Historical Atlas of the Rhineland

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The Historical Atlas of the Rhineland was a project from 1981 to 2008 at the University of Trier that published an atlas on the Rhineland .


The first, methodologically pioneering map series on the history of the Rhineland , which satisfies historical-critical requirements , was created by Wilhelm Fabricius with the Historical Atlas of the Rhine Province since 1894 . When choosing the area to be worked on, he did not orientate himself on the large number of territories of the old empire, but on the relatively young administrative unit of the Rhine Province , within the framework of which a Rhenish feeling of belonging could develop. Fabricius's work formed the basis for the hand atlas published by Hermann Aubin and Josef Niessen in 1926 , which was reissued in an expanded version in 1950 as the historical hand atlas of the German states on the Rhine .

In order to survive in the group of regional atlas works started after the Second World War , the Gesellschaft für Rheinische Geschichtskunde (Society for Rhenish History) built on the tradition established by Fabricius in 1981, but avoided the island map solution based on the Prussian Rhine province and expanded the range of topics considerably.

At the end of the project in 2008, the atlas scientific commission included: Heinz-Günther Borck , Toni Diederich , Odilo Engels , Klaus Fehn, Franz Josef Felten , Manfred Groten , Hans-Walter Herrmann , Franz Irsigler , Wilhelm Janssen , Hans-Eckart Joachim , Wolfgang Kleiber , Harald Koschik, Jürgen Kunow , Hartwig Lüdtke, Bettina Schmidt-Czaia , Hugo Stehkämper and Friedrich Zunkel .

Design and scope

The Historical Atlas of the Rhineland project was established on May 1, 1981 at the University of Trier. The atlas was published in deliveries, with maps and explanatory leaflets marked so that they can be arranged in the order of the complete program. By the end of the project in 2008, eleven deliveries with 119 map sheets and 81 supplements had appeared. The atlas was published on behalf of the Society for Rhenish History and in conjunction with the Rhineland Regional Association (Cologne) by Franz Irsigler (University of Trier, Regional History).

Thematic groups

The atlas company saw itself as a universal historical and highly interdisciplinary research project. In 12 subject groups, geographical and geological foundations, all sub-areas of the subject history from prehistory to contemporary history and several related disciplines such as linguistic history, art history and folklore were considered:

  • I. Spatial overviews
  • II. Prehistory
  • III. Roman times
  • IV. History of the settlement
  • V. Political history
  • VI. Constitutional and legal history
  • VII. Economic and transport history
  • VIII. Population and social history
  • IX. Church history
  • X. History of language
  • XI. Folklore
  • XII. History of culture and art


  • Bartsch, Frank (Red.) / Society for Rheinische Geschichtskunde (Hrsg.): The Historical Atlas of the Rhineland. Lectures given at the event to conclude the atlas project on December 5, 2008 (publications by the Society for Rhenish History, Lectures 35), Droste, Düsseldorf 2010, ISBN 978-3-7700-7637-6
  • Fehn, Klaus: On the prehistory of the "Historical Atlas of the Rhineland 1970 to 1980". Notes on a Piece of Science History . In: Rheinische Vierteljahrsblätter , Vol. 76 (2012), pp. 247–267.

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