administrative territorial entities

English terms

Common English terms1


Insular area Local government area Protected area Special
area Statistical area

Combined statistical area Metropolitan statistical area Micropolitan statistical area

Urban area




borough Metropolitan borough


Federal capital Imperial capital


state Autonomous city Charter city Independent city Incorporated city Imperial city Free imperial city Royal free city


Autonomous community Residential community


Administrative county Autonomous county Consolidated city-county Metropolitan county




Overseas country


Overseas department


Capital district City
district Congressional district Electoral district Federal district Indian government district Land district Metropolitan district

Non-metropolitan district

Military district Municipal district Police district Regional district Rural district Sanitary district Subdistrict Urban district Special


Census division Police division Subdivision


municipality County

Norway Nova Scotia Regional county municipality

Direct-controlled municipality District
municipality Mountain resort municipality Neutral municipality Regional municipality Resort municipality Rural municipality Specialized municipality


Autonomous prefecture Subprefecture Super-prefecture Praetorian prefecture


Autonomous province Overseas province Roman province


Administrative region Autonomous region Capital region Development region Economic region Mesoregion Microregion Overseas region Planning region Special
administrative region Statistical region Subregion


Biosphere reserve Ecological reserve Game reserve Indian reserve Nature reserve


Federal state Free state Sovereign state


Capital territory

Federal capital territory

Dependent territory Federal territory Military territory Organized incorporated territory Overseas territory Union territory Unorganized territory


Census town Market town


Charter township Civil township Paper township Survey township Urban township


Autonomous territorial unit Local administrative unit Municipal unit Regional unit


Economic zone

Exclusive economic zone Free economic zone Special
economic zone

Free-trade zone Neutral zone Self-administered zone

Other English terms


Alpine resort Bailiwick Banner


Block Cadastre Circle Circuit Colony Commune Condominium Constituency Duchy Eldership Emirate Federal dependency Governorate Hamlet Ilkhanate Indian reservation Manor


Muftiate Neighbourhood Parish Periphery Precinct Principality Protectorate Quarter Regency Autonomous republic Riding Sector


Shire Sultanate Suzerainty Townland Village

Administrative Summer



Agency Barony Burgh Exarchate Hide Hundred Imperial Circle March Monthon Presidency Residency Roman diocese Seat Tenth Tithing

Non-English or loanwords


Amt Bakhsh Barangay Bezirk Regierungsbezirk Comune Frazione Fu Gemeinde Județ Kunta / kommun

Finland Sweden

Län Località Megye Muban Oblast


Okrug Ostān Poblacion Purok Shahrestān Sum Sýsla Tehsil Vingtaine


Commote Gau Heerlijkheid Köping Maalaiskunta Nome

Egypt Greece

Pagus Pargana Plasă Satrapy Socken Subah Syssel Zhou

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terms for country subdivisions


Muhafazah (محافظة governorate) Wilayah (ولاية province) Mintaqah (منطقة region) Mudiriyah (مديرية directorate) Imarah (إمارة emirate) Baladiyah (بلدية municipality) Shabiyah (شعبية "popularate")

Second / third-level

Mintaqah (منطقة region) Qadaa (قضاء district) Nahiyah (ناحية subdistrict) Markaz (مركز district) Mutamadiyah (معتمدية "delegation") Daerah/Daïra (دائرة circle) Liwa (لواء banner / sanjak)

City / township-level

Amanah (أمانة municipality) Baladiyah (بلدية municipality) Ḥai (حي neighborhood / quarter) Mahallah (محلة) Qarya (قرية) Sheyakhah (شياخة "neighborhood subdivision")

English translations given are those most commonly used.

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French terms for country subdivisions

arrondissement département préfecture subprefectures

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Greek terms for country subdivisions


apokentromenes dioikiseis / geniki dioikisis§ / diamerisma§ / periphereia nomos§ / periphereiaki enotita demos / eparchia§ / koinotita§


archontia/archontaton bandon demos despotaton dioikesis doukaton droungos eparchia exarchaton katepanikion kephalatikion kleisoura meris naukrareia satrapeia strategis thema toparchia tourma

§ signifies a defunct institution

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Portuguese terms for country subdivisions

Regional subdivisions

Estado Distrito federal Província Região Distrito Comarca Capitania

Local subdivisions

Município Concelho Freguesia Comuna Circunscrição


Cidade Vila Aldeia Bairro Lugar

Historical subdivisions in italics.

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Slavic terms for country subdivisions


dzielnica gmina krai kraj krajina / pokrajina městys obec oblast / oblast' / oblasti / oblys / obwód / voblast' okręg okres okrug opština / općina / občina / obshtina osiedle powiat / povit raion selsoviet / silrada sołectwo voivodeship / vojvodina županija


darugha gromada guberniya / gubernia jurydyka khutor obshchina okolia opole pogost prowincja sorok srez starostwo / starostva uyezd volost ziemia župa

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Spanish terms for country subdivisions

National, Federal

Comunidad autónoma Departamento Distrito federal Estado Provincia Región

Regional, Metropolitan

Cantón Comarca Comuna Corregimiento Delegación Distrito Mancomunidad Merindad Municipalidad Municipio Parroquia

Ecuador Spain

Urban, Rural

Aldea Alquería Anteiglesia Asentamiento

Asentamiento informal Pueblos jóvenes

Barrio Campamento Caserío Ciudad

Ciudad autónoma

Colonia Lugar Masía Pedanía Población Ranchería Sitio Vereda Villa Village

Historical subdivisions in italics.

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Turkish terms for country subdivisions


il (province) ilçe (district) şehir (city) kasaba (town) belediye (municipality) belde (community) köy (village) mahalle (neighbourhood/quarter)


ağalık (feudal district) bucak (subdistrict) beylerbeylik (province) kadılık (subprovince) kaza (sub-province) hidivlik (viceroyalty) mutasarrıflık (subprovince) nahiye (nahiyah) paşalık (province) reya (Romanian principalities) sancak (prefecture) vilayet (province) voyvodalık (Romanian provinces)

1 Used by ten or more countries or having derived terms. Historical derivations in italics. See also: Census division, Electoral district, Political division, and List of administrative di