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Birkenfeld
Coat of arms
CountryGermany
StateRhineland-Palatinate
CapitalBirkenfeld
Area
 • Total777 km2 (300 sq mi)
Population
 (31 December 2019)[1]
 • Total80,951
 • Density100/km2 (270/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)
Vehicle registrationBIR
Websitelandkreis-birkenfeld.de

Birkenfeld (German pronunciation: [ˈbɪʁkn̩fɛlt]) is a district (Landkreis) in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. Its seat is the town of Birkenfeld. It is bounded by (from the south and clockwise) the districts of Sankt Wendel (Saarland), Trier-Saarburg, Bernkastel-Wittlich, Rhein-Hunsrück, Bad Kreuznach and Kusel.

History

In the early nineteenth century, the Nahe River was the boundary between two tiny principalities: Birkenfeld, west of the Nahe; and Lichtenberg, east of it. The principality of Birkenfeld was annexed by Oldenburg in 1817; Lichtenberg became an exclave of the Duchy Saxe-Coburg (Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld until 1826, Saxe-Coburg and Gotha thereafter). Prussia bought Lichtenberg in 1834 and made it the District of Sankt Wendel.

After World War I, the southern half of Sankt Wendel had to be ceded to the newly created Saar Territory, and the small part remaining in Prussia was then officially called the Restkreis Sankt Wendel ("remaining district of Sankt Wendel"). In 1937 the Oldenburgian District of Birkenfeld was merged with the remaining Sankt Wendel District to form the new Prussian District of Birkenfeld.

Following World War II, on 18 July 1946 by the French Ordinance No. 8, twenty-four more villages were ceded to the new Délégation Supérieure de la Sarre, which became the new Saar Protectorate in 1947. Not until 1970 were the present borders of the district set.

Geography

The Nahe River runs through the district from south to north. The portions west of the river are located on the eastern slopes of the Hunsrück.

Coat of arms

The German blazon reads: Geschachtet von Rot und Silber; belegt mit einem rot gezungten, golden gekrönten und golden bewehrten blauen Löwen.

The arms might in English heraldic language be described thus: Chequy of twenty gules and argent a lion rampant azure armed and crowned Or and langued of the first.

The chequered red and silver pattern was the arms of the Counts of Sponheim, a medieval county of the region. The lion is the symbol of the Counts of Veldenz.

Towns and municipalities

Verband-free town: Idar-Oberstein

Verbandsgemeinden
  1. Baumholder1, 2
  2. Berglangenbach
  3. Berschweiler bei Baumholder
  4. Eckersweiler
  5. Fohren-Linden
  6. Frauenberg
  7. Hahnweiler
  8. Heimbach
  9. Leitzweiler
  10. Mettweiler
  11. Reichenbach
  12. Rohrbach
  13. Rückweiler
  14. Ruschberg
  1. Abentheuer
  2. Achtelsbach
  3. Birkenfeld1, 2
  4. Börfink
  5. Brücken
  6. Buhlenberg
  7. Dambach
  8. Dienstweiler
  9. Elchweiler
  10. Ellenberg
  11. Ellweiler
  12. Gimbweiler
  13. Gollenberg
  14. Hattgenstein
  15. Hoppstädten-Weiersbach
  16. Kronweiler
  17. Leisel
  18. Meckenbach
  19. Niederbrombach
  20. Niederhambach
  21. Nohen
  22. Oberbrombach
  23. Oberhambach
  24. Rimsberg
  25. Rinzenberg
  26. Rötsweiler-Nockenthal
  27. Schmißberg
  28. Schwollen
  29. Siesbach
  30. Sonnenberg-Winnenberg
  31. Wilzenberg-Hußweiler
  1. Allenbach
  2. Asbach
  3. Bergen
  4. Berschweiler bei Kirn
  5. Bollenbach
  6. Breitenthal
  7. Bruchweiler
  8. Bundenbach
  9. Dickesbach
  10. Fischbach
  11. Gerach
  12. Gösenroth
  13. Griebelschied
  14. Hausen
  15. Hellertshausen
  16. Herborn
  17. Herrstein1
  18. Hettenrodt
  19. Hintertiefenbach
  20. Horbruch
  21. Hottenbach
  22. Kempfeld
  23. Kirschweiler
  24. Krummenau
  25. Langweiler
  1. Mackenrodt
  2. Mittelreidenbach
  3. Mörschied
  4. Niederhosenbach
  5. Niederwörresbach
  6. Oberhosenbach
  7. Oberkirn
  8. Oberreidenbach
  9. Oberwörresbach
  10. Rhaunen
  11. Schauren
  12. Schmidthachenbach
  13. Schwerbach
  14. Sensweiler
  15. Sien
  16. Sienhachenbach
  17. Sonnschied
  18. Stipshausen
  19. Sulzbach
  20. Veitsrodt
  21. Vollmersbach
  22. Weiden
  23. Weitersbach
  24. Wickenrodt
  25. Wirschweiler
1seat of the Verbandsgemeinde; 2town

References

  1. ^ "Bevölkerungsstand 2019, Kreise, Gemeinden, Verbandsgemeinden". Statistisches Landesamt Rheinland-Pfalz (in German). 2020.

Coordinates: 49°40′N 7°20′E / 49.67°N 7.33°E / 49.67; 7.33