Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
A Regierungsbezirk is an administrative region of Germany, a subdivision of certain federal states (Bundesländer). Regierungsbezirke are themselves further divided into districts (Kreise), either Landkreise or urban districts: cities which constitute a district in their own right (kreisfreie Städte). The Regierungsbezirk is governed by a Bezirksregierung and led by a Regierungspräsident.
Not all Bundesländer have this sub-division; some are directly divided into districts. Currently, five states are divided into 26 Regierungsbezirke, ranging in population from 5,255,000 (Düsseldorf) to 1,065,000 (Gießen):
- Baden-Württemberg: Freiburg, Karlsruhe, Stuttgart, Tübingen
- Bavaria: Mittelfranken, Niederbayern, Oberbayern, Oberfranken, Oberpfalz, Schwaben, Unterfranken
- Hesse: Darmstadt, Gießen, Kassel
- North Rhine-Westphalia: Arnsberg, Cologne, Detmold, Düsseldorf, Münster
- Saxony: Chemnitz, Dresden, Leipzig
The first Regierungsbezirke were created by Prussia in 1815/16, which divided its provinces into 25 Regierungsbezirke. The Regierungsbezirke of North Rhine-Westphalia are in direct continuation of those created in 1815. Other states of the German Empire created similar entities, named Kreishauptmannschaft or Kreis (not to be confused with the Kreis or Landkreis today). During the Third Reich the Nazi government unified the naming, thus since then all these entities are called Regierungsbezirk.
On January 1 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 January 1 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.
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