== ''Große Kreisstädte'' in Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria and Saxony ==
District-affiliated municipalities may apply for the status of a ''Große Kreisstadt'', conferred by decree of the state's interior ministry. Assuming certain sovereign functions of the district, the municipal authorities have to ensure they are able to carry out the assigned responsibilities. In the state of [[Baden-Württemberg]], the necessary population
The status of a ''Große Kreisstadt'' was first implemented by the Baden-Württemberg ''Gemeindeordnung'' on 1 April 1956, followed by Bavaria, where in the course of a 1972 administrative reform, the status was conferred to 23 former independent cities regardless of the population. The smallest ''Große Kreisstadt'' is [[Rothenburg ob der Tauber]] with about 10,900 inhabitants. Further conferments require a quorum of 30,000, however, in 1998 the historic [[Free imperial city|imperial cities]] of [[Dinkelsbühl]] and [[Donauwörth]] were elevated by Bavarian state law, though they did not reach the necessary number of inhabitants. Currently, there are 93 ''Große Kreisstädte'' in Baden-Württemberg, 29 in Bavaria, and 50 in Saxony.