Franconia (also called Frankenland ) is a region in Germany . It is characterized by cultural and linguistic peculiarities and can be roughly equated with the area in which East Franconian dialects (colloquial Franconian ) predominate. Franconia essentially includes the districts of Upper Franconia , Lower Franconia and Middle Franconia in Bavaria , the north-eastern area of the Heilbronn-Franconia , Tauber-Franconia and Hohenlohe-Franconia regions in Baden-Württemberg as well as southern Thuringia and smaller parts of Hesse . There is no officially defined spatial delimitation of Franconia.
The term Franconia also describes the ethnic group that lives in this region. It is to be distinguished from the Germanic tribe of the Franks . Historically, the region was its eastern settlement area. Archaeologically, there was strong franking there in the 6th and 7th centuries. Known as Francia Orientalis (East Franconia) since the 9th century at the latest , the area formed the eastern part of the Franconian tribal duchy in the High Middle Ages and the Franconian Empire since 1500 . In the course of the reorganization of the southern German states by Napoleon after the end of the Holy Roman Empire , most of Franconia was awarded to Bavaria.
Franconia (here from Latin Francia orientalis , East Franconia) emerged from the dative plural form of Franke, a member of the Germanic tribe of the Franks . Scientific naming largely follows the reference work of the early medieval scholar Isidore of Seville (around 560–636) and traces the Franconian name to an Indo-European root * (s) p (h) ereg- (in German 'greedy, violent'). This syllable is found in Middle Dutch vrac , greedy 'and old Norwegian frakkr , fast, brave' and means something like, bold, brave, courageous'. The Franks were therefore the cheeky, courageous, bold. Since the 9th century, the geographical name no longer referred to the entire Franconian Empire , but more and more to the area "Eastern Franconia" along the Main, to which the name finally stuck.
The meaning frank in the sense of 'free', however, is not an original name for the Franks, but arose at the time of the Merovingians in the Romanized territory of the Franks. It was not until the 15th century that the German meaning was freely borrowed from French.
For historical reasons, Franconia distinguishes itself from its surroundings with cultural and, above all, linguistic peculiarities, but is not a political entity with a clearly delimited or defined area. Therefore, the affiliation of certain areas to Franconia is disputed. The former territories of the Duchy of Franconia and the Franconian Imperial Circle, the distribution area of the East Franconian dialect group, the common culture and history of the region and the use of the Franconian rake in coats of arms, flags and seals can serve as a guide for more precise delimitation of Franconia . However, only since the 19th century has there been evidence of an awareness among the population of seeing themselves as Franconian, which is why the details of the development of a Franconian identity are controversial. Franconia has many cultural peculiarities that have been taken from other regions and developed further.
The following areas are counted as Franconia: The Bavarian administrative districts of Lower Franconia, Upper Franconia and Middle Franconia, the municipality of Pyrbaum in the district of Neumarkt in the Upper Palatinate , the north-western part of the Upper Bavarian district of Eichstätt (congruent with the old district of Eichstätt), the East Franconian districts of southern Thuringia , parts of District of Fulda and the Odenwaldkreis in Hesse, the Baden-Württemberg regions of Tauberfranken and Hohenlohe and the region around the Baden beeches .
In individual cases, the affiliation of some areas can be controversial, including the old district of Eichstätt , which belongs to the Bavarian dialect area, and the district of Wunsiedel, as well as the Hessian- speaking region around Aschaffenburg , which never belonged to the Franconian Empire. The affiliation of the city of Heilbronn , whose residents do not call themselves Franconia, is also controversial. In addition, identification with Franconia is sometimes less pronounced in the Franconian-speaking areas of Upper Palatinate , Southern Thuringia and Hesse.
In addition, the Bavarian Vogtland is located in the northeast of Upper Franconia.
The Franconian region is divided into the federal states of Hesse, Thuringia, Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg. The largest part of Franconia in terms of population and area belongs to the Free State of Bavaria and is divided into the three administrative districts and districts Middle Franconia (capital Ansbach ), Upper Franconia (capital Bayreuth ) and Lower Franconia (capital Würzburg ). The name of the administrative districts refers, similar to the case of Upper and Lower Bavaria , to the location on the Main. Accordingly, Upper Franconia lies on its upper reaches, Lower Franconia on the lower reaches and Middle Franconia in between, whereby the Main does not flow through Middle Franconia. The Dreifrankenstein is where these three administrative districts border each other . Smaller parts of Franconia also belong to the administrative districts of Upper Palatinate and Upper Bavaria.
The Franconian areas of Baden-Württemberg are the Tauberfranken and Hohenlohe regions , which belong to the Heilbronn-Franconia region with its headquarters in Heilbronn and are assigned to the Stuttgart administrative region, as well as the region around the Baden beech in the Rhine-Neckar region . The Franconian parts of Thuringia are in the planning region of Southwest Thuringia . Franconian regions in the state of Hesse are smaller parts of the district of Fulda ( administrative district of Kassel ) and the Odenwaldkreis ( administrative district of Darmstadt ), which lie in the border area with Bavaria and Thuringia.
The two most important rivers in the region are the Main and the Regnitz as its main tributaries. Tributaries of the two in Franconia are Tauber , Pegnitz , Rednitz and Franconian Saale . Other important rivers in the region are in the Hohenlohe-Franken area, Jagst and Kocher , which flow north of Heilbronn in Baden-Württemberg into the Neckar , the Altmühl and Wörnitz in Middle Franconia as tributaries of the Danube, and the upper and middle reaches of the Werra , the right source river the Weser . Two left tributaries of the Elbe , the Saxon Saale and the Eger, have their source in the northeast of Upper Franconia .
The Main-Danube Canal connects the Main and Danube across Franconia from Bamberg via Nuremberg to Kelheim . It complements the Rhine, Main and Danube to create a continuously navigable connection between the North Sea and the Black Sea . There are only a few, mostly very small, natural lakes in Franconia . This has to do with the fact that most of the natural lakes in Germany are of glacial or volcanic origin, which Franconia has been spared in recent geological history. The largest standing water bodies include reservoirs , which mostly serve as water reservoirs for the relatively dry landscapes of Franconia. These include the waters of the Franconian Lake District , which have been created since the 1970s and are also a tourist attraction. The center of these lakes is the Great Brombachsee , which is the largest body of water in Franconia with an area of 8.7 km².
Mountains and plains
Several low mountain ranges shape the Franconian landscape. In the southeast it is shielded from the other parts of Bavaria by the Franconian Alb . In the east the Fichtelgebirge forms the border, in the north the Franconian Forest , the Thuringian Slate Mountains , the Thuringian Forest , the Rhön and the Spessart are a kind of natural barrier. To the west lie the Frankenhöhe and the Swabian-Franconian Forest Mountains . The Odenwald lies in the Franconian part of southern Hesse . The most important low mountain ranges in the interior of the region are the Steigerwald , the Haßberge and the Franconian Alb with its partial mountain ranges Hahnenkamm and Franconian Switzerland . The highest mountain in Franconia is high Schneeberg in the Fichtel Mountains. Other well-known mountains are around Ochsenkopf , Kreuzberg , the high Walberla and the high Hesselberg . In the ridges of the Thuringian Forest and Slate Mountains on the Rennsteig , the mountains Großer Beerberg (982.9 m above sea level), Schneekopf (987 m above sea level), Kieferle (867.2 m above sea level) and Bleßberg (866, 9 m above sea level). The witness mountains of the region include the Hesselberg and the Gleichberge . At 100 meters, the lowest point in Franconia is the water level of the Main in Kahl am Main .
In addition to the mountains, there are also several very flat areas, including the Middle Franconian Basin and the Hohenlohe Plain . In the south of Franconia there are smaller parts of the flat Nördlinger Ries , one of the best preserved impact craters on earth.
Forests, protected areas, flora and fauna
Franconia's flora is characterized by deciduous and coniferous forests. There are natural forests in Franconia, especially in the low mountain ranges of Spessart, Franconian Forest, Odenwald and Steigerwald. The Nuremberg Reichswald is another large forest area in the metropolitan area of the Nuremberg region. Other large forest areas in Franconia are the Mönchswald , the Reichsforst in the Fichtelgebirge and the Selber Forst . In the river valleys along the Main and Tauber, the landscape was redesigned for viticulture. There are pronounced oak forests in the Spessart. Lean lawns , an extensively used grassland in particularly nutrient-poor , “lean” locations , are widespread . The southern Franconian Alb with the Altmühltal is particularly characterized by such poor grasslands. Many of these areas are designated as protected areas.
Franconia has sand habitats that are unique in southern Germany and are protected as so-called sand axis Franconia . When the Altmühlsee was built, a protected bird island was created, which is home to a large number of bird species. The Black Moor in the Rhön , which is one of the most important moor areas in Central Europe, is also an important protected area . A well-known protected area is the Luisenburg rock labyrinth near Wunsiedel , a sea of rocks made of granite blocks with dimensions of several meters. The establishment of the first Franconian national park in the Steigerwald was discussed controversially, but was rejected by the Bavarian state government in July 2011 . The reason given was the negative attitude of the local population. Conservationists are now calling for parts of the Steigerwald to be protected as a world heritage site. There are several nature parks in Franconia , including the Altmühltal Nature Park , one of the largest in Germany since 1969. Other nature parks are the Swabian-Franconian Forest Nature Park in Baden-Württemberg and the Bavarian Rhön , Fichtelgebirge , Frankenhöhe , Franconian Forest , Franconian Switzerland-Veldenstein Forest , Haßberge , Spessart and Steigerwald in Bavaria and the Bergstrasse-Odenwald Nature Park in Bavaria, Baden-Württemberg and Hessen. Nature parks make up almost half of the area of Franconia. In 1991, UNESCO recognized the Rhön as a biosphere reserve . The most beautiful geotopes in Bavaria include the Fossa Carolina , the Twelve Apostles Rock , the Ehrenbürg , the Riesenburg cave ruins and the Frickenhausen Lake . The European bird sanctuaries in Franconia are mostly in the low mountain ranges such as the Steigerwald, in large forest areas such as the Nuremberg Reichswald or along bodies of water such as the Altmühl. There are also numerous fauna-flora habitats and protected landscape areas. In Franconia there are a particularly large number of limestone troughs , high beds near the source of a stream in karst landscapes , which are called stone gullies . Examples are the protected Käsrinne near Heidenheim and Steinerne Rinne near Wolfsbronn .
Like large parts of Germany, Franconia has only relatively few large animal species. Various species of martens , fallow and red deer , roe deer , wild boars and foxes live in the forest . Lynx and capercaillie live in near-natural areas such as the Fichtel Mountains , but beavers and otters are also spreading again. There have been isolated sightings of animals in Franconia that have long been exterminated in Central Europe, for example the wolf .
Only in the extreme north-east of Franconia and in the Spessart does the Variscan basement bite out, which was lifted out of the ground during the northern pressure of the Alps . These are rocks präpermischen age who during different phases of the Variscan orogeny in the Late Paleozoic before about 380 to 300 million years ago folded and partly under high pressures and temperatures converted or ascending magma in the earth's crust are crystallized. The sub-Carboniferous slates and greywackes of the Franconian Forest are not or only weakly metamorphic, as they are only deformed to a shallow crust . The Fichtelgebirge, the Münchberg plateau and the Spessart, on the other hand, have more metamorphic rocks ( phyllite , mica schist , amphibolite , gneiss ). The Fichtelgebirge is also characterized by large granite bodies , so-called post-kinematic plutons , which took place in the metamorphic rocks in the late phase of the Variscan mountain formation. Most of them are S-type granites, the melts of which came from heated sedimentary rocks sunk deep into the crust. While the Fichtelgebirge and Franconian Forest belong to the Saxothuringian zone of the Central European Varisticum, the Spessart belongs to the Central German Crystalline Zone. The Münchberg mass is optionally assigned to the Saxothuringian or the Moldanubian zone.
A much larger part of the near-surface Franconia is occupied by Mesozoic , unmetamorphic, unfolded rocks of the southern German plain . The regional geological equivalent of the southern German layer level country is the southern German large block . On the so-called Franconian Line , a major fault , the Saxothuringian-Moldanubian basement has been raised up to 2000 meters in places compared to the southern German large block. In the western two thirds of Franconia the Triassic dominates with the sand , silt and clay stones (so-called siliciclastics ) of the red sandstone , the limestones and marls of the shell limestone and the mixed but predominantly siliciclastic sedimentary rocks of the Keuper . In the Rhön the Triassic rocks are covered and interspersed with volcanic rocks ( basalt , basanite , phonolite , trachyte ) of the Tertiary . In the eastern third of Franconia the Jura of the Franconian Jura dominates , with the dark claystones of the Black Jura , the claystones and iron-shed sandstones of the Braunjura and, particularly characteristic of the landscape, the weather-resistant limestone and dolomite stones of the Weißjura , which form the actual mountain range of the Alb. In addition, mostly siliciclastic sedimentary rocks of the Upper Cretaceous have been preserved in the Alb .
The Mesozoic sediments were deposited in large subsidence areas. While in the Triassic the Franconian part of these subsidence areas was often continental, in the Jura it was covered for most of the time by a marginal sea of the western Tethys Ocean . At the time when the limestones and dolomites of the White Jura were deposited, this sea was divided into sponge reefs and lagoons in between. From the Riffkörpern and the fine-grained and Lagunenkalken -kalkmergeln (represented by natural stone varieties such as the Treuchtlinger marble or the Solnhofen ) is constituted the majority of the Frankish Alb. Due to a drop in sea level towards the end of the Upper Jura, larger areas initially became mainland again at the beginning of the following Cretaceous period. In the course of the Upper Cretaceous the sea advanced again into the area of the Franconian Alb. At the end of the Upper Cretaceous, the sea finally withdrew from the region. In addition, large parts of southern and central Germany experienced a general uplift in the course of the formation of the Alps in the Tertiary, and even a considerable uplift in the area of the basement eruptions. Since then, Franconia has been largely shaped by erosion and weathering (especially in the Alb in the form of karst ), which ultimately led to the formation of today's landscapes.
The oldest macrofossils in Franconia, which are also the oldest macrofossils in Bavaria, are archaeocyaths , sponge-like , goblet-shaped marine organisms that were detected in 2013 in a limestone block of late Lower Cambrian age, around 520 million years old. The block comes from near Schwarzenbach am Wald from the so-called Heinersreuth block conglomerate , a sub-carbonic wildflysch . The proven archaeocyaths are not fossils preserved in three dimensions, but two-dimensional sections in thin sections . These thin sections were made and examined as early as the 1970s, but the archaeocyaths in them were apparently overlooked at the time.
Well-known and well-known fossil finds in Franconia come from the unfolded sedimentary rocks from the Triassic and Jurassic. The red sandstone is, however, only characterized by a relatively low body fossil record. It contains trace fossils much more frequently, in particular the terrestrial vertebrate track Chirotherium . The type of locality of this trail is Hildburghausen in the Thuringian part of Franconia, where it occurs in the so-called Thuringian Chirotheriensandstein (uppermost Middle Buntsandstein). Chirotherium is also represented in the Bavarian and Württemberg parts of Franconia. Find places include Aura near Bad Kissingen, Karbach , Gambach and Külsheim . There the occurrences are a little younger (Upper Buntsandstein), and the corresponding stratigraphic interval is called Franconian Chirotherienschichten . The few significant body fossil finds of vertebrates include the procolophonoids Anomoiodon liliensterni from Reurieth in the Thuringian part of Franconia and Koiloskiosaurus coburgiensis from Mittelberg near Coburg, both from the Thuringian Chirotheriensandstein, as well as the Temnospondyle " Mastodonsaurus ingensaurus " (possibly identical to the Mastodonsaurus ingensaurus ) Upper red sandstone from Gambach.
As early as the first decade of the 19th century, Georg Graf zu Münster began systematically collecting and excavating fossils in the Upper Muschelkalk of Bayreuth . The Oschenberg near Laineck became the type locality of two relatively well-known marine reptiles of the Middle Triassic, the "plaster- tooth lizard " Placodus and the "bastard lizard" Nothosaurus , which were later found in other areas of Central Europe .
In the middle Keuper ( Feuerletten ) Franconia one of the most well-known and most common dinosaur species in Central Europe occurs: Plateosaurus engelhardti , an early representative of the Sauropodomorpha . Its type locality is near Heroldsberg, northeast of Nuremberg. When the remains of Plateosaurus were first discovered there in 1834 , this was the first finding of a dinosaur on German soil, even before the name "Dinosauria" was coined. Another important find place of Plateosaurus in Franconia is Ellingen .
Far more famous than Plateosaurus , Placodus and Nothosaurus is probably the first bird Archeopteryx in geological history . It was found in the southern Franconian Alb, including in the famous Solnhofen fossil site in the Solnhofen limestone (Solnhofen Formation, early Tithonian , Upper Jurassic). In addition to Archeopteryx , the pterosaur Pterodactylus and various bony fish , numerous invertebrates have been passed down in extreme detail in the very fine-grain, laminated lagoon limestones . B. Hair stars and dragonflies . Eichstätt , the other “large” and similarly famous fossil locale in the Solnhofen Formation, in which Archeopteryx and the theropod dinosaurs Compsognathus and Juravenator were found, is located on the southern edge of the Alb in Upper Bavaria .
An inglorious episode in the history of palaeontology also happened in Franconia: Fake fossils, the so-called Würzburg Lying Stones , were acquired for a lot of money by the Würzburg doctor and naturalist Johann Beringer in the 1720s and then in a monograph together with real fossils from the Würzburg area described and illustrated. However, it is not entirely clear whether Beringer really got the fakes or whether he had them made himself.
Franconia has a humid, cool, temperate transitional climate that is neither very continental nor very maritime. The monthly average temperatures vary depending on the area between about −1 to −2 ° C in January and 17 to 19 ° C in August, but on some days in summer, especially in large cities, peak temperatures of over 35 ° C are reached. The climate of Franconia is sunny and relatively warm, in summer Lower Franconia, for example, is one of the sunniest areas in Germany. The daytime temperatures in the Bavarian part of Franconia are on average 0.1 ° C higher than the overall Bavarian average. In Franconia, as in all of Northern Bavaria , there is comparatively less rain than is usual for the geographical location; even summer thunderstorms are often less productive than in other areas of southern Germany. In southern Bavaria, around 2000 mm of precipitation falls annually, almost three times as much as in parts of Franconia (around 500–900 mm) in the rain shadow of Spessart, Rhön and Odenwald.
Life in Franconia as part of Germany is characterized by a high quality of life . In the Worldwide Quality of Living Survey by the consulting firm Mercer, the city of Nuremberg was once again among the top 25 cities with the best quality of life worldwide, and in 2010 it was sixth among German cities. In the environmental ranking, Nuremberg came in 13th as the best German city. In a 2014 ranking by Focus magazine on the subject of quality of life, the districts of Eichstätt and Fürth achieved top positions in the overall ranking. In the happiness atlas of Deutsche Post AG , Franconia was ranked 4th among 19 German regions in 2019.
Early history and antiquity
Fossil finds show that the region was settled by the prehistoric man Homo erectus as early as the Middle Ice Age , around 600,000 years ago . Probably the oldest human remains in the Bavarian part of Franconia originate from the cave ruins of Hunas near Pommelsbrunn in the district of Nürnberger Land . In the later Bronze Age , the region was probably only relatively sparsely populated, as few precious metals occur and the soils are only moderately fertile. In the following Iron Age (from around 800 BC) the Celts became the first people in the region to become tangible. In northern Franconia they built a chain of summit castles as a line of defense against the Germans advancing from the north . On the Staffelberg they built a mighty settlement that Claudius Ptolemy mentioned with the name oppidum Menosgada , as well as the largest still preserved oppidum Steinsburg in Central Germany on the Gleichbergen . With the increased expansion of Rome in the first century BC and the simultaneous advance of Elbe-Germanic tribes from the north, the decline of the Celtic culture was initiated. The southernmost parts of today's Franconia soon came under Roman control; however, most of the region was in free Germania . Initially, Rome tried to extend its direct influence far to the northeast, but in the longer term the Germanic-Roman border formed further to the southwest.
Under the emperors Domitian (81–96), Trajan (98–117) and Hadrian (117–138) the Rhaetian Limes was created as a border to the Germanic tribes in the north. This line of defense cut through the south of Franconia and described an arch in the region, the northernmost point of which was at today's Gunzenhausen . To secure it, the Romans built several forts such as Biriciana near Weißenburg . As early as the middle of the third century, however, the border could no longer be held and the Alemanni occupied the areas up to the Danube around 250 AD . Fortified settlements such as on the Gelben Bürg near Dittenheim controlled the new areas. But several such Gau castles have also been found north of the former Limes. In most cases, it is unknown to which people the inhabitants belonged. In the southern parts in particular, they were mostly Alamanni and Juthungen . On the other hand, Burgundies established themselves on the lower and middle Main . By 500 AD at the latest, however, many of these hilltop castles seem to have been destroyed. The reasons for this are not entirely clear, but could be related to the invasions of the Huns and the resulting migration of peoples . In many cases, however, the conquest by the Franks probably meant the end of these hill settlements.
The franc fell with their victories over the Alemanni and Thuringia to the today's Franconia region in the 6th century in the core areas. After the Franconian divisions of the dioceses was from the territories Mainz , Worms , Würzburg and Speyer , the Francia orientialis , later the Diocese of Bamberg was added. In the 7th century the Slavs began to settle the northeastern parts of the region from the east, as the areas of today's Upper Franconia were very sparsely populated ( Bavaria Slavica ). In the 10th and 11th centuries, however, they largely gave up their own language and cultural tradition. The majority of the population of Franconia was pagan well into the early Middle Ages . The first to try to spread the Christian faith with force were Irish - Anglo-Saxon wandering monks since the early 7th century . Kilian , who, together with his companions Kolonat and Totnan, is considered to be the apostle of the Franks and who was martyred in Würzburg towards the end of the 7th century, presumably no longer encountered pagan conditions at the ducal court. (Christian life is attested to as early as the 7th century in the Aschaffenburg district). A profound proselytizing of the simpler sections of the population in Franconia only came about through Bonifatius .
Charlemagne expanded the areas around the Main into a royal province. Würzburg became the spiritual center of the ruling centers.
From the middle of the 9th century, the tribal duchy of Franconia , one of the five tribal duchies of the East Franconian Empire, was established . The area of the tribal duchy comprised today's Hesse, northern Baden-Württemberg, southern Thuringia, large parts of Rhineland-Palatinate and parts of today's Franconian areas in Bavaria. After Duke Eberhard's death in 939, it split up into East Franconia and West Franconia ( Francia Orientalis and Francia Rhenensis ) and was immediately subordinated to the Empire. Only then was the then Francia Orientalis in the sphere of influence of the bishops of Würzburg regarded as the actual Franconia, which slowly limited the territory of Franconia in its current form. But also the inhabitants of parts of today's Upper and Middle Franconia, which were not in the area of influence of Würzburg, probably saw themselves as Franks at the time and distinguished themselves from the inhabitants of Bavaria and Swabia with their dialect. At the beginning of the 10th century, the Poppons and the Konradines fought for power in Franconia . Ultimately, the dispute culminated in the Babenberg feud . The result of the feud - fueled and controlled by the crown - was for the Babenbergs the loss of power, for the Konradines indirectly the gain of the East Franconian royal throne. In contrast to the other tribal duchies, after the Ottonians died out in 1024, Franconia was the home country and power base of the East Franconian and German kings. As a result, no regional power as strong as in Saxony, Bavaria and Swabia developed there in the High Middle Ages . In 1007, Heinrich II, who was later canonized, founded the Bamberg diocese and furnished it with rich goods. Bamberg became a preferred Palatinate and an important center of the empire. Since parts of the diocese of Würzburg also fell to Bamberg, Würzburg received from Heinrich II as compensation some goods from the property of the king as a fief.
From the 12th century the Nuremberg Castle was the seat of the Burgraviate of Nuremberg . The burgraviate was ruled from around 1190 by the Zollern, the Frankish line of the later Hohenzollern , who made the German Emperor in the 19th and 20th centuries. Under the Staufer kings Konrad III. and Friedrich Barbarossa became the center of power in the empire. During the imperial period, the interregnum (1254–1273), individual rulers became more and more powerful. After the end of the interregnum, however, the rulers managed to reestablish stronger royal rule in Franconia. Franks played for the kingdom as early as the time of Rudolf von Habsburg again an important role in the itineraries of the following kings prove the favoritism of the Rhine-Main area. The Swabian Association of Cities was founded in 1376, and later several Frankish imperial cities also joined. In the course of the 13th century, the Teutonic Order , which from 1209 first owned possessions in Franconia, formed the Ballei Franconia . The founding of numerous schools and hospitals as well as the construction of many churches and castles in the administrative area go back to him. The residence of the Ballei was Ellingen until 1789 , when it was moved to what is now Bad Mergentheim . Other orders, such as the Knights Templar, could not gain a foothold in Franconia, while the Order of St. John was active in areas of the Duchy of Würzburg and had short-term prospects.
Early modern age
On July 2, 1500, during the reign of Emperor Maximilian I, the empire was divided into imperial circles as part of the imperial reform movement , which in 1512 led to the creation of the Frankish imperial circle . From today's perspective, the Franconian Imperial Circle is sometimes considered to be an important basis for the development of a Franconian sense of community that still exists today. The Franconian Empire shaped the boundaries of today's Franconia. In the late Middle Ages and modern times , however, the Reichskreis was particularly badly affected by small states in Germany. As during the late Middle Ages, the bishops of Würzburg also used the nominal title of the Franconian ducal dignity during the time of the Franconian Empire. In 1559 the Franconian Reichskreis received the supervision of coins and in 1572 it was the only Reichskreis to issue its own police regulations. Members of the Reichskreis included the imperial cities, the principal dioceses, the Ballei Franken of the Teutonic Order and several counties. The imperial knights with their smallest territories, particularly numerous in Franconia (see also the list of Franconian knight families ) were outside the district organization and formed the Franconian knight circle consisting of six knight cantons until 1806 . Since the delimitation of Franconia is controversial, as already mentioned above, many areas that can be counted as Francs today were outside the Franconian Empire. The Aschaffenburg area belonged to Kurmainz and was part of the Kurrheinische Reichskreis , the Coburg area belonged to the Upper Saxon Empire , the Heilbronn area to the Swabian Empire . The Franconian Count Bank was founded in the 16th century to represent the interests of the Imperial Counts from Franconia.
Franconia played an important role in the spread of Martin Luther's Reformation . Among other things, the Luther Bible was printed in Nuremberg. Most of the other Frankish imperial cities and imperial knights professed their new denomination. In the course of the Counter Reformation , however, some areas of Franconia were re-Catholicized again, resulting in numerous witch persecutions . In addition to Lutheranism, the radical Reformation Anabaptist movement had spread early in the Franconian region. Konigsberg and Nuremberg were important centers for the Anabaptists .
Above all oppressive tax burdens and compulsory labor in connection with the new, liberal ideas that were introduced with the Reformation movement unleashed the German Peasants' War in 1525 . The Würzburg area was particularly hard hit, where numerous castles and monasteries were burned down. In the end, however, the uprisings were put down. For centuries the common people were excluded from almost all political processes.
From 1552 the Margrave Albrecht Alcibiades tried in the Second Margrave War to break the supremacy of the mighty imperial city of Nuremberg and to secularize the holdings of the Hochstifte in order to create a duchy he ruled. Large areas of Franconia were ultimately devastated in the fighting until King Ferdinand I and several dukes and princes decided to subjugate Albrecht.
In 1608, Protestant rulers in the empire formed the so-called Union . In Franconia, the margraves of Ansbach and Bayreuth as well as the imperial cities belonged to this alliance. The Catholic side responded in 1609 with a counter alliance, the League . The differences between the two camps finally culminated in the Thirty Years' War , which became the greatest burden on the cohesion within the Franconian Empire. At the beginning of the war, Franconia was not an immediate theater of war, but plundering armies repeatedly passed through. Only after the victory of the Swedish-Saxon troops under Gustav Adolf in September 1631 near Breitenfeld near Leipzig did the Swedish troops advance as far as Franconia, find support in the city of Nuremberg and from here they were able to advance to Munich in May 1632. When the imperial general Wallenstein and a large army set up a fortified camp near Zirndorf near Nuremberg in July 1632, the Swedes were forced to withdraw from Bavaria to Franconia. The Swedes also set up a camp near Nuremberg for three months, which, however, could not be adequately supplied by Nuremberg. Although the Swedes tried to force a decision, they could not win the battle at the Alte Veste against Wallenstein's troops and withdrew towards Württemberg after heavy losses. After the withdrawal of imperial troops and after the death of the Swedish king in the Battle of Lutzen Franken came into the hands of the Swedish generals Bernard of Saxe-Weimar , who in June 1633 by the Swedish Chancellor Axel Oxenstierna with the Duchy of Franconia invested was. After the total defeat of the Swedes in the Battle of Nördlingen in September 1634, he lost the Franconian fiefdom again.
Franconia now became one of the poorest regions in the empire and lost its political importance. About half of the local population lost their lives during the war. To compensate for these losses, around 150,000 displaced Protestants, including Austrian exiles , were settled in the Protestant areas .
In Franconia, there was never a development of a unified territorial state, as the structure shaped by small states survived the Middle Ages and persisted into the 18th century. The Franconian Imperial Circle was given the important task of maintaining peace, avoiding grievances and eliminating war damage and had a regulatory function in the region until the end of the Old Empire. By the War of the Spanish Succession , the Franconian Imperial Circle developed into an almost autonomous organization and joined the Great Alliance against Louis XIV as an almost sovereign object . Early forms of a welfare state emerged in the Reichskreis . The Reichskreis also played an important role in combating epidemics in the 16th and 17th centuries. After Karl Alexander renounced his rule in 1792, the former margravate of Ansbach and Bayreuth were incorporated into Prussia . Karl August Freiherr von Hardenberg became the authorized representative for the areas .
From 1803 the later Kingdom of Bavaria received large parts of Franconia with the Reichsdeputationshauptschluss under the pressure of Napoleon Bonaparte through secularization and mediatization . A stronger connection of Bavaria, Württemberg, Baden and other areas to France began via the Rhine Confederation Act , whereby the Holy Roman Empire as well as the Franconian Empire disintegrated in 1806. As a thank you, Bavaria was awarded additional areas, including the imperial city of Nuremberg. In the so-called Rittersturm, Bavaria, Württemberg and Baden also got the small territories of the Imperial Knights and the Franconian Knights, which often comprised only a few villages, from 1803, although the Imperial Deputation Board had not mentioned them. In 1806 and 1810 Prussia had to surrender the properties in Ansbach and Bayreuth, which they had acquired in 1792, to Bavaria, which meant that Prussia lost its supremacy in the region. As a result of the Congress of Vienna in 1814, the territories of the Principality of Aschaffenburg and the Grand Duchy of Würzburg fell to the Kingdom of Bavaria. Maximilian Joseph von Montgelas reformed the administration in order to unite the patchwork of Franconia and Swabia, which was characterized by small states, in a single Bavarian state . In January 1838, the Franconian administrative districts with the current names Middle, Upper and Lower Franconia were created. In the Franconian areas there was sometimes considerable resentment against the new affiliation to Bavaria. There were liberal demands for republican structures that flourished in the revolts of 1848 and 1849 or at the Gaibacher Fest in 1832. On the one hand, through the Wittelsbacher's policy of reconciliation and the aforementioned uniform policy of Montgelas, and, on the other hand, through the incorporation of Bavaria into the German Empire in 1871, as a result of which Bavaria's power weakened slightly, the opposition between Franconia and Bavaria weakened considerably. From 1836 to 1846 the Kingdom of Bavaria built the Ludwig-Danube-Main Canal between Bamberg and Kelheim , which was closed in 1950. However, shortly after the inauguration by the railway, the canal lost much of its importance. Between 1843 and 1854 the Ludwig-Süd-Nord-Bahn was set up, which ran within Franconia from Lindau via Nuremberg , Bamberg and Kulmbach to Hof . The first locomotive with a journey on German soil drove from Nuremberg to Fürth on December 7, 1835.
Since. 20th century
After the First World War , the monarchy in Bavaria was abolished, but it was not possible to agree on a compromise between a council system and parliamentarism . There were riots between the opposing camps and the then Prime Minister was shot. The government therefore fled to Bamberg in 1919, where the Bamberg constitution was passed, while the Bavarian Soviet Republic briefly revived in Munich . In 1919 the Free State of Coburg decided against joining Thuringia in a referendum and instead joined Bavaria on July 1, 1920.
The first local groups of the NSDAP in Franconia emerged in 1921 (e.g. in Kitzingen, Scheinfeld and Markt Bibart). For the period of National Socialism Nuremberg played as a permanent seat of the party rallies a prominent role in the self-expression of the Nazis . As one of the first cities in the Reich, Gunzenhausen distinguished itself by discriminating against the Jewish population. The first Hitler memorial in the German Reich was erected there in April 1933. On January 30, 1934, the "Law on the Reconstruction of the Reich", which made a fundamental contribution to bringing the National Socialists into line, declared the fundamental principles of the Bamberg constitution passed on August 14, 1919 null and void. When the new laws came into effect, the sovereign rights of Bavaria passed to the Reich, the democratically elected state government was subordinated to the Reich government and parliament was repealed. The reason for this approach was the National Socialists' goal to unite all Germans in one great empire. The existence of the individual countries with their own constitution stood in the way of this goal. Although the Bamberg constitution retained its validity, the new laws curtailed crucial points: the former "Free State of Bavaria" had now become the "State of Bavaria". In fact, very little has changed within Bavaria. The country was now directly subordinate to the Reich, but basic administrative structures were retained.
On March 25, 1934, the first Jewish pogrom in Bavaria took place in Gunzenhausen . The attack brought negative press coverage for the city worldwide. On September 15, 1935, the Reichstag , which was convened in Nuremberg specifically for this purpose, passed the race laws , making the anti-Semitic ideology of the National Socialists the legal basis.
Like all parts of the German Empire, Franconia was also badly affected by Allied air raids . Nuremberg as an important industrial location and transport hub was hit particularly hard. Between 1940 and 1945 the city was the target of dozens of air raids. Many other locations were also hit by air strikes. For example, the air raid on December 4, 1944 turned into a catastrophe for Heilbronn , and the bombing raid on March 16, 1945 for Würzburg , in which both old towns were almost completely destroyed. However, the old town of Bamberg was almost completely spared. The historical art bunker was created below Nuremberg Castle to secure cultural assets . In the final phase of the Second World War , at the end of March and April 1945, the Franconian cities were taken by units of the US Army , which advanced from the west after the failure of the Ardennes offensive and the company Nordwind . The battle for Nuremberg lasted five days; it claimed at least 901 deaths. The battle for Crailsheim lasted 16 days, the battle for Würzburg seven and the battle for Merkendorf three days.
After the unconditional surrender on May 8, 1945, the Bavarian part of Franconia came to the American zone of occupation , southern Thuringia, with the exception of smaller exclaves such as Ostheim vor der Rhön, to the Soviet zone of occupation and the Franconian parts of today's Baden-Württemberg to the American zone. The most important part of the Allied prosecution program against leading representatives of the Nazi regime were the Nuremberg trials against those responsible for the German Reich at the time of National Socialism from November 20, 1945 to April 14, 1949 . The Nuremberg Trials are seen as a breakthrough in the principle that there must be no immunity for a core set of crimes . For the first time, the representatives of a sovereign state at the time of their actions were held accountable for their actions. In autumn 1946, the Free State of Bavaria was founded when the Bavarian Constitution came into force . The state of Württemberg-Baden was founded on September 19, 1945. On April 25, 1952 , this state then merged with Baden and Württemberg-Hohenzollern (both from the former French occupation zone ) to form today's state of Baden-Württemberg. The state of Hesse was founded on December 1, 1945. From 1945 onwards, refugees and displaced persons from Eastern European countries were mainly settled in rural areas. Economically after 1945 Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg mastered the structural change from predominantly agricultural to leading industrial countries with the onset of the " economic miracle " . However, the peripheral location of Lower and Upper Franconia on the edge of the zone was problematic , characterized by economic distance from the market, emigration and relatively high unemployment, which is why the areas were specially promoted by the federal and state governments.
The state of Thuringia, however, was restored in 1945 by the Soviet military administration , with larger Prussian and Hessian enclaves being absorbed. The German Democratic Republic was founded on October 7, 1949 . In 1952, the state of Thuringia was relieved of its function as part of an administrative reform in the GDR . The district of Suhl formed in southern Thuringia had Franconian areas with the districts of Sonneberg , Hildburghausen and Meiningen . The Soviet occupying power ensured difficult starting conditions in the territory of the GDR with high reparation demands (especially dismantling ). Together with the unsuccessful economic policy of the GDR, this led to a general frustration that culminated in the uprising of June 17th . There were also protests in the Franconian areas. The village of Mödlareuth , which was divided by the inner-German border for 41 years and was nicknamed Klein-Berlin , became famous . After the political change in the GDR, the fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9, 1989 and German reunification on October 3, 1990, largely made possible by the mass demonstrations in the GDR and the emigration movement there, the state of Thuringia became effective on October 14 Re-formed in 1990.
In the years 1971 to 1980, the regional reform in Bavaria was carried out with the aim of creating more efficient municipalities and districts . Amid great protests from the population, the number of municipalities was reduced by two thirds and the number of rural districts by around half. Among other things, the district of Eichstätt , which was until then Central Franconia, came to Upper Bavaria . On May 18, 2006, the Bavarian State Parliament decided to introduce Franconian Day in the Franconian areas of the Free State.
Since the fall of the Wall, new sales areas have emerged for the Franconian regions of Bavaria in the new federal states and the Czech Republic, whereby the economy has recovered. Today Franconia is in the center of the EU ( Oberwestern bei Westerngrund ; ).
Franconia as an ethnic group
A large number of the inhabitants of the Franconian region see themselves as Franconians. The region is inhabited by about 5 million people. Most of the other parts of the Franconian-speaking area do not refer to themselves as Franconians. Based on the sociological term of the German tribes, the Free State of Bavaria counts the Franks, along with the Baiern , Swabians and Sudetes, to the " four tribes of Bavaria ". According to the state portal of the Bavarian State Government , the Franconian tribe are characterized by “a pronounced sense of community, organizational talent, cheerfulness and a quick mind” .
With the exception of Heilbronn, all cities in Franconia with more than 50,000 inhabitants are in the Free State of Bavaria. By far the largest city in Franconia is Nuremberg with over 500,000 inhabitants. The other four major cities are Fürth , Würzburg , Heilbronn and Erlangen . Together with its neighboring cities of Fürth, Erlangen and Schwabach, Nuremberg forms a densely populated group of cities, the greater Nuremberg area with a population of 1.3 million . Nuremberg ranks fourteenth among German cities in terms of population and second in Bavaria.
The largest cities in the Franconian region of Baden-Württemberg are Heilbronn (125,960 inhabitants), Schwäbisch Hall (40,440 inhabitants) and Crailsheim (34,400 inhabitants). The largest towns in the Thuringian part are Suhl (36,789 inhabitants), Meiningen (24,796 inhabitants) and Sonneberg (23,516 inhabitants). The largest town in the Hessian part of Franconia is Gersfeld with 5,475 inhabitants. The largest cities in the Bavarian part are Nuremberg (518,370 inhabitants), Fürth (128,497 inhabitants), Würzburg (127,934 inhabitants) and Erlangen (112,528 inhabitants).
In the Middle Ages, Franconia with its numerous cities set itself apart from other regions such as the Duchy of Bavaria . In the late Middle Ages, mostly smaller cities with a few hundred to a thousand inhabitants dominated, the size of which hardly differed from villages. Many cities emerged along large rivers or were founded by the prince-bishops and noble families. The Hohenstaufen also worked in many cities, which later mostly developed into imperial cities with a strong focus on Nuremberg. The smallest town in Franconia is the Thuringian Ummerstadt with 462 inhabitants.
Religion and belief
The proportion of Catholics and Protestants in the population of Franconia is roughly the same, but the distribution differs from region to region. Large parts of Central and Upper Franconia in particular are evangelical. The denominational orientation still reflects the territorial structure of Franconia at the time of the Franconian Empire. Regions that were formerly influenced by the Hochstifte Bamberg, Würzburg and Eichstätt are still Catholic today. On the other hand, all the former territories of the imperial cities and the margravate of Ansbach and Bayreuth are still Lutheran today. The area around the city of Erlangen , which belonged to the Bayreuth margraviate, was a retreat for the Huguenots who fled after the Bartholomew Night . Since the Reformation was implemented by Andreas Osiander, Nuremberg had been an exclusively Protestant imperial city and belonged to the Corpus Evangelicorum of the Reichstag. Later historical events such as the influx of refugees after the Second World War and also increasing mobility, however, blur the boundaries of the denominations.
With the influx of immigrants from Eastern Europe, a number of Orthodox communities also emerged in Franconia. The Romanian Orthodox Metropolis for Germany, Central and Northern Europe is based in Nuremberg.
Before the time of National Socialism, Franconia was a region with important Jewish communities, most of which belonged to the Ashkenazim . In the 12th and 13th centuries and thus later than, for example, in Regensburg , the first Jewish communities were founded in Franconia. In the Middle Ages, Franconia was a stronghold of Torah studies . However, Franconia also excelled particularly early on in the exclusion of the Jewish population. For example, there were two Jewish massacres with the Rintfleisch Pogrom in 1298 and the Armleder Uprising of 1336–1338, and in the 15th and 16th centuries many cities banned their Jewish population, which is why many Jews settled in rural communities. Even at the time of National Socialism , Franconia emerged particularly early in discriminating against Jews. The first deaths of the organized Nazi persecution of the Jews occurred on March 21 in Künzelsau and on March 25/26. March 1933 in Creglingen , where the police and SA carried out so-called “weapon searches” under the leadership of Standartenführer Fritz Klein . While around 65 percent of all Bavarian Jews lived in the Bavarian part of Franconia in 1818, today there are only Jewish communities in Bamberg, Bayreuth, Erlangen, Fürth, Hof, Nuremberg and Würzburg as well as in Heilbronn in Baden-Württemberg.
With the influx of guest workers and other immigrants from Muslim countries, especially in large cities, Islam is of growing importance . There are some Shiite, Sunni and Alevi mosques and cultural associations. Many mosque communities are trying to replace their previous backyard mosques with representative new buildings.
Other religions and non-denominational
There are smaller Buddhist , Alevi and Hindu communities. The Baha'i religion is represented by a community in Nuremberg. The almost extinct religious community of the Mandaean community found refuge in Nuremberg .
In Nuremberg there is the Bavarian State Association of the Humanist Association of Germany , which operates the Tower of the Senses in Nuremberg, 19 day-care centers , the Humanist Primary School in Fürth and a housing project for students.
The dialect spoken in Franconia is generally referred to as Franconian , but in fact it is only a subset of the Franconian languages . In linguistics , it is declared as East Franconian , forms the most southeastern dialect group of the Franconian languages and is recorded as part of the Franconian Dictionary of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences . This dialect group extends over an area that belongs to the transition area of the Central German and Upper German language areas and extends over northeastern parts of Baden-Württemberg, northwest Bavaria, southwest Thuringia, some southeastern peripheral areas of Hesse and the extreme southwest of Saxony. The borders to the neighboring dialect areas of the German-speaking area are usually not sharp-edged, but are formed by more or less wide transition zones. Only in the north is there a clear demarcation with the ridge line of the Rennsteig, which separates the Franconian from the Thuringian . East Franconian has features that come from other dialects, which is why it is difficult to distinguish it from other dialects.
In the administrative district of Lower Franconia, the Rhine Franconian, which does not belong to the East Franconian, is mainly in the former Electoral Mainz area west of the Spessart with Aschaffenburg as the main town. The Lower Mainland spoken here is one of the southern Hessian dialects .
The dialects of the Franconian parts of Baden-Württemberg (e.g. the western parts of the Heilbronn-Franconia region) are in part attributed to the southern Franconian dialect group.
In some peripheral areas of the regions now known as Franconia, non-Franconian dialects are also spoken. In the southeast of the two administrative districts of Upper and Middle Franconia, it is North Bavarian that is mainly spoken there, southeast of the cities of Wunsiedel and Hilpoltstein .
The Franconian Regiolekt , which represents a transition between standard language and dialect, is widespread.
culture and education
Cultural landscapes, tradition and festivals
In the Franconian wine country in Lower Franconia and parts of Central and Upper Franconia, wine has been grown for around 1,200 years. A possible Roman influence on viticulture cannot be proven. According to legend, Franconian viticulture begins with the founding of the monasteries in Kleinochsenfurt and Kitzingen in the 8th century. In the Middle Ages, Franconia was the largest contiguous cultivation area in Europe with a cultivation area of around 40,000 hectares. The oldest grape variety still cultivated in Franconia is the Silvaner , which was introduced in 1659. Other well-known grape varieties are Müller-Thurgau , Bacchus , Riesling , Pinot Noir and Domina . Franconian wine is bottled in Bocksbucheln . The growing areas in Hohenlohe and Tauberfranken belong to the wine-growing areas of Württemberg and Baden, respectively .
Franconia is known for its beer. Up until the 1960s, Upper Franconia had the highest density of breweries in the world. Most of Bavaria's breweries are therefore located in Franconia, but most of the breweries are small. Monks introduced the art of brewing in Franconia. One of the largest hop-growing areas in Germany is the Spalter Hopfenland . In Franconia, beer is traditionally drunk directly at the rock cellar . In contrast to other Bavarian areas, stone jugs with a volume of half a liter, called Seidla , are preferred. The two oldest, still active breweries in Franconia are the Weißenohe monastery brewery and the Wurm brewery , both from the 12th century .
There is a traditional Franconian cuisine based on regional specialties. When eating a lot of traditional dishes based on typical local sausages (z. B. blue corner , Franconian sausages ), carp and pork (z. B. the pork shoulder or pork dishes ). Also known are Nuremberg gingerbread , the recipe of which has been known since the end of the 15th century. The Schweinfurt slaughter bowl is made according to traditional rituals. In Hofer country especially carving is popular. It's a soup, comparable to a Pichelsteiner stew .
Franconian costumes differ considerably from those in old Bavaria , with the three-cornered hat being a typical component of men . The centers of Franconian costume are the Ochsenfurter Gau and the Schweinfurter Land , with the plant dance . The Franconian song is not a traditional folk custom, but a poetry of the 19th century .
From around two weeks before Easter, the Easter fountains are decorated in many places (especially in Franconian Switzerland ) . In many places, are Maibäume erected. The custom with which the beginning of the pre-Easter Lent is celebrated is called Fasenacht or Fasnacht in Franconia.
Folk festivals and church fairs , so-called Kärm (Lower Franconia) or Kärwas (Middle and Upper Franconia), are widespread in Franconia. Initially, it was used to commemorate church consecration . In many places there are many church fair traditions, such as putting up a church fair tree. In larger cities, instead of or in addition to the Kirchweihen (Schweinfurt), a folk festival is celebrated, including the Nuremberg folk festival that has been taking place since 1826 and takes place twice a year in autumn and spring. With 1.9 million visitors, the Nuremberg Spring Festival is the largest in Franconia. The Michaeliskirchweih in Fürth, which has been celebrated for 900 years, is one of the oldest in Franconia and, with over a million visitors, is the largest street church fair in southern Germany. The Bergkirchweih in Erlangen has been held since 1755 and is the third largest folk festival in Franconia with around one million visitors. Finally, the Würzburg Kiliani folk festival follows with around 800,000 visitors. The Nuremberg Christkindlesmarkt is a Christmas market on the main market and, with around 2.4 million visitors in 2013, is one of the largest Christmas markets in Germany and the most famous worldwide.
The Sennfelder and Gochsheim peace festivals of the two former imperial direct and free imperial villages at the gates of Schweinfurt and the Limmersdorfer Lindenkirchweih in Thurnau in Upper Franconia , all with Plantanz , were included in the National List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2016 as centuries-old festivals .
On the other hand, the wine and winemaking festivals that characterize the wine towns today, especially in Lower Franconia, are relatively young . They do not go back to an ecclesiastical tradition, but were brought into being to market the local wine. They mostly take place in the summer months. A particularly large number of large wine festivals are held around the Volkacher Mainschleife , where the Franconian Wine Festival in Volkach is the largest wine festival in Franconia.
Drama, opera and music
Of the four state theaters in the Free State of Bavaria, the State Theater Nuremberg and the State Theater Coburg are the only ones in Franconia. Another state theater is located in the Meiningen State Theater in southern Thuringia, whose catchment area includes large parts of Lower Franconia and Eastern Hesse. Other theaters with a multi-branch theater in Franconia are the Mainfranken Theater in Würzburg, the ETA Hoffmann Theater in Bamberg, the Erlangen Theater , the Fürth City Theater and the Hof Theater . There are also a large number of free and private theaters as well as folk and peasant theater groups. The most internationally famous festival is the Bayreuth Festival , founded by Richard Wagner and dedicated to Wagner's last ten operas. The festival has been held intermittently since 1876 and annually since 1951.
Many of the Bavarian Theater Days , which have been held in different cities every year since 1983 , have already taken place in Franconia. The most famous choirs include the world-renowned Windsbach boys' choir , while the large concert orchestras include the Bamberg Symphony and the Nuremberg Symphony Orchestra .
Cinema and film
The Hof International Film Festival is the most famous film festival in Franconia. They take place every October in Hof (Saale) in Upper Franconia . 130 foreign, but above all German, productions will be shown in two cinemas in 200 screenings. Famous guests included Wim Wenders and Doris Dörrie . Several prizes are awarded for the best films, for example the New German Cinema Prize or the City of Hof Film Prize. The festival was founded by Uwe Brandner and Heinz Badewitz . Bade died in 2016. He was honored with the 5,000 euro Heinz Badewitz Prize.
Universities and colleges
The Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) is one of the four universities in Franconia . With around 39,000 students, it is the largest university in Franconia and one of the largest in Germany. The full university was founded in 1743 and is named after the Franconian Margrave Friedrich von Brandenburg-Bayreuth, its founder, and Karl Alexander von Brandenburg-Ansbach. With an output volume of over 800 million euros per year, FAU is an economic factor in Swiss francs.
The Julius Maximilians University of Würzburg was founded in 1402 and re-established in 1582 on the initiative of Prince Bishop Julius Echter von Mespelbrunn , making it one of the oldest universities in the German-speaking area. Fourteen Nobel Prize winners have researched and taught at the comprehensive university. The university is named after its founder Julius Echter von Mespelbrunn and after the Bavarian King Maximilian I Joseph . She is a member of the Coimbra group .
The Otto Friedrich University Bamberg is one of the leading universities for psychology , economics and social sciences . The university was named after Melchior Otto Voit von Salzburg , who founded it in 1647, and Adam Friedrich von Seinsheim .
The first university in Bayreuth was founded in 1742 by Margrave Friedrich von Brandenburg-Bayreuth, but after a short time it was relocated to Erlangen due to unrest. The university was re-established in 1970. The University of Bayreuth has 12,536 students (as of April 2013). It is one of the leading universities in the fields of physics and law. It is also one of the few universities in German-speaking countries where African studies can be studied.
Furthermore, there are several dozen other universities in Franconia that are state, church or private sponsors, some of which have very different focuses. There are also research institutes such as the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits in Erlangen, the Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research in Würzburg, the Leibniz Institute for Educational Trajectories in Bamberg, the Bavarian Laser Center in Erlangen and the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light in Gain.
Museums, libraries and archives
Since a large part of Franconia is located in Bavaria, the state with the most museums in Germany and one of the regions with the most museums on the continent, the museum landscape in Franconia is very diverse. The most famous museum in Franconia is probably the Germanisches Nationalmuseum (GNM) in Nuremberg, the largest museum for the culture , art and history of the German-speaking area from the early days to the present . It houses around 1.3 million objects. At the museum location Nuremberg , which is considered one of the largest in Germany, there are also other internationally renowned museums, for example the Jewish Museum Franconia at its three locations in Fürth, Schwabach and Schnaittach . It has a unique selling point in the area of collecting, preserving, researching, presenting and conveying Jewish history and culture. Among the largest and most important of its kind are the Franconian Open Air Museum in Bad Windsheim , which has been in existence since 1976, with its 45 hectare museum grounds and the Franconian Open Air Museum in Fladungen, which has been in existence since 1990, with an exhibition area of twelve hectares. Both museums show Franconian building and craftsmanship and convey and preserve Franconian regional culture. The Mainfränkisches Museum on the Marienberg Fortress in Würzburg is one of the largest art collections in Bavaria. Due to the artistically significant works, the museum was able to develop into a house of international standing. The Bavarian Vogtland Museum in Hof shows the culture and history of the Bavarian Vogtland . The German Toy Museum is located in the (former) world toy city of Sonneberg .
Most of the larger municipalities and cities have libraries that are mostly publicly owned. They are mostly organized through the Bavarian Library Association , the Hessian Library Information System (HeBIS), the Southwest German Library Association of the State of Baden-Württemberg or the Joint Library Association , which the Free State of Thuringia operates with several other federal states. The franken-onleihe was created in cooperation with several Franconian libraries in Bavaria in order to bundle the resources of electronic media. In addition, there is the e-medien franken for e-media in Bavaria and the Heilbronn-Franken online library in Baden-Württemberg.
The state libraries of the Free State of Bavaria in Franconia include the Ansbach State Library , the Aschaffenburg Court Library , the Coburg State Library and the Bamberg State Library . Larger university libraries exist in Erlangen-Nuremberg and Würzburg . The state archives in Franconia include the Bamberg State Archives , the Nuremberg State Archives , the Würzburg State Archives , the Coburg State Archives and the Meiningen State Archives , which are mainly responsible for the entire Franconian part of Thuringia. The Coburg State Archives and the Coburg State Library in Bavaria are remnants of the Free State of Coburg .
Day of the Franks
On May 18, 2006, the Bavarian State Parliament decided to introduce a day of the Franks in the Franconian areas of the Free State. The date was set to July 2nd, because on this day in 1500 the Old Reich was divided into imperial circles, and so the later Franconian Empire was created. This act is regarded as the hour of birth of today's Franconian community feeling and serves as the basis for the day of the Franks. The actual event takes place during the first weekend in July in one of the three Franconian administrative districts in Bavaria. The organizer is the respective district . However, Franconian Day is not celebrated in the Baden-Württemberg regions of Franconia.
The main event of the first day of the Franks on July 2, 2006 took place as part of the state exhibition 200 years Franconia in Bavaria in the Tafelhalle in Nuremberg.
For the first time, the 14th Franconian Day was celebrated on July 6th and 7th by the district of Upper Franconia together with the Bavarian state government and the directly neighboring host cities of Sonneberg ( South Thuringia ) and Neustadt bei Coburg (Upper Franconia) with over 25,000 visitors under the motto TOGETHER .FRANISH. STRONG.
The most important football club in terms of success is 1. FC Nürnberg (1. FCN, FCN, the club), which was founded on May 4, 1900 and had around 23,000 members in 2018. With nine championships, the “club” was the German soccer record champion for over 60 years until 1987, before it was replaced by FC Bayern Munich . In the all-time table of the Bundesliga, the club is in 14th place. Since 1995 the club has been a member of the umbrella club of 1. FCN, which includes the boxing club 1. FC Nürnberg , 1. FC Nürnberg women's and girls' football , 1. FCN swimming , 1. FCN skiing and tennis. Club 1. FC Nürnberg belong to. Another sports club in Nuremberg is VfL Nuremberg , which has a successful volleyball department.
SpVgg Greuther Fürth ("the clover leaf"), founded on September 23, 1903, played in the Bundesliga for the first time in 2012/13 . Matches between 1. FC Nürnberg and SpVgg Greuther Fürth are the Frankenderbys , with 265 matches so far, the most common soccer derby in Germany.
SpVgg Greuther Fürth and 1. FC Nürnberg are also the only two representatives of Franconia in the 1st and 2nd Bundesliga. In the 3rd division, the region is represented by the Würzburger Kickers . SpVgg Oberfranken Bayreuth and 1. FC Schweinfurt 05 play in the fourth-class Bavarian regional league . Viktoria Aschaffenburg , FC Eintracht Bamberg and SpVgg Bayern Hof can also look back on successful times . Well-known footballers from Franconia are Andreas Kupfer , Max Morlock , Heinz Strehl , Heiner Stuhlfauth , Lothar Matthäus , Karl Mai , Felix Magath , Bernd Hollerbach , Heiko Westermann , Stefan Kießling , Roberto Hilbert and Johannes Geis .
The internationally known fencing club Tauberbischofsheim is one of the most successful clubs in the world - measured by its successes with over 370 medals at the Olympic Games, World and European Championships, and over 650 medals at German championships. FC Tauberbischofsheim was founded in 1954 by Emil Beck as a fencing department at TSV Tauberbischofsheim and has existed as an independent club since 1967. In 1966, FC Tauberbischofsheim launched the Frankenland tournament . In addition to a state and federal performance center , the FC TBB also had the national Olympic base Tauberbischofsheim for the sport of fencing from 1986 to 2017 .
Another important club for German sport is Brose Bamberg , a German basketball team from Bamberg, which won the German championship nine times and the German cup five times . The association was founded in 1955. Other basketball clubs in the top German league from Franconia are medi bayreuth and the S.Oliver Baskets from Würzburg. The Crailsheim Merlins , the Nürnberg Falcons and the Baunach Young Pikes play in the 2nd Bundesliga ( Pro A ) . The most famous basketball players from Franconia are Dirk Nowitzki , Bastian Doreth and Alex King .
The Nürnberg Ice Tigers are a founding member of the German Ice Hockey League ( DEL ) . The club's greatest success so far was winning the German runner-up in 1999 and 2007 . The Heilbronner Falken and the Bayreuth Tigers are currently playing in the 2nd German Ice Hockey League ( DEL 2 ) . The Selber Wolves and the Höchstadt Alligators play in the Oberliga . In indoor hockey, the Nuremberg HTC is worth mentioning.
The best American football team in Franconia is the Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns , who have played in the German Football League (GFL) without interruption since 2001 and have won the German Bowl four times so far (2011, 2012, 2017, 2018). Furthermore, after two championships, they made it into the final of the German Bowl (2014-2016) three times in a row, all of which were lost to the New York Lions from Braunschweig. In the GFL 2 play Franken Knights of Rothenburg ob der Tauber very successful, played a long time in the GFL, and the Nuremberg Rams . The most successful football team of the 80s were the Ansbach Grizzlies with three German championships and five runner-up championships, which are also a founding member of the GFL. The “Grizzlies” are currently playing in the Oberliga Bayern (4th division) with the Franconian Timberwolves from Fürth, the Bamberg Phantoms , the Erlangen Sharks and the Würzburg Panthers . In two seasons (1999 and 2000) the Aschaffenburg Stallions played in the GFL and were relegated due to license withdrawal, which enabled the Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns to advance. The "Stallions" are currently playing in the Bavarian State League (5th division).
For decades, 1. FC Nürnberg Handball was the leader in handball with twelve German championships, two cup wins and one European cup, but it became insolvent in 2009 and has only played in the Bavarian League since then. Since the 2016/17 season, two Franconian teams, HC Erlangen and HSC 2000 Coburg, have been represented in the 1st handball league .
The men's team of the tennis club 1. FC Nürnberg, which currently plays in the 2nd tennis Bundesliga, is extremely successful. The ATP Challenger Tour stops in Franconia in Heilbronn, Fürth and Eckental . In baseball , more and more teams have been created in recent years, including the Erlangen White Sox and the Fürth Pirates . Schweinfurt has been the center of basketball since 1937 . In winter sports , fewer successes were achieved in Franconia than in old Bavaria, for example, where the Bavarian Alps offer excellent winter sports conditions. Skiing and skiing is possible in most of the Franconian low mountain ranges , a well-known ski jump is the Inselbergschanze , where Continental Cup competitions regularly take place. One of the still preserved traditional sports in Franconia is the brewing trough or "Sautrog", a water sport. In motorsport, there are annual touring car races for the DTM at the Norisring . The federal center for fencing is located in Tauberbischofsheim . Athletes of the fencing club Tauberbischofsheim e. V. won many medals at the Olympic Games , including the later IOC President Thomas Bach .
Well-known stadiums in Franconia are the Max Morlock Stadium (formerly Frankenstadion ) in Nuremberg, the Sportpark Ronhof in Fürth, the Hans Walter Wild Stadium in Bayreuth, the Willy Sachs Stadium in Schweinfurt, the Green Au Stadium in Hof, the Frankenstadion in Heilbronn, the Flyeralarm Arena (formerly Stadion am Dallenberg ) in Würzburg and the Fuchs-Park-Stadion (formerly Volksparkstadion ) in Bamberg. Well-known multifunctional arenas are the Nürnberger Versicherung Arena in Nuremberg, the Brose Arena in Bamberg, the Oberfrankenhalle in Bayreuth, the HUK-COBURG arena in Coburg, the NETZSCH-Arena in Selb, the Arena Hohenlohe in Ilshofen and the S.Oliver Arena in Würzburg.
UNESCO world heritage
The Würzburg Residenz , a palace from the South German Baroque, including the courtyard garden and the adjacent Residenzplatz, has been part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site within Franconia since 1981 . In 1993 the old town of Bamberg was named a World Heritage Site. Since July 15, 2005, the Upper Germanic-Raetian Limes , with a total length of 550 kilometers, the longest soil monument in Europe , has been a World Heritage Site. Several buildings belonging to the Limes, such as the thermal baths in Weißenburg, are also part of the world heritage . In 2012 the Margravial Opera House in Bayreuth was added to the list.
The Bamberg Apocalypse , a manuscript of the Reichenau Monastery , and the Lorsch Pharmacopoeia since 2013 have been part of the UNESCO World Document Heritage since 2003 . Both writings are kept in the Bamberg State Library.
The Margravial Opera House in Bayreuth
Franconia has a rich and diverse architectural history that is closely interwoven with the western architectural history of neighboring countries. One of the foundations was the architecture of Roman antiquity , from which some buildings are still fragmentary, such as the Roman thermal baths in Weißenburg, which are the largest in southern Germany. Some pre-Romanesque buildings such as the Sola Basilica in Solnhofen still show the development towards the Romanesque , which began around 1030. The Gothic began in France, the first Gothic buildings in Franconia were erected around 1230. Bamberg Cathedral , which with its four towers is one of the most beautiful domes in Germany, dates from the transition between Romanesque and Gothic . Inside the cathedral is the sculpture of the Bamberg rider , one of the cultural highlights of the late Staufer period. Architecture from the late Middle Ages has been preserved particularly in rural areas, such as in the imperial cities of Rothenburg ob der Tauber , Dinkelsbühl or Weißenburg and in northern Lower Franconia. The largest undamaged city center in Germany is the old town of Bamberg, which combines all styles of the Middle Ages and modern times.
The style of the Renaissance came to Franconia around 1520 from what is now Italy; an example of this is the Wülzburg fortress . It is one of the few remaining fortresses in German-speaking countries that show the typical Renaissance fortifications in a one-off sequence. The Fleischbrücke in Nuremberg dates from the late Renaissance and was described by contemporaries as the most technically important bridge in Europe due to its statics and stability. During Mannerism at the end of the 16th and beginning of the 17th century, the Juncker family of artists was important. They made countless wayside shrines , tombs and portals in the Franconian region. However, they were also active during the Renaissance and Baroque periods . In Franconia, as in the entire Holy Roman Empire, the baroque emerged with a delay (from 1650). Balthasar Neumann was one of the most important builders of that time . His best-known work is the Würzburg Residence , an outstanding example of the Franconian Baroque, which combined the different baroque trends of its time into a total work of art of astonishing universality and is considered a final, architectural-historical event of the European Baroque. According to UNESCO, the residence's mirror cabinet is the most perfect work of art from the Rococo . Other well-known builders of the 17th and 18th centuries were the Dientzenhofer , an Upper Bavarian family of builders who designed many castles, churches and palaces in Franconia. Hofer Neustadt is unique for classicism . There are almost completely preserved ensembles in Ludwigstrasse, Klosterstrasse and Maxplatz. The style epoch of historicism lasted from around 1840 to 1900 , in which older styles were copied and partially combined. This also includes Neo-Romanesque , Neo-Gothic , Neo-Renaissance and Neo-Baroque , but also the Nuremberg Style , a mixture of Neo-Gothic and Neo-Renaissance. The monumental architecture under the Nazis such as the Nuremberg Nazi party rally grounds that the largest monuments of the construction of the Nazis is one, presented a distinctive turning point in the history of architecture. Since the reconstruction of playing in francs as throughout Germany listed a more important role.
Castles and Palaces
The hilly landscape with many valley cuts and the central location in the German cultural area have favored the construction of castles in Franconia since the early Middle Ages. The strong fragmentation of Franconia into many small territories also favored the building of castles and palaces, as every sovereign wanted to demonstrate or consolidate his power with it. The high point of castle construction was the period from 1180 to 1250. Its importance declined increasingly from the 14th century. Representative castles replaced them as mansions from the 16th century. From the 14th century, fortified churches and fortified churches were increasingly built in Franconia . For state-owned castles and palaces in the Free State of Bavaria, the Bavarian Administration of State Palaces, Gardens and Lakes , which emerged as the administration of the former crown property after the end of the monarchy on November 20, 1918, in Baden-Württemberg is the State Palaces and Gardens of Baden -Wuerttemberg , in Hesse the administration of the State Palaces and Gardens of Hesse and in Thuringia the Thuringian Palaces and Gardens Foundation . These administrations look after many properties in Franconia such as the Nuremberg Castle , the Ellingen Residence , the Heldburg Castle or the Weikersheim Castle .
Franconian half-timbered house
A building type that is widespread in some regions of Franconia is the half-timbered house , the construction of which flourished during the Renaissance. The so-called Franconian half-timbered house is a by-name of the Ernhaus , a type of construction widespread in southern and central Germany. Elements of the Franconian framework are typically straight and curved St. Andrew's crosses , long foot and head struts, sun gears, diamonds, fire goats as well as carvings and colored frames on the crossbars. After the Thirty Years War, however, half-timbered houses became unpopular in some regions, such as in and around Würzburg, which is why many half-timbered houses were plastered to imitate a stone house. In the Obermaing area, however, the half-timbered house architecture flourished again after the Thirty Years War.
Little is known of the appearance of the farmhouses in Franconia, which were built before 1500. The oldest known farmhouse in Franconia comes from Höfstetten near Heilsbronn and was built in 1367. There is no uniform design in Franconia, the different designs were probably already in use in the 15th century. In Altmühlfranken , for example, Kniestockhäuser predominates , in the southern Franconian Jura Jura houses , in the Nuremberg area Swedish houses , in the Spalter Hügelland high- gable hop stores and in the west of Franconia the ridge stand construction , while two-story buildings predominate , especially in wine-growing villages. In Hohenlohe and neighboring areas, forms of the so-called Pfarrer-Mayer-Haus have been widespread since the middle of the 16th century .
The first monasteries in Franconia emerged in the 7th and 8th centuries before missionaries like Bonifatius began their work. The first monasteries included the Karlburg monastery near Karlstadt , the monastery on the Würzburger Festungsberg, the Amorbach monastery and the Gumbertus monastery in Ansbach. In the Middle Ages, many monasteries served to consolidate royal rule. The Benedictines are among the first known orders in Franconia . Among other things, a Benedictine monastery was founded in Eichstätt by Willibald from 740 and the Heidenheim monastery in Heidenheim by Wunibald in 752 . The monasteries of the early Middle Ages were the nucleus of Christianity in Franconia. Later, in the course of the Middle Ages, other orders were added, such as Cistercians , Franciscans and Dominicans . During the Reformation, the first monasteries in the evangelical areas, especially in Middle Franconia, were secularized. After the devastation of the Thirty Years' War, the large country monasteries in particular rose to the baroque style. After the monasteries of Eichstätt, Würzburg and Bamberg fell to the secular kingdoms, the secularization of most of the monasteries began in 1802 . Only a few remained on the resolution preserves and so survived until the revival of the Bavarian monastery landscape under Ludwig I . At the beginning of the 20th century there was a new boom in monastic life, but since the 1960s the number of monks and nuns has declined due to social change.
A wayside shrine , also known as a Marterl , is a small religious monument. It serves, for example, as an impetus for prayer on the way, as a token of gratitude for overcoming dangers or epidemics, or as a reminder of special accidents or important people. The Catholic part of Franconia is rich in wayside shrines, which are mostly made of sandstone . Most wayside shrines were made during the Baroque era, but this tradition disappeared again with the Enlightenment. However, artists rediscovered it as a symbol of an ideal Franconian landscape . Today there is again the custom of setting up wayside shrines in Franconia. One of the oldest wayside shrines in Franconia is a specimen from 1350 in Naisa near Bamberg.
Party landscape and regional party
The party landscape in the respective federal states is essentially reflected in francs. Left parties are strong in Thuringia, but in the Bavarian part of Franconia the conservative CSU is traditionally the strongest party, while the FDP and Die Linke hardly play a role in the Bavarian regions. However, in the Bavarian part of Franconia, the Free Voters and the SPD have a greater influx than in the rest of Bavaria. For example, the SPD provides the mayors of Bamberg, Coburg, Fürth, Erlangen and Nuremberg.
Aspirations for autonomy
In the history of the Federal Republic there have been efforts by various Franconian groups and associations, in particular the Franconian Bund e. V. , who demanded the independence of Franconia from Bavaria. A media interest arose in 1989/90 when the Franconian Confederation demanded a federal state of Franconia through a reorganization of the federal territory according to GG with the help of a signature collection. This was successful, but the Federal Ministry of the Interior rejected the measure. A lawsuit before the Federal Constitutional Court was also unsuccessful.
Alleged discrimination against the franc
The Franconian Confederation and the Party for Franconia criticize the general disadvantage of Franconia within the Free State of Bavaria. Franconia is underrepresented in the party structures and receives less tax revenue. In general, the concerns and problems of the Franconian administrative districts are also given less attention. Occasionally, the return of so-called looted art , works of art from Franconian cities and treasuries that were confiscated by the Kingdom of Bavaria in the 19th century and brought to Munich is requested.
Many such criticisms, however, are considered irrelevant. For example, Franconian politicians are not underrepresented in the structures of large parties. The demand for the return of art treasures is also problematic, as the Hofer Altar in Munich and some Dürer paintings in the Alte Pinakothek were not stolen, but were given voluntarily. The imperial crown of Heinrich II from the Bamberg cathedral treasure and the Franconian ducal sword are “stolen” . The dispute over the imperial crowns of Heinrich II. And Kunigunde reached its climax on the occasion of the 1000th anniversary of the archbishopric when a loan to Bamberg was refused on the grounds that the crowns would not survive the transport. There are now replicas in the Bamberg Cathedral Treasure.
The Franconian administrative districts of Bavaria have a higher unemployment rate than southern Bavaria. Forecasts also show that the Bavarian part of Franconia will be more affected by the population decline than other parts of Bavaria. Within Bavaria, there is also an economic south-north divide as well as a strong concentration of authorities and general preference for the greater Munich area.
Franconian rake as a coat of arms
The coat of arms of Franconia is the Franconian rake . It was first used in the 14th century on the grave of Wolfram Wolfskeel von Grumbach , Prince-Bishop of Würzburg. The Franconian rake has been the symbol of the duchy of the Würzburg bishops since the 16th century and was also used in sealing and coinage at the end of the 14th century. From 1804 it became a symbol of the whole of Franconia and from 1835 on it represented the Franconian areas of the Kingdom of Bavaria in the Bavarian state coat of arms, alongside the coats of arms of the other regions. Today it is not only part of the large state coat of arms of the Free State of Bavaria , but also of the large state coat of arms of the state of Baden-Württemberg and the Franconian districts of Bavaria and numerous city and local coats of arms in the Franconian areas of Bavaria, Thuringia and Baden-Württemberg. Many Franconian noble families also have a Franconian rake in their coat of arms.
The Frankish flag, usually Franken flag called, consists of two equal width strips, said upper strip (silver in heraldry) red and the lower white is, and the centrally arranged on the flag Frankish rake. In the Franconian administrative districts of Bavaria, the Franconian rake can also be replaced by the coat of arms of the respective district, whereby it should be noted that the flag of the district of Upper Franconia is white at the top and red at the bottom. Since today the franc is only a geographical, but no longer a political unit, neither a flag nor a coat of arms is a national symbol. It is used primarily on festive days or for other purposes by private individuals and associations. On Franconian Day , it can also be hoisted on poles by authorities in the Free State of Bavaria. The Bavarian Ministry of Homeland is the only higher regional authority to hoist the Franconian flag all year round.
The Frankenlied is a student song and the unofficial national anthem of Franconia, which originated in the 19th century. It is sung in the Franconian districts of Bavaria on official occasions after the Deutschlandlied and the Bavarian anthem . The text is taken from a poem by Joseph Victor von Scheffels , the melody was composed by Valentin Eduard Becker .
Franconia (also in the spelling Frankonia ) is the Latinized expression for Franconia. At the same time, Franconia is the name of the female symbol of Franconia. It represents the personified allegory of this region. It is comparable to Bavaria for the Free State of Bavaria. Statues of Franconia can be found in the forecourt of the Würzburg Residence and at the Liberation Hall in Kelheim .
The race troop as well as the Franconian rake inseparable franc and the Würzburg prince bishops. The fief flag shows in blue a red and silver quartered obliquely and twice notched standard with a golden shaft on the two vertical sides. The first image of the little racing flag can be found in the 12th century on coins of Bishop Reginhard . The racing flag can be found, for example, in the coats of arms of Würzburg and the Lower Franconia district.
The Franconian ducal sword, together with the Franconian rake, has served as a symbol of the Franconian ducal dignity since the 12th century. The preserved Gothic ceremonial sword was commissioned by Prince Bishop Johann III. Forged by Grumbach . The sword is a hand-and-a-half sword with a jasper as a pommel, on the guard are the Wolffskeel'sche Mohr , the Rennfähnlein and the Franconian rake. The sword was used in the propaganda competition for power in Franconia to demonstrate the claim to power. In 1803 the sword came to Munich. In the context of the looted art discussion , the sword is requested to be returned to Franconia.
Economy and Infrastructure
In general, southern Germany is an economic engine for Germany and is characterized by relatively low unemployment. The three Franconian administrative districts together generated a gross domestic product (GDP) of over 127,000 million euros in 2010 , which corresponds to around two thirds of the economic output of Upper Bavaria. The average GDP per capita in 2010 was 28,500 euros in Upper Franconia, 30,700 euros in Lower Franconia and 33,100 euros in Middle Franconia, which is around the German average (30,500). The Heilbronn-Franken region, which also includes areas outside of Franconia, has an economic output totaling 26.6 billion euros (as of 2005) and is one of the country's high-income regions. Precise statistical information on unemployment in the Swiss franc is not available due to the fact that the Swiss franc is divided into different administrative units. In general, unemployment is higher in the Franconian districts of Bavaria than in Upper Bavaria, for example. The unemployment rate in Nuremberg is the highest in Bavaria. In Main Franconia (Würzburg / Schweinfurt area) unemployment continued to decline, reached Upper Bavarian values in 2015 and today, thanks to the networking of science and industry, it is one of the top 10 high-tech locations in Europe.
Numerous important large companies, including Grundig , Triumph-Adler , MAN , Sachs , Brose , Adidas , Puma , Schaeffler , Hercules , Quelle and Playmobil have their origins in Franconia, especially in the greater Nuremberg area. Some of these companies are still headquartered in the region today. The most important employers in the region include Siemens and Bosch .
The most important industrial city in Franconia is now Schweinfurt , as the former structural crisis of German industry was successfully overcome here and there was no de-industrialization in the area around Nuremberg . Schweinfurt is the European center of the rolling bearing industry and is known as the world capital of ball bearings . The largest rolling bearing group in the world, SKF , the second largest Schaeffler and the third largest automotive supplier in the world ZF Friedrichshafen (formerly Fichtel & Sachs AG ) each have their largest plant in the city on the Main.
The medium-sized businesses and pen manufacturers Faber-Castell , Schwan-STABILO , LYRA and Staedtler are an important industrial pillar and typical of the region around Nuremberg . Also operates BMW offices in Nuremberg and Fuerth. Nuremberg is the largest printing location in Germany, among other things, Der Spiegel and the specialist magazine C't are printed there. The Nürnberger Nachrichten with its numerous regional editions are printed on the edge of the old town . The Nuremberg Exhibition Center is one of the most important congress and trade fair locations in Germany; The Nuremberg Toy Fair , Consumenta and BIOFACH are of national importance . The Nuremberg and the HUK-Coburg are among the largest German insurers and engage regional sports sponsorship. The toy manufacturers Noris-Spiele and BIG-Spielwarenfabrik (mainly known for the production of Bobby-Cars ) are based in Fürth.
In Hohenlohe in Baden-Wuerttemberg, many major companies have their headquarters; Measured by the number of inhabitants, most of the world market leaders across Germany are represented there (as of 2009). The largest companies in the Hohenlohe district include the Würth Group , Albert Berner Germany , the valve specialists Bürkert and GEMÜ as well as the explosion protection specialist R. Stahl , the Scheuerle Fahrzeugfabrik , ebm-papst and Ziehl-Abegg .
The Grafenrheinfeld nuclear power plant , which was shut down in June 2015, is located near Schweinfurt . There was also the Großwelzheim experimental nuclear power plant near Aschaffenburg and the Kahl nuclear power plant , the first commercial nuclear power plant in the Federal Republic of Germany.
Several rural districts and urban districts in Central and Upper Franconia, parts of Lower Franconia, southern Thuringia and the Upper Palatinate have merged to form the Nuremberg Metropolitan Region , which, with a gross domestic product of 106 billion euros, around 162,000 companies and around 1.8 million people in employment, is one of the most economically powerful areas in Germany counts. The Baden-Württemberg regions of Franconia belong to the Stuttgart metropolitan region , the Bavarian Lower Main to the Frankfurt / Rhine-Main metropolitan region .
In pre-industrial times , mining, handicrafts and agriculture were dominant. Fichtelgebirge and Franconian Forest were important centers of southern German mining, among other things gold , iron ore , copper and tin were mined. In Altmühlfranken, too, more and more stone quarries, for example in Solnhofen limestone , were set up. The toy industry is important for Nuremberg. There is evidence that toys have been made in Nuremberg since the 14th century.
In Franconia, industrialization began earlier than, for example, in the agricultural region of Old Bavaria or in Munich , which is dominated by handicrafts, and developed into an economic engine in the region in the 19th century. This was strongly influenced by the first German railway line from Nuremberg to Fürth, which was inaugurated on December 7, 1835 with the journey of the eagle . The right of inheritance in Franconia, which differed from that of other regions, also influenced industrialization. Steam engines, locomotives and electric motors were manufactured in Nuremberg in the 19th century; other industrial locations were Hof, Bayreuth, Selb and Wunsiedel. The textile and porcelain industry settled in Upper Franconia early on, for example in the town of Selb from the 19th century . A large paper industry emerged in Heilbronn from the 1820s . Due to the economic backwardness of the Franconian part of Baden, the name Badisch Siberia arose in the 19th century . From 1901 a major motorcycle industry emerged in Nuremberg . In Schweinfurt in 1884 Friedrich Fischer invented usable ball bearings and Ernst Sachs invented the bicycle freewheel in 1889 and the coaster brake in 1903 , from which the Schweinfurt industry with the big three ( FAG Kugelfischer , Fichtel & Sachs , SKF ) developed.
The border regions of Franconia are partly dependent on subsidies due to competitive advantages in the neighboring states and partly due to a lack of infrastructure, because due to their remote location on the edge of the zone during the Cold War, these regions were not very attractive. The iron curtain on the CSFR fell there after 1990 , but at the same time, in reunified Germany, the zone border funding was lifted, and at the same time the neighboring Czech Republic often offered better investment incentives.
Nuremberg and Fürth had to accept plant closings and the relocation of jobs again and again. The MAN site in the south of Nuremberg has been steadily reduced in size over time. The decline of the office machine manufacturer Triumph-Adler began in the mid-1980s ; In 2003 the Grundig AG dissolved. The AEG plant in Nuremberg closed in 2006 with a loss of 1750 jobs. The formerly largest mail order Corporation Quelle GmbH was in June 2009 in insolvency and was disbanded in October of this year.
The tourism industry emphasizes the romantic character of Franconia. The picturesque landscape and the long history and culture present in many historical buildings are cited as arguments. The relatively low density of industrial settlements outside of the economic conurbations is also emphasized. The same applies to culinary aspects, for example the Franconian wine , the rich beer tradition and the gingerbread biscuit are used as a means of attracting advertising and making Franconia a popular tourist destination in Germany. Some of the tourist highlights in western Franconia are connected by the Romantic Road , the most famous German themed road . The Castle Road leads through the entire Franconian region with its numerous castles and other medieval buildings.
The Franconian landscape is suitable for many sporting activities. For example, the Frankenweg , the Keltenweg and the hiking trail networks of the Altmühltal and the low mountain range invite you to go hiking .
Cycling is very popular along the major rivers, for example on the Main Cycle Path , which was the first German long -distance cycle path to be awarded five stars by the General German Bicycle Club (ADFC). The Taubertal Cycle Path , a 101 kilometer long cycle path in Tauberfranken , was the second German long-distance cycle path to receive five stars.
Motorcycle destinations are the Altmühltal, Taubertal, Franconian Switzerland and the Franconian Forest. The Northern Franconian Jura climbing area in Franconian and Hersbrucker Switzerland is one of the most famous and popular sport climbing areas in Germany. According to the Tourism Association of Franconia, the tourism industry has an annual turnover of 8.5 billion euros in francs.
The nationwide sports magazine Kicker by the Nuremberg Olympia Verlag is published in Nuremberg . The Nürnberger Nachrichten (NN), one of the largest German regional newspapers with a circulation of around 300,000 copies, forms the shell of many smaller local newspapers in Middle Franconia.
The Franken studio of Bayerischer Rundfunk is located in Nuremberg and is responsible for radio and television reporting from a large part of Franconia. Among other things, the Frankenschau , which is broadcast on Sundays, is produced there. Heilbronn is the seat of a studio of the Südwestrundfunk (SWR). The regional program Frankenradio is broadcast from here on SWR4 Baden-Württemberg . The private television broadcaster Franken Fernsehen has geared its programs to Central Franconia and the western Upper Palatinate. Since May 30, 2005, 24 television channels have been broadcast digitally in DVB-T format from the Nuremberg telecommunications tower . Radio 8 is one of the largest radio stations in the region .
Authorities and courts
In 2014, the Bavarian Ministry of Home Affairs was opened in Nuremberg , giving the Bavarian Ministry of Finance a second official seat. It is the first higher Bavarian state authority based in Franconia and outside Munich since 1806.
In addition to this Bavarian state ministry, some other state authorities have their headquarters in Franconia, including the Bavarian State Institute for Viticulture and Horticulture in Veitshöchheim , the Bavarian State Office for Health and Food Safety in Erlangen, the State Office for Data Protection Supervision of the Free State of Bavaria in Ansbach , the Bavarian State Office for Finance in Würzburg, the Landesgewerbeanstalt Bayern in Nuremberg, the Bergamt Nordbayern in Bayreuth, the Deutsche Rentenversicherung Nordbayern in Würzburg and the Zentrum Bayern Familie und Sozial in Bayreuth. The federal authorities in Franconia include the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees and the Federal Employment Agency , both based in Nuremberg, and the Waterways and Shipping Directorate South in Würzburg.
The Thuringian Police maintains a national police station in Suhl , the Baden-Württemberg Police a police headquarters Heilbronn . The Bavarian Police maintains in Bamberg, the Bureau of the Bavarian riot police , riot police departments III (Würzburg) and IV (Nuremberg), in Roth a branch of the Bavarian Police Helicopter Squadron in Nuremberg a branch of the State Criminal Police Office and the police headquarters Middle Franconia in Nuremberg, Upper Franconia in Bayreuth and Lower Franconia in Würzburg. There are also around half a dozen prisons in Franconia.
Among the top regional courts of Bavaria, based in francs are in Bamberg, the Court of Appeal local and Nuremberg, the Court of Appeal , the Regional Labor Court and the Finance Court . The Bavarian State Social Court has a branch in Schweinfurt, the Bavarian Administrative Court has a branch in Ansbach. Dozens of other courts of lower jurisdiction are subordinate to these courts, for example the local courts . There are no supreme regional courts in either the Thuringian or Baden-Württemberg part of Franconia, but there are several lower regional courts, including, for example, the labor courts or the Meiningen Justice Center , which combines four courts and a public prosecutor's office.
Franconia is well developed in terms of transport. The A 3 , A 6 , A 7 , A 9 and A 70 motorways run through Franconia . The A 71 was completed in autumn 2005 . It connects Sangerhausen and the southern Thuringian cities of Suhl and Meiningen with Schweinfurt . The A 73 , which was completed in August 2008, connects Suhl with Bamberg and is also known as the “Frankenschnellweg” in the Lichtenfels – Bamberg – Nuremberg section . In addition to the A 70, the A 73 is the second federal motorway located entirely within the Franconian region. In international road traffic, the connections from northern Germany to Austria and beyond to Italy and south-eastern Europe are of paramount importance. In contrast, the transport links to the neighboring Czech Republic are by no means of comparable relevance.
As in other regions of southern Germany, there is a dense rail network with numerous train stations. The Nuremberg Central Station is one of the largest in Germany and the second largest in Bavaria. Other important train stations in Franconia are in Fürth , Bamberg , Heilbronn and Würzburg . From Würzburg one of the first high-speed rail lines leads to Fulda and on to Kassel-Wilhelmshöhe. (From Halle-Leipzig (Gröbers) and then) From Erfurt via Bamberg and Nuremberg, a newer high-speed train line leads to Ingolstadt and on to Munich. The city of Nuremberg has a large underground and S-Bahn network with a wide catchment area. The Würzburg tram network has five lines. The Bamberg tram existed from 1897 to 1922, and the Hof tram from 1901 to 1921 . The old Heilbronn tram was shut down in 1955 and received a modern successor in 1991 with the light rail .
Air and ship traffic, public transport
International air traffic is served by Nuremberg Airport. The Main and the Main-Danube Canal as a connection to the Danube form the transport routes for inland shipping . The port of Heilbronn is one of the largest inland ports in Germany, the freight traffic center of the Nuremberg port is the largest in southern Germany. The transport association for the greater Nuremberg area is decisive for local public transport in large parts of Franconia . Other transport associations include the Mainfranken transport association in the greater Würzburg area and the transport association on the Bavarian Lower Main . EgroNet is a cross-border European local transport system in parts of the four-country region of Saxony, Thuringia, Bavaria and Bohemia .
Famous people born in Franconia include the natural scientist Georg Simon Ohm , who has made a name for himself with his discoveries about the electrical conductivity of metals, Simon Marius , who discovered the moons of Jupiter in 1610 almost at the same time as Galileo Galilei , and the Nobel laureate in physics, Werner Heisenberg , the psychologist Alois Alzheimer with his studies of the Alzheimer's disease named after him , the arithmetic master Adam Ries , Peter Henlein , the inventor of the pocket watch, the so-called Nuremberg ice cream , the astronomer Regiomontanus and Martin Behaim , who has become known for the oldest globe . Well-known artists from Franconia include the author of the Parzival Wolfram von Eschenbach , the mastersinger Hans Sachs as well as Albrecht Dürer , Lucas Cranach the Elder and Matthias Grünewald , who probably came from Aschaffenburg , who were among the most important painters of their time. The industrial heir, art collector and playboy Gunter Sachs was also a native of Franconia.
The Bavarian Prime Ministers from Franconia were Martin Segitz , Gustav Ritter von Kahr , Hanns Seidel , Hans Ehard , Günther Beckstein and Markus Söder . Ludwig Erhard was Federal Chancellor from 1963 to 1966, Richard Stücklen from 1979 to 1983 President of the Bundestag. Former US Secretary of State and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Henry Kissinger was born in Fürth .
Born in Franconia and inventor of jeans Levi Strauss , the inventor of bicycle freewheel and coaster brake Ernst Sachs , who founded Fichtel & Sachs AG , Max Grundig (entertainment electronics), Gustav Abraham Schickedanz , founder of the mail order company Quelle , Carl made a name by Linde ( Linde AG ) and Adi and Rudolf Dassler , founders of Adidas and Puma . Five people from Lower Franconia, Marcus Goldman and Samuel Sachs , the founders of Goldman Sachs and the three Lehmann brothers who founded the ingloriously ending Lehman Brothers , went down in the history of the great financial world .
The robber knight Eppelein von Gailingen is said to have jumped on the run from the Nuremberg moat and thus achieved regional fame. The kidnapping of Nuremberg merchants by the robber baron Thomas von Absberg led to the so-called Franconian War in 1523 . Another well-known Frankish imperial knight was Götz von Berlichingen , who, through his role in the Peasants' War, was the model of the main character of the same name in Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's play Götz von Berlichingen and to whom the Götz quote is ascribed. Kaspar Hauser became known as the "enigmatic boulder" in the Biedermeier period .
Top athletes from Franconia are, for example, the only two German players in the first European football selection of 1938, Albin Kitzinger and Ander Kupfer , who also became the first captain of the German national team, the footballer Max Morlock , who became world champion in 1954, Lothar Matthäus , with 150 German international matches Record national player, basketball player Dirk Nowitzki , who was the first German to win the NBA championship, and Detlef Ultsch , who was the first German judoka to become world champion.
The builder of the Würzburg Residence, Balthasar Neumann , chose Franconia as his adopted home. The birth and origin of Walther von der Vogelweide , the most important German-speaking poet of the Middle Ages, are unknown, but he is buried in the Franconian town of Würzburg. Tilman Riemenschneider comes from Eichsfeld , who worked particularly in Würzburg and whose sculptures and carvings are among the most important works at the transition from Gothic to Renaissance. Richard Wagner settled in Bayreuth in 1872, where many of his musical dramas were premiered in the specially built festival theater. The graves of the composer Franz Liszt and the writer and Goethe contemporary Jean Paul are also located in Bayreuth.
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