Franconia (German: Franken, also called Frankenland) is a region in Germany, characterised by its culture and language, and may be roughly associated with the ares in which the East Franconian dialect group, locally referred to as fränkisch, is spoken. It commonly refers to the eastern part of the historical Franconian stem duchy, mainly represented by the modern Bavarian administrative districts of Lower, Middle, and Upper Franconia, the adjacent northeastern parts of Heilbronn-Franken in Baden-Württemberg, parts of Thuringia south of the Rennsteig ridge, and small parts of Hesse. However, there is no fixed area that is officially defined as Franconia.
The German word Franken also refers to the people group, which is mainly to be found in this region. They are to be distinguished from the Germanic tribe of the Franks and who historically formed their easternmost settlement area. The origins of Franconia lie in the settlement of the Franks from the 6th century in the are probably populated until then mainly by the Elbe Germanic people in the Main river area. Known from the 9th century as Francia Orientalis (East Francia). in the Middle Ages the region formed much of the eastern part of the Duchy of Franconia and, from 1500, the Franconian Circle. In the course of the restructuring of the south German states by Napoleon after the demise of the Holy Roman Empire, most of Franconia was awarded to Bavaria.
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