France départementale

The 101 departments of France

This article is part of the series on
Administrative divisions of France

(incl. overseas regions)


(incl. overseas departments)

Urban communities
Agglomeration communities
Commune communities
Syndicates of New Agglomeration

Associated communes
Municipal arrondissements

Others in Overseas France

Overseas collectivities
Sui generis collectivity
Overseas country
Overseas territory
Clipperton Island

In the administrative divisions of France, the department (French: département, pronounced: [depaʁtəmɑ̃]) is one of the three levels of government below the national level ("territorial collectivities"), between the region and the commune. There are 96 departments in metropolitan France and 5 overseas departments, which also are classified as regions. Departments are further subdivided into 342 arrondissements, themselves divided into cantons; the latter two have no autonomy and are used for the organisation of public services and sometimes elections.

France's departments are administered by elected general councils (conseil général) and their presidents, whose main areas of responsibility include the management of a number of social and welfare allowances, of junior high school (collège) buildings and technical staff, of local roads and school and rural buses, and a contribution to municipal infrastructures. Local services of the State administration are traditionally organised at departmental level, where the prefect represents the government; however, regions have gained importance in this regard since the 2000s, with some department-level services merged into region-level services.

The departments were created in 1791 as a rational replacement of Ancien Régime provinces in view of strengthening national unity; almost all of them are therefore named after rivers, mountains or coasts rather than after historical or cultural territories, unlike regions, and some of them are commonly referred to by their two-digit postal code number, which was until recently used for all vehicle registration plates. They have inspired similar divisions in many of France's former colonies.

In 2014, President François Hollande proposed to abolish general councils by 2020, which would maintain the departments as administrative divisions, but transfer their powers to other levels of governance.



Geometrical proposition rejected

Départements et provinces de France

The former provinces (colours) and the departements (limits in black)

The first French territorial departments were proposed in 1665 by Marc-René d'Argenson to serve as administrative areas purely for the Ponts et Chaussées (Bridges and Highways) infrastructure administration.

Before the French Revolution, France gained territory gradually through the annexation of a mosaic of independent entities. By the close of the Ancien Régime, it was organised into provinces. During the period of the Revolution, these were dissolved, partly in order to weaken old loyalties.

The modern departments, as all-purpose units of the government, were created on 4 March 1790 by the National Constituent Assembly to replace the provinces with what the Assembly deemed a more rational structure. Their boundaries served two purposes:

  • Boundaries were deliberately chosen to break up France's historical regions in an attempt to erase cultural differences and build a more homogeneous nation.
  • Boundaries were set so that any settlement in the country was within a day's ride of the capital of the department. This was a security measure, intended to keep the entire national territory under close control. This measure was directly inspired by the Great Terror, during which the government had lost control of many rural areas far from any centre of government.
Map administrative divisions of the First French Empire 1812-en

Departments at the maximum extent of the First French Empire (1812)

The old nomenclature was carefully avoided in naming the new departments. Most were named after an area's principal river or other physical features. Even Paris was in the department of Seine.

The number of departments, initially 83, was increased to 130 by 1809 with the territorial gains of the Republic and of the First French Empire (see Provinces of the Netherlands for the annexed Dutch departments). Following Napoleon's defeats in 1814-1815, the Congress of Vienna returned France to its pre-war size; the number of departments was reduced to 86, as three of the original departments had been split. In 1860, France acquired the County of Nice and Savoy, which led to the creation of three new departments. Two were added from the new Savoyard territory, while the department of Alpes-Maritimes was created from Nice and a portion of the Var department. The 89 departments were given numbers based on their alphabetical order.

The department of Bas-Rhin and parts of Meurthe, Moselle, Vosges and Haut-Rhin were ceded to the German Empire in 1871, following France's defeat in the Franco-Prussian War. A small part of Haut-Rhin remained French, however, and became known as the Territoire de Belfort, and the remaining parts of Meurthe and Moselle were merged into a new Meurthe-et-Moselle department. When France regained the ceded departments after World War I, the Territoire de Belfort was not reintegrated into Haut-Rhin. In 1922, it became France's 90th department. Likewise, the Lorraine departments were not changed back to their original limits, and a new Moselle department was created on the regained territory, with slightly different limits than the pre-war department of the same name.

The reorganisation of Île-de-France (1968) and the division of Corsica (1975) added six more departments, raising the total to 96. Counting the five overseas departments (French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Réunion and Mayotte) the total comes to 101 departments. In 2011, the overseas collectivity of Mayotte became the 101st department.

General characteristicsEdit

Administration territoriale française

Population density in the departments at the census of 1968 (people/km²)

The departmental seat of government is known as the prefecture (préfecture) or chef-lieu de département and is generally a city of some importance roughly at the geographical centre of the department. This was determined according to the time taken to travel on horseback from the periphery of the department. The goal was for the prefecture to be accessible by horseback from any town in the department within 24 hours. The prefecture is not necessarily the largest city in the department; for instance, in Saône-et-Loire department the capital is Mâcon, but the largest city is Chalon-sur-Saône. Departments are divided into one or more arrondissements. The capital of an arrondissement is called a subprefecture (sous-préfecture) or chef-lieu d'arrondissement.

Each department is administered by a general council (conseil général), an assembly elected for six years by universal suffrage, with the president of the council as executive of the department. Before 1982, the executive of a department was the prefect (préfet) who represents the Government of France in each department and is appointed by the President of France. The prefect is assisted by one or more sub-prefects (sous-préfet) based in the subprefectures of the department.

The departments are further divided into communes, governed by municipal councils. As of 2013, there were 36,681 communes in France. In the overseas territories, some communes play a role at departmental level. Paris, the country’s capital city, is a commune as well as a department.

In continental France (metropolitan France, excluding Corsica), the median land area of a department is 5,965 km2 (2,303 sq mi), which is two-and-a-half times the median land area of a ceremonial county of England & Wales and slightly more than three-and-half times the median land area of a county of the United States. At the 2001 census, the median population of a department in continental France was 511,012 inhabitants, which is 21 times the median population of a U.S. county, but less than two-thirds of the median population of a ceremonial county of England & Wales. Most of the departments have an area of between 4,000 and 8,000 km², and a population between 320,000 and 1 million. The largest in area is Gironde (10,000 km²), while the smallest is the city of Paris (105 km²). The most populous is Nord (2,550,000) and the least populous is Lozère (74,000).

The departments are numbered: their two-digit numbers appear in postal codes, in INSEE codes (including "social security numbers") and on vehicle number-plates. Initially, the numbers corresponded to the alphabetical order of the names of the departments, but several changed their names, so the correspondence became less exact. There is no number 20, but 2A and 2B instead, for Corsica. Corsican postal codes or addresses in both departments do still start with 20, though. The two-digit code "98" is used by Monaco. Together with the ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 country code FR, the numbers form the ISO 3166-2 country subdivision codes for the metropolitan departments. The overseas departments get three digits—e.g., 971 for Guadeloupe (see table below).

Originally, the relationship between the departments and the central government was left somewhat ambiguous. While citizens of each department elected their own officials, the local governments were subordinated to the central government, becoming instruments of national integration. By 1793, however, the revolutionary government had turned the departments into transmission belts for policies enacted in Paris. With few exceptions, the departments had this role until the early 1960s.

Party-political preferencesEdit

These maps cannot be used as a useful resource of voter preferences, because General Councils are elected on a two-round system, which drastically limits the chances of fringe parties, for as long as they are not supported on one of the two rounds by a moderate party. After the 1992 election, the left had a majority in only 21 of the 100 departments; after the 2011 election, the left dominated 61 of the 100 departments (Mayotte only became a department after the election).

Key to the parties:


The removal of one or more levels of local government has been discussed for some years; in particular, the option of removing the departmental level. Frédéric Lefebvre, spokesman for the UMP, said in December 2008 that the fusion of the departments with the regions was a matter to be dealt with soon. This was soon refuted by Édouard Balladur and Gérard Longuet, members of the Committee for the reform of local authorities, known as the Balladur Committee.[1]

In January 2008, the Commission for freeing French development, known as the Attali Commission, recommended that the departmental level of government should be eliminated within ten years.[2]

Nevertheless, the Balladur Committee has not retained this proposition and does not advocate the disappearance of the departments, but simply "favors the voluntary grouping of departments," which it suggests also for the regions, with the aim of bringing the number of the latter down to fifteen.[3] This committee advocates, on the contrary, the suppression of the cantons.[3]

Maps and tablesEdit

Current departmentsEdit

Each department has a coat of arms with which they are commonly associated, but not all are officially recognized or used. In some departments they are used, but in others a logo or emblem is used.

INSEE code Arms 1 Department Prefecture Region
01 Blason département fr Ain Ain Bourg-en-Bresse Rhône-Alpes flag.svg Rhône-Alpes
02 Blason département fr Aisne Aisne Laon Picardie flag.svg Picardy
03 Blason comte fr Clermont (Bourbon) Allier Moulins Auvergne flag.svg Auvergne
04 Blason département fr Alpes-de-Haute-Provence Alpes-de-Haute-Provence 2 Digne-les-Bains Provence-Alpes-Côte-d'Azur flag.svg Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur
05 Blason département fr Hautes-Alpes Hautes-Alpes Gap Provence-Alpes-Côte-d'Azur flag.svg Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur
06 Nice Arms Alpes-Maritimes Nice Provence-Alpes-Côte-d'Azur flag.svg Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur
07 Blason département fr Ardèche Ardèche Privas Rhône-Alpes flag.svg Rhône-Alpes
08 Blason département fr Ardennes Ardennes Charleville-Mézières Champagne-Ardenne flag.svg Champagne-Ardenne
09 Blason département fr Ariège Ariège Foix Flag of Midi-Pyrénées.svg Midi-Pyrénées
10 Blason département fr Aube Aube Troyes Champagne-Ardenne flag.svg Champagne-Ardenne
11 Blason non-officiel département fr Aude Aude Carcassonne Flag of Languedoc-Roussillon2.svg Languedoc-Roussillon
12 Blason Rouergue Aveyron Rodez Flag of Midi-Pyrénées.svg Midi-Pyrénées
13 Blason département fr Bouches-du-Rhône Bouches-du-Rhône Marseille Provence-Alpes-Côte-d'Azur flag.svg Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur
14 Blason département fr Calvados Calvados Caen Flag of Basse-Normandie.svg Lower Normandy
15 Blason département fr Cantal Cantal Aurillac Auvergne flag.svg Auvergne
16 Blason département fr Charente Charente Angoulême Poitou-Charentes flag.svg Poitou-Charentes
17 Blason département fr Charente-Maritime Charente-Maritime 3 La Rochelle Poitou-Charentes flag.svg Poitou-Charentes
18 Blason département fr Cher Cher Bourges Centre flag.svg Centre
19 Blason département fr Corrèze Corrèze Tulle Limousin flag.svg Limousin
2A Coat of Arms of Corsica Corse-du-Sud Ajaccio Flag of Corsica.svg Corsica
2B Coat of Arms of Corsica Haute-Corse Bastia Flag of Corsica.svg Corsica
21 Blason département fr Côte-d’Or Côte-d'Or Dijon Ancient Flag of Burgundy.svg Burgundy
22 Blason22 Côtes-d'Armor 4 Saint-Brieuc Flag of Brittany.svg Brittany
23 Blason Boubon-La Marche Creuse Guéret Limousin flag.svg Limousin
24 Blason département fr Dordogne Dordogne Périgueux Aquitaine flag.svg Aquitaine
25 Blason département fr Doubs Doubs Besançon Franche-Comté.svg Franche-Comté
26 Blason département fr Drôme Drôme Valence Rhône-Alpes flag.svg Rhône-Alpes
27 Blason département fr Eure Eure Évreux Haute-Normandie flag.svg Upper Normandy
28 Blason département fr Eure-et-Loir Eure-et-Loir Chartres Centre flag.svg Centre
29 Blason29 Finistère Quimper Flag of Brittany.svg Brittany
30 Blason département fr Gard Gard Nîmes Flag of Languedoc-Roussillon2.svg Languedoc-Roussillon
31 Blason département fr Haute-Garonne Haute-Garonne Toulouse Flag of Midi-Pyrénées.svg Midi-Pyrénées
32 Blason département fr Gers Gers Auch Flag of Midi-Pyrénées.svg Midi-Pyrénées
33 Blason département fr Gironde Gironde 5 Bordeaux Aquitaine flag.svg Aquitaine
34 Blason département fr Hérault Hérault Montpellier Flag of Languedoc-Roussillon2.svg Languedoc-Roussillon
35 Blason département fr Ille-et-Vilaine Ille-et-Vilaine Rennes Flag of Brittany.svg Brittany
36 Blason département fr Indre Indre Châteauroux Centre flag.svg Centre
37 Blason département fr Indre-et-Loire Indre-et-Loire Tours Centre flag.svg Centre
38 Blason département fr Isère Isère Grenoble Rhône-Alpes flag.svg Rhône-Alpes
39 Blason département fr Jura Jura Lons-le-Saunier Franche-Comté.svg Franche-Comté
40 Blason département fr Landes Landes Mont-de-Marsan Aquitaine flag.svg Aquitaine
41 Blason département fr Loir-et-Cher Loir-et-Cher Blois Centre flag.svg Centre
42 Blason département fr Loire Loire Saint-Étienne Rhône-Alpes flag.svg Rhône-Alpes
43 Blason département fr Haute-Loire Haute-Loire Le Puy-en-Velay Auvergne flag.svg Auvergne
44 Blason département fr Loire-Atlantique Loire-Atlantique 6 Nantes Pays-de-la-Loire flag.svg Pays de la Loire
45 Blason département fr Loiret Loiret Orléans Centre flag.svg Centre
46 Blason département fr Lot Lot Cahors Flag of Midi-Pyrénées.svg Midi-Pyrénées
47 Blason département fr Lot-et-Garonne Lot-et-Garonne Agen Aquitaine flag.svg Aquitaine
48 Blason département fr Lozère Lozère Mende Flag of Languedoc-Roussillon2.svg Languedoc-Roussillon
49 Blason département fr Maine-et-Loire Maine-et-Loire 7 Angers Pays-de-la-Loire flag.svg Pays de la Loire
50 Blason département fr Manche Manche Saint-Lô Flag of Basse-Normandie.svg Lower Normandy
51 Blason département fr Marne Marne Châlons-en-Champagne Champagne-Ardenne flag.svg Champagne-Ardenne
52 Blason52 Haute-Marne Chaumont Champagne-Ardenne flag.svg Champagne-Ardenne
53 Blason département fr Mayenne Mayenne Laval Pays-de-la-Loire flag.svg Pays de la Loire
54 Blason département fr Meurthe-et-Moselle Meurthe-et-Moselle Nancy Lorraine.svg Lorraine
55 Blason département fr Meuse Meuse Bar-le-Duc Lorraine.svg Lorraine
56 Blason département fr Morbihan Morbihan Vannes Flag of Brittany.svg Brittany
57 Blason département fr Moselle Moselle Metz Lorraine.svg Lorraine
58 Blason département fr Nièvre Nièvre Nevers Ancient Flag of Burgundy.svg Burgundy
59 Blason Nord-Pas-De-Calais Nord Lille Nord-Pas-de-Calais flag.svg Nord-Pas-de-Calais
60 Blason département fr Oise Oise Beauvais Picardie flag.svg Picardy
61 Blason département fr Orne Orne Alençon Flag of Basse-Normandie.svg Lower Normandy
62 Pas de Calais Arms Pas-de-Calais Arras Nord-Pas-de-Calais flag.svg Nord-Pas-de-Calais
63 Blason département fr Puy-de-Dôme Puy-de-Dôme Clermont-Ferrand Auvergne flag.svg Auvergne
64 Blason département fr Pyrénées-Atlantiques Pyrénées-Atlantiques 8 Pau Aquitaine flag.svg Aquitaine
65 Blason département fr Hautes-Pyrénées Hautes-Pyrénées Tarbes Flag of Midi-Pyrénées.svg Midi-Pyrénées
66 Arms of the Pyrénées-Orientales Pyrénées-Orientales Perpignan Flag of Languedoc-Roussillon2.svg Languedoc-Roussillon
67 Blason département fr Bas-Rhin Bas-Rhin Strasbourg Flag of Alsace.svg Alsace
68 Blason département fr Haut-Rhin Haut-Rhin Colmar Flag of Alsace.svg Alsace
69 Blason département fr Rhône Rhône Lyon Rhône-Alpes flag.svg Rhône-Alpes
70 Blason département fr Haute-Saône Haute-Saône Vesoul Franche-Comté.svg Franche-Comté
71 Blason département fr Saône-et-Loire Saône-et-Loire Mâcon Ancient Flag of Burgundy.svg Burgundy
72 Blason département fr Sarthe Sarthe Le Mans Pays-de-la-Loire flag.svg Pays de la Loire
73 Arms of the House of Savoy Savoie Chambéry Rhône-Alpes flag.svg Rhône-Alpes
74 Arms of the House of Savoy Haute-Savoie Annecy Rhône-Alpes flag.svg Rhône-Alpes
75 Blason paris 75 Paris 9 Paris Proposed flag of Île-de-France.svg Île-de-France
76 Blason département fr Seine-Maritime Seine-Maritime 10 Rouen Haute-Normandie flag.svg Upper Normandy
77 Blason département fr Seine-et-Marne Seine-et-Marne Melun Proposed flag of Île-de-France.svg Île-de-France
78 Blason département fr Yvelines Yvelines 11 Versailles Proposed flag of Île-de-France.svg Île-de-France
79 Blason département fr Deux-Sèvres Deux-Sèvres Niort Poitou-Charentes flag.svg Poitou-Charentes
80 Blason département fr Somme Somme Amiens Picardie flag.svg Picardy
81 Blason département fr Tarn Tarn Albi Flag of Midi-Pyrénées.svg Midi-Pyrénées
82 Blason département fr Tarn-et-Garonne Tarn-et-Garonne Montauban Flag of Midi-Pyrénées.svg Midi-Pyrénées
83 Blason département fr Var Var Toulon Provence-Alpes-Côte-d'Azur flag.svg Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur
84 Blason département fr Vaucluse Vaucluse Avignon Provence-Alpes-Côte-d'Azur flag.svg Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur
85 Blason département fr Vendée Vendée La Roche-sur-Yon Pays-de-la-Loire flag.svg Pays de la Loire
86 Blason département fr Vienne Vienne Poitiers Poitou-Charentes flag.svg Poitou-Charentes
87 Blason département fr Haute-Vienne Haute-Vienne Limoges Limousin flag.svg Limousin
88 Blason département fr Vosges Vosges Épinal Lorraine.svg Lorraine
89 Blason département fr Yonne Yonne Auxerre Ancient Flag of Burgundy.svg Burgundy
90 Blason département fr Territoire de Belfort Territoire de Belfort Belfort Franche-Comté.svg Franche-Comté
91 Blason département fr Essonne Essonne 12 Évry Proposed flag of Île-de-France.svg Île-de-France
92 Blason département fr Hauts-de-Seine Hauts-de-Seine 13 Nanterre Proposed flag of Île-de-France.svg Île-de-France
93 Blason département fr Seine-Saint-Denis Seine-Saint-Denis 14 Bobigny Proposed flag of Île-de-France.svg Île-de-France
94 Blason département fr Val-de-Marne Val-de-Marne Créteil Proposed flag of Île-de-France.svg Île-de-France
95 Blason département fr Val-d’Oise Val-d'Oise Pontoise 15 Proposed flag of Île-de-France.svg Île-de-France
971 Coat of arms of Guadeloupe Guadeloupe 16 Basse-Terre Flag of France.svg Guadeloupe
972 Coat of arms of Martinique Martinique 16 Fort-de-France Flag of France.svg Martinique
973 Blason de la Guyane Guyane 16 Cayenne Flag of France.svg French Guiana
974 Blason Réunion DOM La Réunion 16 Saint-Denis Flag of France.svg Réunion
976 Coat of Arms of Mayotte Mayotte 17 Mamoudzou Flag of France.svg Mayotte


  • ^1  Most of the coats of arms are not official
  • ^2  This department was known as Basses-Alpes until 1970
  • ^3  This department was known as Charente-Inférieure until 1941
  • ^4  This department was known as Côtes-du-Nord until 1990
  • ^5  This department was known as Bec-d'Ambès from 1793 until 1795. The Convention eliminated the name to avoid recalling the outlawed Girondin political faction.
  • ^6  This department was known as Loire-Inférieure until 1957
  • ^7  This department was known as Mayenne-et-Loire until 1791
  • ^8  This department was known as Basses-Pyrénées until 1969
  • ^9  Number 75 was formerly assigned to Seine
  • ^10  This department was known as Seine-Inférieure until 1955
  • ^11  Number 78 was formerly assigned to Seine-et-Oise
  • ^12  Number 91 was formerly assigned to Alger, in French Algeria
  • ^13  Number 92 was formerly assigned to Oran, in French Algeria
  • ^14  Number 93 was formerly assigned to Constantine, in French Algeria
  • ^15  The prefecture of Val-d'Oise was established in Pontoise when the department was created, but moved de facto to the neighbouring commune of Cergy; currently, both part of the ville nouvelle of Cergy-Pontoise
  • ^16  The overseas departments each constitute a region and enjoy a status identical to metropolitan France. They are part of France and the European Union, though special EU rules apply to them.
  • ^17  Mayotte became the 101st department of France on 31 March 2011. The INSEE code of Mayotte is 976 (975 is already assigned to the French overseas collectivity of Saint Pierre and Miquelon)
Départements de France English

Regions and departments of metropolitan France; the numbers are those of the first column

Petite couronne-2

The departments in the immediate vicinity of Paris; the numbers are those of the first column

Former departmentsEdit

Former departments of the current territory of FranceEdit

Department Prefecture Dates in existence
Rhône-et-Loire Lyon 1790–1793 Split into Rhône and Loire on 12 August 1793.
Corsica Bastia 1790–1793 Split into Golo and Liamone.
Golo Bastia 1793–1811 Reunited with Liamone into Corsica.
Liamone Ajaccio 1793–1811 Reunited with Golo into Corsica.
Mont-Blanc Chambéry 1792–1815 Formed from part of the Duchy of Savoy, a territory of the Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia and was restored to Piedmont-Sardinia after Napoleon's defeat. The department corresponds approximately with the present French departments Savoie and Haute-Savoie.
Léman Geneva 1798–1814 Formed when the Republic of Geneva was annexed into the First French Empire. Geneva was added to territory taken from several other departments to create Léman. The department corresponds with the present Swiss canton and parts of the present French departmentsAin and Haute-Savoie.
Meurthe Nancy 1790–1871 Meurthe ceased to exist following the annexation of Alsace-Lorraine by the German Empire in 1871 and was not recreated after the province was restored to France by the Treaty of Versailles.
Seine Paris 1790–1967 On 1 January 1968, Seine was divided into four new departments: Paris, Hauts-de-Seine, Seine-Saint-Denis, and Val-de-Marne (the last incorporating a small amount of territory from Seine-et-Oise as well).
Seine-et-Oise Versailles 1790–1967 On 1 January 1968, Seine-et-Oise was divided into four new departments: Yvelines, Val-d'Oise, Essonne, Val-de-Marne (the last largely comprising territory from Seine).
Corsica Ajaccio 1811–1975 On 15 September 1975, Corsica was divided in two, to form Corse-du-Sud and Haute-Corse.
Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon Saint-Pierre 1976–1985 Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon was an overseas department from 1976 until it was converted to an overseas collectivity on 11 June 1985.

Departments of French AlgeriaEdit

Algérie fr

The three Algerian departments in 1848

Dépatements of Algeria

Departments of French Algeria from 1957 to 1962

Unlike the rest of French-controlled Africa, Algeria was officially incorporated into France from 1848 until its independence in 1962.

Before 1957
Department Prefecture Dates of existence
91 Alger Algiers (1848–1957)
92 Oran Oran (1848–1957)
93 Constantine Constantine (1848–1957)
Bône Annaba (1955–1957)
Department Prefecture Dates of existence
8A Oasis Ouargla (1957–1962)
8B Saoura Bechar (1957–1962)
9A Alger Algiers (1957–1962)
9B Batna Batna (1957–1962)
9C Bône Annaba (1955–1962)
9D Constantine Constantine (1957–1962)
9E Médéa Medea (1957–1962)
9F Mostaganem Mostaganem (1957–1962)
9G Oran Oran (1957–1962)
9H Orléansville Chlef (1957–1962)
9J Sétif Setif (1957–1962)
9K Tiaret Tiaret (1957–1962)
9L Tizi-Ouzou Tizi Ouzou (1957–1962)
9M Tlemcen Tlemcen (1957–1962)
9N Aumale Sour el Ghozlane (1958–1959)
9P Bougie Bejaia (1958–1962)
9R Saïda Saïda (1958–1962)

Departments in former French coloniesEdit

Department Modern-day location Dates in existence
Département du Sud Hispaniola
(Dominican Republic and Haiti)
Département de l'Inganne (Mostly in Dominican Republic with eastern part of Haiti) 1795–1800
Département du Nord 1795–1800
Département de l'Ouest 1795–1800
Département de Samana (In Dominican Republic) 1795–1800
Sainte-Lucie Saint Lucia, Tobago 1795–1800
Île de France Mauritius, Rodrigues, Seychelles 1795–1800
Indes-Orientales Pondichéry, Karikal, Yanaon, Mahé and Chandernagore 1795–1800

Departments of the Napoleonic Empire in EuropeEdit

There are a number of former departments in territories conquered by France during the French Revolution and Napoleonic Empire that are now not part of France:

Department Prefecture
(French name)
(English name)
Current location1 Contemporary location2 Dates in existence
Mont-Terrible Porrentruy Switzerland Holy Roman Empire: 1793–1800
Dyle Bruxelles Brussels Belgium Austrian Netherlands: 1795–1814
Escaut Gand Ghent Belgium
Austrian Netherlands:

Dutch Republic:

Forêts Luxembourg Luxembourg
Austrian Netherlands: 1795–1814
Jemmape Mons Belgium Austrian Netherlands:
Holy Roman Empire:
Lys Bruges Austrian Netherlands: 1795–1814
Meuse-Inférieure Maëstricht Maastricht Belgium
Austrian Netherlands:

Dutch Republic:

Holy Roman Empire:


Deux-Nèthes Anvers Antwerp Belgium Austrian Netherlands:

Dutch Republic:

Ourthe Liège Belgium
Austrian Netherlands:
Holy Roman Empire:
Sambre-et-Meuse Namur Belgium Austrian Netherlands:
Holy Roman Empire:
Corcyre Corfou Corfu Greece Republic of Venice4 1797–1799
Ithaque Argostoli 1797–1798
Mer-Égée Zante Zakynthos 1797–1798
Mont-Tonnerre Mayence Mainz Germany Holy Roman Empire: 1801–1814
Rhin-et-Moselle Coblence Koblenz Holy Roman Empire: 1801–1814
Roer Aix-la-Chapelle Aachen Germany
Holy Roman Empire: 1801–1814
Sarre Trèves Trier Belgium
Holy Roman Empire: 1801–1814
Doire Ivrée Ivrea Italy Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia 1802–1814
Marengo Alexandrie Alessandria 1802–1814
Turin 1802–1814
Sésia Verceil Vercelli 1802–1814
Stura Coni Cuneo 1802–1814
Tanaro6 Asti 1802–1805
Apennins Chiavari Republic of Genoa7 1805–1814
Gênes Gênes Genoa 1805–1814
Montenotte Savone Savona 1805–1814
Arno Florence Grand Duchy of Tuscany8 1808–1814
Méditerranée Livourne Livorno 1808–1814
Ombrone Sienne Siena 1808–1814
Taro Parme Parma Holy Roman Empire: 1808–1814
Rome9 Rome Papal States 1809–1814
Trasimène Spolète Spoleto 1809–1814
Bouches-du-Rhin Bois-le-Duc 's-Hertogenbosch Netherlands Dutch Republic:10 1810–1814
Bouches-de-l'Escaut Middelbourg Middelburg Dutch Republic:10 1810–1814
Simplon Sion Switzerland République des Sept Dizains11 1810–1814
Bouches-de-la-Meuse La Haye The Hague Netherlands Dutch Republic:10 1811–1814
Bouches-de-l'Yssel Zwolle Dutch Republic:10 1811–1814
Ems-Occidental Groningue Groningen Netherlands
Dutch Republic:10 1811–1814
Ems-Oriental Aurich Germany Holy Roman Empire: 1811–1814
Frise Leuwarden Leeuwarden Netherlands Dutch Republic:10 1811–1814
Yssel-Supérieur Arnhem Dutch Republic:10 1811–1814
Zuyderzée Amsterdam Dutch Republic:10 1811–1814
Bouches-de-l'Elbe Hamburg Hamburg Germany Holy Roman Empire: 1811–1814
Bouches-du-Weser Brême Bremen Holy Roman Empire: 1811–1814
Ems-Supérieur Osnabrück Holy Roman Empire: 1811–1814
Lippe12 Munster Münster Holy Roman Empire: 1811–1814
Bouches-de-l'Èbre Lérida Lleida Spain Kingdom of Spain: 1812–1813
Montserrat Barcelone Barcelona 1812–1813
Sègre Puigcerda Puigcerdà 1812–1813
Ter Gérone Girona 1812–1813
Bouches-de-l'Èbre-Montserrat Barcelone Barcelona Previously the departments of Bouches-de-l'Èbre and Montserrat 1813–1814
Sègre-Ter Gérone Girona Previously the departments of Sègre and Ter 1813–1814

Notes for Table 7:

  1. Where a Napoleonic department was composed of parts from more than one country, the nation-state containing the prefecture is listed. Please expand this table to list all countries containing significant parts of the department.
  2. Territories that were a part of Austrian Netherlands were also a part of Holy Roman Empire.
  3. The Bishopric of Basel was a German Prince-Bishopric, not to be confused with the adjacent Swiss Canton of Basel.
  4. The territories of the Republic of Venice were lost to France, becoming the Septinsular Republic, a nominal vassal of the Ottoman Empire, from 1800–07. After reverting to France at the Treaty of Tilsit, these territories then became a British protectorate, as the United States of the Ionian Islands
  5. Maastricht was a condominium of the Dutch Republic and the Bishopric of Liège.
  6. On 6 June 1805, as a result of the annexation of the Ligurian Republic (the puppet successor state to the Republic of Genoa), Tanaro was abolished and its territory divided between the departments of Marengo, Montenotte and Stura.
  7. Before becoming the department of Apennins, the Republic of Genoa was converted to a puppet successor state, the Ligurian Republic.
  8. Before becoming the department of Arno, the Grand Duchy of Tuscany was converted to a puppet successor state, the Kingdom of Etruria.
  9. Rome was known as the department du Tibre until 1810.
  10. Before becoming the departments of Bouches-du-Rhin, Bouches-de-l'Escaut, Bouches-de-la-Meuse, Bouches-de-l'Yssel, Ems-Occidental, Frise, Yssel-Supérieur and Zuyderzée, these territories of the Dutch Republic were converted to a puppet successor state, the Batavian Republic (1795–1806), then those territories that had not already been annexed (all except the first two departments here), along with the Prussian County of East Frisia, were converted to another puppet state, the Kingdom of Holland.
  11. Before becoming the department of Simplon, the République des Sept Dizains was converted to a revolutionary République du Valais (16 March 1798) which was swiftly incorporated (1 May 1798) into the puppet Helvetic Republic until 1802 when it became the independent Rhodanic Republic.
  12. In the months before Lippe was formed, the arrondissements of Rees and Münster were part of Yssel-Supérieur, the arrondissement of Steinfurt was part of Bouches-de-l'Yssel and the arrondissement of Neuenhaus was part of Ems-Occidental.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "La fusion département-région n'est pas à l'ordre du jour". L'Express. Retrieved 2011-07-21. 
  2. ^ This is stated in the title of the section dealing with "Decision 260" on page 197 of the Report of the Attali Commission (French)
  3. ^ a b "Les 20 propositions du Comité (20 propositions of the Committee)" (in French). Committee for the reform of local authorities. Retrieved 2009-11-11. 

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