Districts of Prussia

Prussian districts (German: Kreise, literally "circles") were administrative units in the former Kingdom of Prussia, part of the German Empire from 1871 to 1918, and its successor state, the Free State of Prussia, similar to a county or a shire. They were established in the course of the Stein-Hardenberg Reforms from 1815 to 1818 at an intermediate level, between the higher provinces and the government districts (Regierungsbezirke), and the lower municipal governments (Gemeinden). Then part of a modern and highly effective public administration structure, they served as a model for the present-day districts of Germany

Prussian provinces about 1900

In the aftermath of World War I, the Prussian districts of Eupen and Malmedy (Belgium) were annexed by Belgium in 1925, thereby causing the presence of a German-speaking minority.


After the Napoleonic Wars and the 1815 Congress of Vienna, the Prussian lands were re-arranged into ten provinces, three of them—East Prussia, West Prussia and the Grand Duchy of Posen—beyond the borders of the German Confederation. The provinces were internally divided into up to six Regierungsbezirke and further into the districts on local level, headed by a Landrat administrator. The districts usually took the name of their capital (Kreisstadt), seat of the administrative office (Landratsamt). A typical district had a rough diameter of 20 to 40 miles (32 to 64 km), in order to ensure that even the remotest villages could be reached by carriage within a day, though few were circular in shape. In some areas, larger districts were split into two smaller districts or were resized with neighboring ones.

Larger cities usually retained their self-administration according to traditional German town law and formed exempt urban districts (Stadtkreise) comparable to independent cities. Often these cities also served as the administrative seat responsible for the smaller towns and villages incorporated into the surrounding rural districts, which then were called (Landkreise) for the purpose of differentiation (e.g. Stadtkreis and Landkreis Königsberg). The number of urban districts increased in the course of the Industrial Revolution and the following urbanization from the 1830s onwards.

See also


Information as of: 10.08.2021 06:49:17 CEST

Source: Wikipedia (Authors [History])    License of the text: CC-BY-SA-3.0. Creators and licenses of the individual images and media can either be found in the caption or can be displayed by clicking on the image.

Changes: Design elements were rewritten. Wikipedia specific links (like "Redlink", "Edit-Links"), maps, niavgation boxes were removed. Also some templates. Icons have been replaced by other icons or removed. External links have received an additional icon.

Please note: Because the given content is automatically taken from Wikipedia at the given point of time, a manual verification was and is not possible. Therefore does not guarantee the accuracy and actuality of the acquired content. If there is an Information which is wrong at the moment or has an inaccurate display please feel free to contact us: email.
See also: Legal Notice & Privacy policy.