_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
Württemberg ) (not to be confused with the present-day _Kreis_ or
_Landkreis_ districts) or _province_ in Hesse. In Nazi
_REGIERUNGSBEZIRKE_ BY STATE
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 ):
Württemberg : Freiburg , Karlsruhe , Stuttgart , Tübingen
Bavaria : Upper
Bavaria , Lower
Upper Palatinate , Upper
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
Lower Saxony besides the less autonomous
Prussian-style _Regierungsbezirke_ comprising the former
On 1 August 2008,
Four of the new federal states re-established in 1990,
* Dissolved in 1919/20 after cession of territory according to the
Treaty of Versailles
* Bromberg ,
Province of Posen
* Danzig ,
* 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 ,
* Former eastern territories , dissolved in 1945:
* Allenstein ,
* Allied-occupied Germany