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I'm doing some research and I've come across two regions MarburgLand and MarburgStadt. What is the difference?

The context of this is regional listings in https://www.archion.de. I'm trying to find where "Marburg an der Lahn" would be listed under.

Both MarburgLand and MarburgStadt are listed under "Landeskirchliches Archiv Kassel" but I don't see "Marburg an der Lahn" under either.

The two listings:

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  • Only know that distinction from Switzerland. They have long been distinguishing generic cities and their surroundings, even on the car number plates - BL = "Basel Landschaft, *BS*=Basel Stadt. Actually, the city and surroundings are even different cantons. – tofro May 20 '16 at 18:38
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For administrative purposes, Germany is divided into districts called Kreis or Landkreis. Until 1974, the town Marburg an der Lahn had a district of its own, but the surrounding district was also called Marburg, or more precisely "Landkreis Marburg". Marburg-Stadt and Marburg-Land can be seen as short-hand terms to distinguish these two administrative entities. Your screenshots show in the right-most columns names of cities and villages of the Landkreis for Marburg-Land (*), and names of (church) parishes in the city of Marburg an der Lahn for Marburg-Stadt. (In fact, since it looks like data from a church register, also the names in the first screenshot probably show parish names, but when there is only one parish in a place they just take the name of the place.)

So, if you are looking for data just from the city of Marburg an der Lahn (and not from the places surrounding it), then you should look under "Marburg-Stadt".

(*) To be precise: Moischt and Michelbach, listed under Marburg-Land, where independent communities in the Landkreis Marburg until 1971, when they were merged into Cappel and Marbach, respectively, which in turn merged with Marburg (the town) in 1974. So nowadays these two places are parts of Marburg an der Lahn. So apparently this archive does not strive to reflect perfectly the current administrative structure (or the church still has its own way of organizing places there), and if you are looking for data from the outskirts of Marburg you should query both "MarburgStadt" and "MarburgLand". See also the informative map in Martin's answer.

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  • This phenomenon is also not limited to Marburg or Hesse at all, but happens in many states. Some cities have been merged with their counties, others have not or were never separate entities, yet others like Hanover in Lower Saxony and Aachen in Northrhine-Westphalia became a new and special kind of district, a Region or Städteregion. For Hamburg and Berlin, which are cities and states, there had been special enlargement laws in the first half of the 20th century, often called Groß-Hamburg- and Groß-Berlin-Gesetz (like “Greater London”). – Crissov May 22 '16 at 11:12
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TL;DR You need to look at both entries when you are looking for information about the city, which is called Marburg an der Lahn nowadays. The problem of that website you are using is, that they do not use the most recent borders of Marburg.


Unfortunately on the website you are using you will not be able to find everything belonging to Marburg an der Lahn in its borders today in one menu entry. This is due to the fact that churches in Germany have their own administrative districts.

The entry Marburg Stadt probably refers to the core region of the town Marburg an der Lahn. This is in German it is also referred to as Kernstadt, or Innenstadtbezirke. It is quite possible that you are looking mainly for that. (On the map below this is the part which is enclosed in the bold dotted line.)

Marburg Land on the other hand refers to the outer townships and some other communes as well.
Some entries there belong to the town Marburg today, prominent examples are Cappel, Moischt, Wehrda, etc.. These are referred to as Außenstadtteile or Außenstadtbezirke. (On the map below this is the yellow area without the above.)
Then others in the list are communes by themselves, like Cölbe. And then there are entries that belong to other communal districts like Ebsdorf belongs to Ebsdorfer Grund, Caldern belongs to Lahntal, etc..

The a map of the townships of Marburg an der Lahn, which is the district capital of Marburg-Biedenkopf, is pictured below.

City of Marburg an der Lahn
Source: Lencer, Wikimedia Commons File:Karte Marburg Stadtteile und Nachbargemeinden.png.

Prior to 1974 Marburg was a town without a district, which might well be the entry Marburg Stadt. There was also a district called Marburg (Lahn) which included cities like Kirchhain (which has its own entry) and Amöneburg (which you will find under the entry Kirchhain) and others (see below). Parts of the district belong now to the town Marburg an der Lahn, while others were includes in different communal districts and towns.

Depending on what you are looking for, you might want to look at entries from Marburg Land, too.

Source: Gesetz zur Neugliederung der Landkreise Biedenkopf und Marburg und der Stadt Marburg

§ 22 LandkrMNglG – Landkreis Marburg-Biedenkopf

(1) 1Der Landkreis Biedenkopf mit den Städten Biedenkopf, Gladenbach und den Gemeinden Angelburg, Breidenbach, Dautphetal, Bad Endbach, Steffenberg und der Landkreis Marburg mit den Städten Stadtallendorf, Amöneburg, Kirchhain, Neustadt (Hessen), Rauschenberg, Wetter (Hessen) und den Gemeinden Cölbe, Ebsdorfergrund, Fronhausen, Lahntal, Lohra, Münchhausen, Weimar und Wohratal werden zu einem Landkreis mit dem Namen "Landkreis Marburg-Biedenkopf" zusammengeschlossen. 2Sitz der Kreisverwaltung ist die Stadt Marburg.

(3) Die Stadt Marburg wird in den Landkreis Marburg-Biedenkopf eingegliedert.

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You can compare it with »Salzburg Stadt« and »Salzburg Land« in Austria. Both are unofficial names, because both geographic and political entities have the same official name: »Salzburg«.

The Salzburg that often is called »Salzburg Land« is one of the nine states of Austria. Austria is a federal country that consists of states, like USA, Mexico and Germany. In German those states are called »Bundesländer« or just »Länder« (singular: »Land«).

The other Salzburg (Salzburg Stadt) is a city (»Stadt« is the German word for »city«).

Salzburg (Land/city) is the capital city of Salzburg (Land/state).

And this also was true for Maribor (now in Slovenia) when it belonged to Austria. The old german name of this city is Marburg, and the region around this city was also named Marburg. So you needed a way to tell those two different thing with identical name apart, and this way was to add Land (for the region) or Stadt (for the city).

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  • It’s kinda funny that two answers deal with the “wrong” Marburg, but I guess that’s a matter of geographical proximity and age. Just for the record: the popular Diercke school atlas showed the German names of European cities (Maribor, Agram, Reval, Königsberg, Breslau, Pressburg, …) on maps first or only until its first edition after the reunification of Germany in 1990. People born after 1980 probably hardly know any of these. (And it’s getting less useful to know what some seniors means when they tell you they once lived in Litzmannstadt for a few years.) – Crissov May 22 '16 at 11:26
  • @Crissov: Ich bin in Graz, der Hauptstadt der Steiermark geboren, und dort ist es bis heute üblich, die Städte in der Krain und in der Untersteiermark (beide sind heute Teile Sloweniens), mit den deutschen Namen zu bezeichnen. Also Laibach, Marburg und Cilli statt Ljubljana, Maribor und Celje. Ebenso werden tschechische Städte mit ihrem deutschen Namen verwendet: Prag, Brünn und Budweis statt Praha, Brno und České Budějovice. Früher bin ich auch oft mit Freunden nach Marburg gefahren, weil man dort viele Dinge (vor allem Schallplatten) viel billiger kaufen konnte als in Graz. – Hubert Schölnast May 23 '16 at 6:46
  • Ich wusste gar nicht, dass es auch in Deutschland ein Marburg gibt. Als ich meine Antwort schrieb, enthielt die Frage, die nachträglich erweitert wurde, nämlich noch keinen Hinweis darauf, welches Marburg gemeint sein könnte. Daher ging ich davon aus, dass das eine Marburg, das ich kannte, gemeint war. – Hubert Schölnast May 23 '16 at 6:51
  • @HubertSchölnast Wissenslücke - Marburg (Bis 1974 zur Abgrenzung von damals vielzählig vorhandenen Städten mit demselben Namen offiziell Marburg an der Lahn) ist traditionell eine wichtige Universitätsstadt in Deutschland ("Andere Städte haben eine Universität, Marburg ist eine) – tofro May 23 '16 at 9:03

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