Mittelfranken (Middle Franconia)

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Regional Research > Germany, after 1989 > Bavaria > Mittelfranken (Middle Franconia)

Location of Administrative District (Regierungsbezirk) Mittelfranken within the Federal State (Bundesland) Bavaria



Mittelfranken (Middle Franconia) is one of the 7 administrative districts (Regierungsbezirk) of Bavaria (Bayern).

Coat of Arms

Mittelfranken - Coat of arms
Der Fränkische Rechen

The Middle Franconian coat of arms represents the former Reichständischen territories who made up the main parts of this area. The silver and black shield represents the Markgrafschaft Brandenburg-Ansbach, the half eagle represents the former Imperial Free City of Nürnberg and the third part is the Fränkischen Rechen.

Der Fränkische Rechen (the Franconian rake or saw-tooth) shows three white (silver) spires on a red background. The saw-tooth has become a symbol commonly associated with the whole region of Franconia - consisting of Middle Franconia, Upper Franconia and Lower Franconia. In medieval times there never was a united political entity called Franken (Franconia), only a lot of small formerly sovereign states and numerous ecclesiastical holdings that made up this region. Due to this there had never been an actual historical coat of arms for the whole region of Franconia. Nevertheless the white and red Fränkischer Rechen became the symbol for Franconia; in the so-called great version of Bavarias coat of arms as well as in the coat of arms of the other two Franconian administrative districts.

General Information

Mittelfranken (Middle Franconia) is located in the north-west of Bavaria. It borders on all other Bavarian Administrative Districts (except Lower Bavaria). In the west it borders on ca. 180 km on the German Federal State of Baden-Württemberg. Middle Franconia is area-wise Bavaria´s second smallest administrative district, yet it is one of the most populated administrative districts of Bavaria. The industry region around the cities of - Nürnberg, Fürth (Bayern), Erlangen, Schwabach - is one of the most densely populated areas of Bavaria (right after Munich area). In comparison to this, the western part of Middle Franconia is the region with the lowest population numbers in Bavaria. This is essentially due to the territory history and location of Middle Franconia.

Data: 2003 Area in qkm Population Inhabitants /qkm
Mittelfranken (Middle Franconia) 7,245 1,706,615 236
Upper Franconia 7,231 1,109,674 153
Lower Franconia 8,531 1,344,740 158
Franconia total 23,007 4,161,029 181
Bavaria total 70,549 12,423,386 176

(Source: Bayerisches Landesamt für Statistik und Datenverarbeitung, Genesis online)

see also:

Political Structure

Middle Franconias administrative Capital is the city of Ansbach.


Independent Cities

Structure before 1972/78

In 1972/78 Bavaria had a major re-organization of the administrative system - a county-reform (Landkreisreform) and the municipality-reform (Gemeindereform). Aim was to downsize the number of existing administrative counties (Landkreise), independent cities (Kreisfreie Städte) and municipalities (Gemeinden). After these reforms a lot of formerly independent places and communities became part of another municipality (sometimes with this even became part of another county). Also some formerly existing counties were combined and the old county names ceased to exists. In some areas of Bavaria places even changed the administrative district (Regierungsbezirk) they belonged too.

Middle Franconias past administrative structure:(**)

Middle Franconia since 1972 before 1972
Counties 7 17
Independent Cities   5 5
Municipalities 205  ?

Counties (before county/municipality reforms in 1972 / 78):

*Dinkelsbühl (today: part of county Ansbach)
*Eichstätt (today: Administrative District: Upper Bavaria; county Eichstätt)
*Erlangen (today: part of county Erlangen-Höchstadt)
*Feuchtwangen (today: part of county Ansbach)
*Gunzenhausen (today: part of county Weißenburg-Gunzenhausen, county Ansbach and county Roth)
*Hersbruck (today: part of county Nürnberger Land)
*Hilpoltstein (today: part of county Roth, county Weißenburg-Gunzenhausen)
*Lauf (Pegnitz) (today: part of county Nürnberger Land)
*Neustadt an der Aisch (today: part of county Neustadt an der Aisch-Bad Windsheim and county Ansbach)
*Nürnberg (today: part of county Nürnberger Land)
*Rothenburg ob der Tauber (today: part of county Ansbach)
*Scheinfeld (today: part of county Neustadt an der Aisch-Bad Windsheim)
*Schwabach (today: part of county Roth, county Ansbach and (city) Schwabach)
*Uffenheim (today: part of county Neustadt an der Aisch-Bad Windsheim)
*Weißenburg (Bayern) (today: part of county Weißenburg-Gunzenhausen)

Independent Cities (before county/municipality reforms in 1972 / 78):

*Eichstätt (today: Administrative District: Upper Bavaria; county Eichstätt)
*Rothenburg ob der Tauber (today: part of county Ansbach)
*Weißenburg i. Bay (today: part of county Weißenburg-Gunzenhausen)

(Source: Handbuch der bayerischen Ämter, Gemeinden und Gerichte 1799-1980, Hrsg. W. Volkert)

Church Structure

Due to historical reasons Middle Franconia is dominantly more protestant then any other Bavarian administrative district. Since 1527/28 and the Reformation (1517-1555) the majority of people in Middle Franconia are Evangelical. The Reformation, beginning in Imperial Free City Nürnberg, spread rapid and found 1527 in the Margrave of Ansbach-Kulmbach (Georg, der Fromme) a strong helping hand. He became a protestant early on and in 1528 carried through the Protestantism within his territory. In 1533 he enacted the Brandenburg-Nürnbergische Kirchenordnung (church decree) and with that he became one of the Founding Fathers of the Evangelical-Lutheran Church of Bavaria. And so since the Reformation the majority of the population in Middle Franconia stayed protestant.



Evangelisch-Reformierte Kirche (Evangelical-Reformed Church, Homepage)
Territories and history see: Evangelical-Reformed parishes in - Erlangen, Nürnberg and Schwabach



Religion of Population (1987)

Religion of population (1987) Population    Roman
Jewish   other
total % % % % %
Bavaria 10,902,643 67 24 0.05 4 5
Middle Franconia 1,521,484 36 54 0.04 5 6
County Ansbach 157,632 28 69 0.01 2 2
County Erlangen-Höchstadt 106,113 51 42 0.02 2 5
County Fürth 93,861 30 61 0.01 2 6
County Nürnberger Land 149,127 33 58 0.01 4 5
County Neustadt an der Aisch-Bad Windsheim   85,686 21 75 0.01 1 2
County Roth 103,944 50 44 0.01 2 4
County Weißenburg-Gunzenhausen 86,381 33 63 0.01 2 2
Ansbach (city) 36,970 29 65 0.04 3 2
Erlangen (city) 99,808 40 46 0.04 5 8
Fürth (city) 97,480 33 52 0.08 8 7
Nürnberg (city) 470,943 37 47 0.07 8 9
Schwabach (city) 33,539 36 54 0.02 4 5

(**) incl. Freikirchen

(Data: 1987, Bayerisches Landesamt für Statistik und Datenverarbeitung, Genesis online)


See here separate page:

Historical Political Structure

Before 1803/1806/1810 the territory of Middle Franconia consisted of a varied mix of separate sovereign states and holdings (this situation is in German also called Kleinstaaterei).

Historical predecessor entities on Middle Franconian territory before 1806:

  • Margravate Brandenburg-Ansbach (Principality)
  • Principality beyond Gebuerg-part of the Margaravate Brandenburg-Bayreuth
  • Territories of the Imperial Free City of Nürnberg
  • Territories of the Imperial Free Cities: Dinkelsbühl, Feuchtwangen, Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Bad Windsheim
  • Ecclesiastical territories owned by the former Hochstifts (Würzburg, Bamberg, Eichstätt)
  • Territories of the Deutschorden
  • Territories of other Franconia monasteries and abbeys (ecclesiastical holdings)
  • Territories of Franconian Counts and noble lords (Reichsritterschaft)

See here also:

Development of the past administrative structure of Middle Franconia after 1806:
Within the organizational structure of the Kingdom of Bavaria, all the separate predecessor entities of current day Middle Franconia were combined and formed in:

  • 1808: the Rezatkreis (administrative capital: Ansbach) and Pegnitzkreis (administrative capital: Nürnberg)
  • 1810: the second Rezatkreis (Pegnitzkreis was dissolved in 1810, most parts of it came to the Rezatkreis), enlarged with territory of the former Margravate Brandenburg-Bayreuth that became part of Kingdom of Bavaria in 1810. (Only the Principality beyond Gebuerg-part was included in the Rezatkreis, the above Gebuerg-part was included into Mainkreis, the later Upper Franconia).
  • 1817: Rezatkreis was enlarged with territory from: the Oberdonaukreis (LG ä.O.: Greding, Heidenheim, Hilpoltstein, Monheim, Nördlingen, Pleinfeld, Weißenburg, the city Nördlingen and areas of Bissingen, Ellingen, Harburg, Maihingen, Oettingen-Spielberg, Pappenheim, Wallerstein) and handed over to Obermainkreis (LG ä.O.: Forchheim, Gräfenberg, Höchstadt).

And after a major re-organization of the royal administration, this administrative region was renamed in:

  • 1837: Kreis Mittelfranken (administrative capital: Ansbach) and handed over to Kreis Schwaben und Neuburg (LG ä.O.: Monheim, Nördlingen, Wemding, the city Nördlingen and areas of Bissingen, Harburg, Mönchsroth, Oettingen, Wallerstein), to Kreis Oberfranken (LG ä.O.: Herzogenaurach), to Kreis Oberpfalz und Regensburg (LG ä.O.: Hilpoltstein) and got from there (LG ä.O.: Beilngries, Eichstätt, Kipfenberg).

The main area of this newly formed administrative region called Kreis Mittelfranken is more or less identical to the Middle Franconia as we know it today. In the following years there were a few changes: e.g. in 1880: Middle Franconia handed over the county office Bezirksamt Beilngries to Upper Palatinate and got from there Bezirkamt Hilpoltstein, in 1933: administrative regions Kreis Mittelfranken and Kreis Oberfranken were combined to Kreis Oberfranken and Mittelfranken, in 1948: this was reversed and lastly the now called Regierungsbezirk Mittelfranken (administrative district Middle Franconia) was re-established, in 1972: Middle Franconia handed over to Upper Bavaria (county and city Eichstätt) and got in the north from Upper Franconia (county Höchstadt an der Aisch, today part of county Erlangen-Höchstadt).

LG ä.O. = Landgericht älterer Ordnung / Landgericht ä.O. (Regional court area of the old Order)

Genealogical and Historical Societies

Genealogical Societies

Historical Societies

Genealogical and Historical Documents

Genealogical Documents


Genealogical Literature

Historical Literature

Gazetteers and Maps



Maps showing the territory development of Middle Franconia from 1745-1810:

Maps showing the past administrative organization of Middle Franconia, 1806 until today:

see also:

Archives and Libraries


Church Book Archives:




Regional Food

Regional Landscapes

Internet Links

Official Websites

Genealogical Websites

Miscellaneous Websites

Data from the Genealogical Place Database (GOV)

GOV-Id adm_369095
  • Middle Franconia (eng)
  • Rezatkreis (1808-10-01 - 1837-12-31) Source 1808 Spalte 1483 (deu)
  • Mittelfranken (1838-01-01 -) Source 1837 Spalte 797 (deu)
  • Kreis (1808-10-01 - 1933) Source 1808 Spalte 1485
  • administrative district (1948-01-01 -)
external id
  • BLO:10
web page
Number of households

TK25: 6630

Superordinate objects

Bavaria, Baiern, Churpfalz-Baiern, Kurpfalz-Bayern, Pfalz-Baiern, Bayern (1808-10-01 - 1933) ( duchy kingdom free state ) Source 1808 Spalte 1483

Bavaria, Bayern, Bavière, Beieren, Бавария (1948-01-01 -) ( federal state )

Subordinate objects
name type GOV-Id Timespan
Schwabach Stadt adm_139565
Nuremberg, Nürnberg Stadt adm_139564
Eichstätt Stadt object_300546 (- 1940-03-31)
Eichstätt Stadt object_300546 (1949-04-01 - 1972-06-30)
Eichstätt Hochstift Landgericht object_398084 (1833 - 1862)
Erlangen-Höchstadt rural county adm_139572
Feuchtwangen district office rural county object_218052 (- 1972-07-01)
Leutershausen Landgericht object_394069 (1808-10-01 - 1879)
Neustadt a. d. Aisch, Neustadt an der Aisch-Bad Windsheim rural county adm_139575
Weißenburg-Gunzenhausen rural county adm_139577
Weißenburg rural county object_218056 (- 1972-07-01)
Roth rural county adm_139576
Fürth Stadt adm_139563
Fürth district office rural county adm_139573
Nürnberger Land rural county adm_139574
Ansbach district office rural county adm_139571 (1862-07-01 -)
Ansbach Landgericht Magistrates' Court object_286475 (1808-10-01 -)
Markt Einersheim Gerichtsbezirk object_218092 (1837 - 1862)
Onolsbach, Onolzbach, Anspach, Onoldisbach, Onsbach, Ansbach, Onoldinum Stadt adm_139561
Gunzenhausen district office rural county object_218055 (- 1972-07-01)
Erlangen Stadt adm_139562
Hilpoltstein rural county object_397854 (- 1972-06-30)
Scheinfeld rural county object_217911 (- 1972)
Uffenheim rural county object_218054 (- 1972)
Rothenburg o.d. Tauber rural county object_218053 (- 1972-07-01)
Dinkelsbühl district office rural county object_218051 (- 1972-07-01)
Sources for this object

Umleitung fehlt

Counties and Independent Cities in Administrative District Mittelfranken (Middle Franconia)

Ansbach (City) | Erlangen (City) | Fürth (City) | Nürnberg (City) | Schwabach (City) |
Counties: Ansbach | Erlangen-Höchstadt | Fürth | Neustadt an der Aisch-Bad Windsheim |
Nürnberger Land | Roth | Weißenburg-Gunzenhausen |

Administrative Districts in the Federal State Bavaria

Mittelfranken (Middle Franconia) | Niederbayern (Lower Bavaria) | Oberbayern (Upper Bavaria) | Oberfranken (Upper Franconia) |
Oberpfalz (Upper Palatinate) | Schwaben (Swabia) | Unterfranken (Lower Franconia) |

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