Administrative district of Erfurt

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The seat of the district president was the former Kurmainzische Lieutenancy at Hirschgarten , today the Thuringian State Chancellery.

The administrative district of Erfurt was a Prussian administrative district in the province of Saxony with the administrative seat in Erfurt . It was founded on April 22, 1816 and was officially dissolved in 1944 and officially in 1945.


The administrative district of Erfurt included areas in what is now the federal states of Thuringia and, to a small extent, Saxony-Anhalt ( Benneckenstein , Bösenrode ), Lower Saxony ( Bad Sachsa , Tettenborn ) and Hesse ( Neuseesen , Werleshausen ). It stretched from the Harz Mountains in the north over the former Free Imperial City of Nordhausen , the Eichsfeld and the Unstrut valley from Mühlhausen in the west via Bad Langensalza and Straussfurt to Weissensee and Sömmerda in the east. In addition, a narrow land corridor from Straussfurt across the Gera valley to Erfurt and Kirchheim in the south belonged to the administrative district.

Furthermore, two large and numerous smaller exclaves belonged to the Erfurt administrative district. These were, on the one hand, the Schleusingen districts in the Thuringian Forest and Ziegenrück on the upper Saale and the smaller areas around Mühlberg near Gotha, Benneckenstein in the Harz Mountains (until 1932), Kamsdorf near Saalfeld, Blankenberg , Sparnberg , Gefell and Blintendorf in the Vogtland on the upper Saale .

Adjacent territories were Hanover in the north-west, Braunschweig in the north, the administrative district Merseburg in the north-east, the Schwarzburg subordinate rule ( Schwarzburg-Sondershausen and Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt ) in the north, Saxony-Weimar-Eisenach in the east and south-west, Saxony-Coburg and surrounded by Prussian territories Gotha in the south and Hessen-Nassau or Hessen-Kassel in the west. There were also state borders with Sachsen-Meiningen (Schleusingen and Ziegenrück districts), Reuss older line and Reuss younger line (Ziegenrück district) and Bavaria (Blankenberg and Sparnberg) via the exclaves .

The administrative district of Erfurt thus comprised three different landscape zones: low mountain ranges (Harz and Thuringian Forest), hill country (Eichsfeld, Hainich , Vogtland) and flat country ( Thuringian basin ).


As a result of the Congress of Vienna in 1815, the Kingdom of Saxony, allied with Napoleon , had to cede considerable parts of its territory to Prussia . In the later administrative district, these were the areas on the Unstrut from Weißensee in the east to Mühlhausen in the west (the western part of the former Thuringian district ), the district of Ziegenrück in the Vogtland and the Henneberg hereditary lands in the Thuringian Forest ( Schleusingen district ). In addition there were the areas around Erfurt (including Sömmerda) and Eichsfeld , which had fallen to Prussia in 1803 as a result of secularization , and which were now French, as well as the mediatized free imperial cities of Mühlhausen and Nordhausen . The county of Hohnstein west of Nordhausen had been part of Brandenburg-Prussia since 1648 and was also integrated into the new administrative district (previously it belonged to the Principality of Halberstadt ). Originally it was intended that the Stolberg area in Northern Thuringia as well as the offices of Heringen , Kelbra and Sachsenburg should become part of the administrative district, but this did not come to fruition for various reasons.

After the founding of the administrative district, there were initially hardly any changes to the area for a long time. In 1816 the city of Erfurt was spun off from the district of Erfurt and became part of the district again in 1818. In 1866, the neighboring states of Hesse-Kassel and Hanover were annexed by Prussia, whereby borders in the north and west of the administrative district fell away. In 1871 the German Empire was founded, which gave the rather heavily fragmented district an upswing, as borders were no longer applicable and the states as a whole converged. The city of Erfurt in particular had suffered enormously from its peripheral location between Ernestine areas and could only develop poorly economically, which changed quickly after the establishment of the empire. In 1872 Erfurt was raised to the status of an independent city and left the district of Erfurt. In 1882 Nordhausen became an independent city (previously the County of Hohenstein) and Mühlhausen followed in 1892, leaving the County of Mühlhausen. In 1888 the district of Nordhausen was renamed the Grafschaft Hohenstein district because it was in the area of ​​the former Hohnstein county. Around 1900 the administrative district of Erfurt and parts of the administrative district of Merseburg (administrative districts Weißenfels , Freyburg and Eckartsberga) as well as the district of Herrschaft Schmalkalden (province Hessen-Nassau, administrative district Kassel) and parts of the district Ilfeld (province Hanover, administrative district Hildesheim) formed the Prussian Thuringia.

1920 was the state of Thuringia from the union of the Thuringian small states established (Small Thuringia) . From the Thuringian side, efforts have been made since the end of 1918 to incorporate the Erfurt administrative region, and in some cases even parts of the Merseburg administrative region, into the newly created or created state (Greater Thuringia) , which, however, is part of the government of the Free State of Prussia as well as a considerable part of the affected population, especially the city of Erfurt, met with rejection.

In 1932, the district of Ilfeld in the Prussian administrative district of Hildesheim ( Hanover province ) was dissolved. The places came to the district of Grafschaft Hohenstein in the administrative district of Erfurt. In the same year the district of Erfurt was dissolved. His places came to the district of Weißensee . On July 1, 1944, the district of Herrschaft Schmalkalden was spun off from the province of Hessen-Nassau and assigned to the administrative district of Erfurt, which was subordinated to the Gauleiter of Thuringia, Fritz Sauckel , on the same day . As part of Prussia, the administrative district still existed formally until June 16, 1945. On that day it was incorporated into the state of Thuringia. After the founding of the GDR , the state government moved its headquarters from Weimar to Erfurt on December 1, 1950 . In 1952 the state of Thuringia was dissolved and divided into districts . In 1990 it was re-established. Since then, most parts of the former administrative district of Erfurt have been in the Free State of Thuringia.

Outside the Free State of Thuringia there are only Benneckenstein , which in 1952 was not assigned to the Nordhausen district in the Erfurt district (as before), but to the Wernigerode district in the Magdeburg district during the GDR administrative reform . It was also Bösenrode part of the district Sangerhausen in the district of Halle . Bad Sachsa and Tettenborn belonged to the Grafschaft Hohenstein district and became part of the British occupation zone on September 1, 1945 , from which the eastern part of the Brunswick district of Blankenburg on the northern edge of the Harz was eliminated. The villages of Neuseesen and Werleshausen in the Werratal (district of Heiligenstadt) became part of the American occupation zone (Hesse) in the Wanfried Agreement of September 17, 1945 due to the Bebra – Göttingen railway line , which led through them and thus through the Soviet occupation zone . In return, the nearby Hessian villages Sickenberg , Asbach , Vatterode , Weidenbach and Hennigerode came from the Witzenhausen district to the Heiligenstadt district and thus to the Soviet occupation zone.

Administrative division

circle Area 1910
Inhabitants 1885 Inhabitants 1910 Inhabitants 1925 Inhabitants 1939 Stay today
City of Erfurt 44 58,385 111,463 135,579 159.201 City of Erfurt
District of Erfurt 281 26,244 38.169 29,071 1 Erfurt, Ilm-Kreis , district of Gotha , district Sömmerda
County of Hohenstein
(seat: Nordhausen)
476 42,478 50,012 51,679 67,740 2 Nordhausen district
District of Heiligenstadt
(initially Obereichsfelder Kreis )
434 38,321 42.502 45,719 48.175 Eichsfeld district
Langensalza district 418 36,778 38,930 39,632 40,073 Unstrut-Hainich district
City of Mühlhausen 64 25.141 35.091 36,755 41,493 Unstrut-Hainich district
Mühlhausen district 396 32,842 37,553 40,511 42,169 Unstrut-Hainich district
City of Nordhausen 22nd 26,960 32,564 35,056 40,673 Nordhausen district
Schleusingen district
(seat: from 1929 in Suhl )
458 41,816 55.189 58,833 64,711 Suhl, Hildburghausen , Schmalkalden-Meiningen , Ilm-Kreis
Weissensee district 292 25,438 25.199 29,856 63,968 1 Sömmerda district
Worbis district
(initially sub-area district )
445 41,190 44,775 48,120 46,978 Eichsfeld district
District of Ziegenrück
(seat: Ranis )
201 15,623 19,328 19,457 21,414 Saale-Orla district , Saalfeld-Rudolstadt district
Landkreis Herrschaft Schmalkalden
(from 1944)
280 31,114 44,561 48,694 51,666 Schmalkalden-Meiningen district

1) The district of Erfurt was part of the district of Weißensee from 1932.
2) From 1932 the district of Ilfeld was part of the district of Grafschaft Hohenstein.

The administrative district thus covered an area of ​​3,531 km² between 1815 and 1932, 3,804 km² between 1932 and 1944 and 4,084 km² between 1944 and 1945. The population rose from 250,931 in 1820 to 350,459 in 1850. In 1885 the district had 411,216 inhabitants and in 1939 636,595 inhabitants (without Schmalkalden) or 688,261 inhabitants (with Schmalkalden).

When it was founded in 1815, the administrative district of Erfurt comprised nine districts, which were about 400 km² on average. When it was dissolved in 1945, nine districts (the district of Erfurt was dissolved; the district of Herrschaft Schmalkalden was added) and three independent cities belonged to the administrative district.

Biggest cities

The largest municipalities with more than 5000 inhabitants in 1939 and the district towns in the administrative district were:

city Population 1816 (approx.) Inhabitants 1939 circle
Erfurt 14,500 159.201 circular
Mulhouse 12,000 41,493 circular
Nordhausen 9,500 40,673 circular
Suhl 6,000 23,168 Schleusingen
Bad Langensalza 5,500 12,982 Langensalza
Sömmerda 2,500 11,765 Weissensee
Schmalkalden * 5,000 10,661 Reign of Schmalkalden
Heiligenstadt 3,000 9,973 Heiligenstadt
Steinbach-Hallenberg * 2,200 6,077 Reign of Schmalkalden
Bleicherode 2,500 5,993 County of Hohenstein
Schleusingen 2,500 4,624 Schleusingen
Weissensee 2,500 3,869 Weissensee
Worbis 1,500 2,453 Worbis
Ranis 900 2,359 Ziegenrück

* from 1944

Furthermore belonged Ilversgehofen temporarily to the largest municipalities in the district. In 1910 the village in the Erfurt district had 12,593 inhabitants. On April 1, 1911, it became a district of Erfurt.

District President

See also


  • Frank Boblenz : Outline of the territorial history of Prussian Thuringia . In: The Prussian Thuringia. Treatises on the history of its representative bodies (writings on the history of parliamentarism in Thuringia; 17), Rudolstadt 2001, pp. 9–45.

Individual evidence

  1. Brief description of the Erfurt administrative district in the historical-geographical information system HGIS (PDF; 24 kB)
  2. Representation of the city of Erfurt, third paragraph from the bottom
  3. ibid.

Web links

Commons : Administrative region Erfurt  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files