Unterfranken (Lower Franconia) History

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Regional Research > Germany, after 1989 > Bavaria > Unterfranken (Lower Franconia) > Unterfranken (Lower Franconia) History

General Information Lower Franconia

History of Lower Franconia

Nowadays Lower Franconia became part of the Kingdom of Bavaria only in 1803/1806/1814. Before that Lower Franconia consisted a long time of many small separate sovereign states, numerous ecclesiastical holdings and territory of a Imperial Free City. And in fact this was true for the whole region of Franconia (Franken) - that never was a united historical, political entity - which includes also Middle Franconia and Upper Franconia.

In 1803 after the Reichsdeputationshauptschluss quite a few of these smaller sovereign states, plus Imperial Free Cities (after the Mediatization) and ecclesiastical holdings (after the Säkularisation) in this region lost their sovereignty and were already incorporated into the Electorate of Bavaria. For example, Imperial Free City Schweinfurt and its territory lost its status (Reichsfreiheit) and sovereignty in 1803 and was incorporated into the Electorate of Bavaria.

Yet large main parts of Lower Franconian territory belonged in the past to the catholic Hochstift Würzburg (also called Fürstbistum, former ecclesiastical principality of the archbishopric), Kurfürstentum Mainz (ecclesiastical holding) and Hochstift Fulda. The Hochstift Würzburg and its holdings became part of Electorate of Bavaria in 1803 - but the first Bavarian episode was a short one. After the Treaty of Preßburg (1805), between French Emperor Napoleon and Austria, the Würzburg territory was separated from the Electorate of Bavaria and given over to the Elector of Toskana (1805-1814). Until finally and lastly, due to a treaty between the meanwhile Kingdom of Bavaria (since 1806) and Austria, the then so-called Grand Duchy of Würzburg (Großherzogtum Würzburg) became finally and lastly in 1814 a part of Bavaria and the population subjects (Untertanen) of the Bavarian King.

The region of Aschaffenburg was before 1803 a territory of the Hochstift Mainz. In 1803 after the Säkularisation and under Napoleons domination the Hochstift was dissolved and the Fürstentum Aschaffenburg (principality) evolved. Fürstentum Aschaffenburg added to its territory: in 1806 the Imperial Free City Frankfurt (today Hesse), in 1810 also the Fürstentum Hanau and holdings of the former Hochstift Fulda. In 1810 the region was re-named and from 1810 to 1813 it was called Großherzogtum Frankfurt. In 1813 Großherzogtum Frankfurt was dissolved and in 1814 the area of Fürstentum Aschaffenburg became part of the Kingdom of Bavaria.

That way until 1814 most parts of current day Lower Franconia were incorporated into the Kingdom of Bavaria - to whom until 1803/1806/1814 they had neither historical nor political bonds or relations - and the population became Bavarian.

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see also:

Counties and Independent Cities in Administrative District Unterfranken (Lower Franconia)

Aschaffenburg (City) | Schweinfurt (City) | Würzburg (City) |
Counties: Aschaffenburg | Bad Kissingen | Haßberge | Main-Spessart | Miltenberg | Rhön-Grabfeld | Schweinfurt | Würzburg |

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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