Lorraine (region)

Lorraine (region)

Infobox French region
native_name = Région Lorraine
common_name = Lorraine

image_flag_size = 115px

image_logo_size = 120px

| :)capital = Metz
area = 23,547
area_scale = 10
Regional president = Jean-Pierre Masseret
(PS) (since 2004)
population_rank = 11th
population_census = 2,310,376
population_census_year = 1999
population_estimate = 2,343,000
population_estimate_year = 2007
population_density = 100
population_density_year = 2007
arrondissements = 19
cantons = 157
communes = 2,337
departments = Meurthe-et-Moselle


Lorraine ( _de. Lothringen) is one of the 26 "régions" of France. It is the only administrative region with two cities of equal importance, Metz and Nancy. Metz is considered to be the official capital since that is where the regional parliament is situated. The region's name is derived from the medieval Lotharingia.

Administrative history

It is important to note that the current "région" of Lorraine is larger than the historical duchy of Lorraine which gradually came under French sovereignty between 1737 and 1766. The modern "région" includes provinces and areas that were historically separate from the duchy of Lorraine proper. These are:
* Barrois
* Three Bishoprics: non-contiguous territories around Metz, Verdun, and Toul which were detached from the Holy Roman Empire in the 16th century and came under French sovereignty.
* several small principalities which were still part of the Holy Roman Empire at the time of the French Revolution.

Some people consider that the traditional province of Lorraine is limited to the duchy of Lorraine proper, while other people consider that it includes Barrois and the Three Bishoprics. The problem is that the duchy of Lorraine was at the origin duchy of "upper" Lorraine, not including the whole area called "Lorraine".

The case of Barrois is the most complicated: the western part of Barrois (west of the Meuse River), known as Barrois mouvant, was detached from the rest of Barrois in the early 14th century and passed under French sovereignty. On the other hand, the largest part of Barrois (east of the Meuse River) was a duchy (Duchy of Bar) part of the Holy Roman Empire and united with the duchy of Lorraine in the 15th century by the marriage of the Duke of Bar, René I of Naples, with the daughter of the Duke of Lorraine, Isabella. Thus the duchies of Bar and Lorraine were united in personal union under the same duke, although formally they kept separate existence until their incorporation into France in 1766.

During the French Revolution, four "départements" were created on the main parts of the territories of Barrois, Three Bishoprics and the Duchy of Lorraine: "Meuse", "Meurthe", "Moselle" and "Vosges". After 1870 some parts of "Moselle" and "Meurthe" became German and the parts that stayed French formed the new Meurthe et Moselle. After 1918 "Moselle" became French again.

When the French "régions" were created in the middle of the 20th century, it was decided to gather "Meurthe et Moselle", "Meuse", "Moselle" and "Vosges" into a single "region", simply called "Lorraine".

Lotharingia experienced great prosperity during the 12th and 13th centuries under the Hohenstaufen emperors, but this prosperity was terminated in the 14th century by a series of harsh winters, bad harvests, and the Black Death. During the Renaissance, prosperity returned to Lothringia under Habsburg administration, until the Thirty Years' War devastated large parts of southern Germany. Most of Elsaß was ceded to France at the Peace of Westphalia in 1648, which marked its start, along with Alsace, as a contested territory between France and Germany (French-German enmity). In which from 1871 until 1918 a large part of the region was part of the German Empire as the Imperial Province Elsaß-Lothringen.


Lorraine is the only French region to have borders with three other countries: Belgium (Wallonia), Luxembourg, and Germany (Saar, Rhineland-Palatinate). It also borders the French regions of Franche-Comté, Alsace, and Champagne-Ardenne. The location of Lorraine led to it being seen as a strategic asset and as the crossroads of four nations, it had a very important role in European affairs. Many rivers run through Lorraine, including the Rhine, Moselle, Meurthe, and [Meuse] .


Most of Lorraine has a clear French identity. For this reason, Bismarck only annexed about a third of today's Lorraine to the German Empire following the Franco-Prussian War. The disputed third, known as Moselle, had a culture not easily classifiable as either French or German, possessing both Romance and Germanic dialects. Like many border regions, Lorraine was a patchwork of ethnicities and dialects, sometimes not even mutually intelligible with either French or German.Fact|date=February 2007

Despite the French government's "single language" policy, local Germanic dialects still survive in the northern part of the region. They are known as a whole as Lorraine Franconian in English, "francique" or "platt (lorrain)" in French (not to be confused with "lorrain", the Romance dialect spoken in the region). These dialects are distinct from the neighbouring Alsatian language, to the south, although the two are often confused. Neither has any form of official recognition. Historically, there are two dialect familiies spoken in Germanic Lorraine. Both Moselle and Lorraine Franconian are spoken in the region. They are similar to the dialects native to the neighboring west central German dialects spoken in Luxembourg and Germany.

Like most of France's regional languages (such as Breton, the West Flemish dialect of Dutch, Catalan, Provençal and Alsatian), Lorraine and Moselle Franconian German have been largely replaced by French since the advent of mandatory public schooling in the 19th and 20th centuries. However, there are efforts underway to preserve the dialects and many older people still speak them.

Cross of Lorraine

During World War II, the cross was adopted as the official symbol of the Free French Forces (French: "Forces Françaises Libres", or FFL) under Charles de Gaulle.

The "capitaine de corvette" Thierry d'Argenlieu suggested the adoption of the Cross of Lorraine as the symbol of the Free French, both to recall the perseverance of Joan of Arc (whose symbol it had been), and as an answer to the Swastika.

In his General Order n° 2 of 3 July 1940, vice-admiral Émile Muselier, then chief of the naval and air forces of the Free French for only two days, created the bow flag displaying the French colours with a red Cross of Lorraine, and a cockade also featuring the Cross of Lorraine.

Appropriately, de Gaulle is memorialised by a gigantic 43-meter high Cross of Lorraine at his home village of Colombey-les-Deux-Églises.

The cross was also carried on the fuselages of aircraft flying on behalf of the "Forces Aériennes Françaises Libres" (FAFL) from 1940 to 1943 to distinguish them from the aircraft of the Vichy French air force, which continued to sport the traditional roundels of the French Air Force ("Armée de l'Air"), dating from World War I.

The Cross of Lorraine was later adopted by Gaullist movements such as the Rally for the Republic (RPR).


The use of the potato in Lorraine can be traced back to 1665 and it is used in various traditional dishes of the region such as the "potée lorraine". The Breux potato, which takes its name from the village of Breux in the north of the Meuse, is considered to be excellent by experts due to the perfect conditions of the area. Smoked bacon is also a traditional ingredient of the cuisine of Lorraine. It is used in various traditional dishes of the region, including the famous Quiche Lorraine. The mirabelle plum of Lorraine is the emblematic fruit of Lorraine. It is used in pies and other desserts, as well as in alcoholic beverages.

Traditional dishes in the region include:

* Quiche Lorraine
* Pâté lorrain (chopped pork and veal flavoured with white wine and baked in puff pastry)
* Potée lorraine (a stew of smoked meats and sausages, with cabbage and root vegetables)
* Andouille (tripe sausage)


* Wine: The most well-known wine of the region is the pinot noir of Toul. There are vineyards in the valley of the Moselle, the valley of Seille, the valley of Metz, and the valley of Sierck.
* Beer: Historically, Lorraine was the location of many breweries, including the Champigneulles, Vézelise, Tantonville, Ligny-In-Barrois, Uckange, and Metz.Today, many of these breweries have closed down, but there are still breweries operating in the region, including Les Brasseurs de Lorraine in Pont-à-Mousson. Two breweries, in Saint-Nicolas-de-Port and Stenay, have become museums.


With 44 billion euros, Lorraine generates 3.4% of France's GDP, and ranks 8th out of the 22 regions of France.Fact|date=February 2007 The logistics and service sectors have experienced the strongest growth in recent years while the traditional industries (textiles, mining, metallurgy) have experienced a decline and consequently the region has experienced a major difficulty with a rising unemployment rate that is near the national average. In 1997 the last iron ore mine in Lorraine, which once produced over 50 million tonnes of iron, was closed. [ [http://minerals.usgs.gov/minerals/pubs/commodity/iron_ore/340497.pdf Iron Ore in 1997 ] ]

Major communities


Fauna and regional Flora


* Lynx
* Fox


* Boxwood
* Charm
* Thistle
* Spruce
* Maple
* Fern
* Ash
* Geranium
* Beech
* Mirabelle
* Lily of the Valley
* Bilberry
* Sage

Notable Lorrainians

Art and Literature

* Jacques Callot (1592-1635)
* (1600-1682}
* Émile Erckmann (1822-1899)
* Alexandre Chatrian (1826-1890)
* Paul Verlaine (1844-1896)
* Émile Jules Gallé (1846-1904)
* Jules Bastien Lepage (1848-1884)
* Eugène Vallin (1856-1922)
* Emile Durkheim (1858-1917)(pictured)
* (1858-1943)
* Louis Majorelle (1859-1926)
* Lucien Weissenburger (1860-1929)
* Émile Friant (1863-1932)
* (1865 - 1953)
* (1870-1937)
* (1870-1936)
* Émile André (1871-1933)
* Jean-Marie Straub (1933-)
* (1947-)
* Bernard-Marie Koltès (1948-1989)
* Philippe Claudel (1962-)

Economy and Industry

* (1859-1932)
* (1864-1930)
* (1853-1909)


*Godfrey de Bouillon (1060-1100)
* Joan of Arc (1412-1431)
* Georges Mouton (1770-1838)
* (1774-1828)
* Louis-Hubert Lyautey (1854-1934)

Musicians, actors and comedians

* Florent Schmitt (1870-1958)
* Darry Cowl (1925-2006)
* (1956-)
* (1959-)
* Patricia Kaas (1966-)


* Pierre-Louis Roederer (1754-1835)
* Jules Ferry (1832-1893)
* Raymond Poincaré (1860-1934)
* Maurice Barrès (1862-1923)
* Albert Lebrun (1871-1950)
* Robert Schuman (1886-1963)
* Jack Lang (1939-)


* Bruno d'Eguisheim-Dagsbourg Pope Leo IX (1002-1054)
* Henri Grégoire (1750 - 1831)


* Charles Messier (1730-1817)
* Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier (1757-1785)
* Jean-Victor Poncelet (1788-1867)
* Charles Hermite (1822-1901)
* Edmond Laguerre (1834-1886)
* Henri Poincaré {1854-1912}
* Marie Marvingt (1875-1963)
* Louis Camille Maillard (1878-1936)
* Hubert Curien (1924-2005)


* Michel Platini


* Raymond Schwartz (1894-1973)

ee also

*Côtes de Toul
*List of rulers of Lorraine
*Lorraine (province)


Further reading

*Putnam, Ruth. "Alsace and Lorraine: From Cæsar to Kaiser, 58 B.C.-1871 A.D." New York: 1915.

External links

* [http://www.cr-lorraine.fr Lorraine regional council website]
* [http://lorraine.france-province.net Pictures of Lorraine region and Vosges]

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