|pop. density:||121 inh./km²|
Eichsfeld is a district in Thuringia, Germany. It is bounded by (from the east and clockwise) the districts of Nordhausen[?], Kyffhäuserkreis[?] and Unstrut-Hainich[?], and by the states of Hesse (district Werra-Meißner) and Lower Saxony (districts Göttingen and Osterode.
In medieval times the Eichsfeld was property of the bishops of Mainz, although anything but close to that city. In 1801 the clerical states were dissolved, and Prussia gained the region, only to lose it again in the Napoleonic Wars. In the Congress of Vienna (1815) Prussia as well as the kingdom of Hanover raised claims for the Eichsfeld. The region was divided between both states. Although Hanover was annexed by Prussia in 1866, this border remained the boundary between two Prussian provinces, later between East and West Germany, and today between Thuringia and Lower Saxony.
The present district was established in 1994 by merging the former districts of Worbis and Heiligenstadt.
The district is named after the historical region of Eichsfeld, which covers the northern portions of the present district and parts of Lower Saxony. It is a hilly countryside, that is attached to the Harz Mountains in the north. Incidentally it is the geographical centre of Germany. The rivers of Leine and Unstrut[?] are both rising from the Eichsfeld.
The name is believed to be derived from "Eichenfeld", which means "field of oaks". A less popular theory is the origin in the word "Eisfeld" ("field of ice").
|The coat of arms displays the heraldic eagle of Prussia together with the wheel, which was a symbol of the bishops of Mainz. These arms were granted shortly after Prussia gained the Eichsfeld (1801). In 1816 the Eichsfeld was not a geographical unit anymore, and the arms became irrelevant. They were reintroduced in 1945 (used until 1952) and again in 1994.|
Official website (http://www.lk-eichsfeld.de) (German)