37 Facts About Franconia


German name for Franconia, Franken, comes from the dative plural form of Franke, a member of the Germanic tribe known as the Franks.

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Franconia has many cultural peculiarities which have been adopted from other regions and further developed.

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Region of Franconia is divided among the states of Hesse, Thuringia, Bavaria and Baden-Wurttemberg.

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Small parts of Franconia belong to the Bavarian regions of Upper Palatinate and Upper Bavaria.

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In Franconia, there are only a few, often very small, natural lakes.

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The highest mountain in Franconia is the Schneeberg in the Fichtel Mountains which is .

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The lowest point in Franconia is the water level of the river Main in Kahl which lies at a height of 100 metres above sea level.

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Franconia has several regions with sandy habitats that are unique for south Germany and are protected as the so-called Sand Belt of Franconia or Sandachse Franken.

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The European Bird Reserves in Franconia are found mainly in uplands like the Steigerwald, in large forests like Nuremberg's Imperial Forest or along rivers like the Altmuhl.

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In Franconia there are very many tufas, raised stream beds near river sources within the karst landscape that are known as 'stone runnels' .

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The western two-thirds of Franconia is dominated by the Triassic with its sandstones, siltstones and claystones of the bunter sandstone; the limestones and marls of the Muschelkalk and the mixed, but predominantly siliciclastic, sedimentary rocks of the Keuper.

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Since then, Franconia has been mainly influenced by erosion and weathering, which has ultimately led to formation of today's landscapes.

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Better known and more highly respected fossil finds in Franconia come from the unfolded sedimentary rocks of the Triassic and Jurassic.

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Franconia has a humid cool temperate transitional climate, which is neither very continental nor very maritime.

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Franconia is named after the Franks, a Germanic tribe who conquered most of Western Europe by the middle of the 8th century.

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At the beginning of the 10th century a Duchy of Franconia was established within East Francia, which comprised modern Hesse, Palatinate, parts of Baden-Wurttemberg and most of today's Franconia.

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The title of a Duke of Franconia was claimed by the Wurzburg bishops until 1803 and by the kings of Bavaria until 1918.

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Probably the oldest human remains in the Bavarian part of Franconia were found in the cave ruins of Hunas at Pommelsbrunn in the county of Nuremberg Land.

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In northern Franconia they built a chain of hill forts as a line of defence against the Germani advancing from the north.

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The southern parts of present-day Franconia soon fell under Roman control; however, most of the region remained in Free Germania.

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The majority of the population of Franconia was pagan well into the Early Middle Ages, The first people to spread the Christian faith strongly were wandering Irish Anglo-Saxon monks in the early 7th century.

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Meanwhile, the inhabitants of parts of present-day Upper and Middle Franconia, who were not under the control of Wurzburg, probably considered themselves to be Franks at that time, and certainly their dialect distinguished them from the inhabitants of Bavaria and Swabia.

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Unlike the other stem duchies, Franconia became the homeland and power base of East Frankish and German kings after the Ottonians died out in 1024.

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Franconia soon played an important role again for the monarchy at the time of Rudolf of Habsburg; the itineraries of his successors showing their preference for the Rhine-Main region.

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Franconia played an important role in the spread of the Reformation initiated by Martin Luther, Nuremberg being one of the places where the Luther Bible was printed.

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Large areas of Franconia were eventually devastated in the fighting until King Ferdinand I together with several dukes and princes decided to overthrow Albert.

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However, in 1631, Swedish troops under Gustavus Adolphus advanced into Franconia and established a large encampment in summer 1632 around Nuremberg.

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Franconia was one of the poorest regions in the Empire and lost its imperial political significance.

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Franconia never developed into a unified territorial state, because the patchwork quilt of small states survived the Middle Ages and lasted until the 18th century.

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Between 1843 and 1854, the Ludwig South-North Railway was established within Franconia, which ran from Lindau on Lake Constance via Nuremberg, Bamberg and Kulmbach to Hof.

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In Lower and Upper Franconia, there was still the problem of the zone along the Inner German Border which was a long way from the markets for its agricultural produce, and was affected by migration and relatively high unemployment, which is why these areas received special support from federal and state governments.

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City of Furth in Middle Franconia historically had a large Jewish population; Henry Kissinger was born there.

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The five cities of Franconia are Nuremberg, Wurzburg, Furth, Heilbronn and Erlangen.

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In Middle Franconia, in the metropolitan region of Nuremberg there is a densely populated urban area consisting of Nuremberg, Furth, Erlangen and Schwabach.

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Proportion of Roman Catholics and Protestants among the population of Franconia is roughly the same, but varies from region to region.

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Franconia rose to early prominence in the discrimination of Jews during the Nazi era.

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The Tauber Valley Cycleway, a 101 kilometre-long cycle trail in Tauber Franconia, was the second German long distance cycleway to receive five stars.

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