Bouches-de-l'Elbe ([buʃ.də.lɛlb]; "Mouths of the Elbe", German: Elbmündungen) was a department of the First French Empire in present-day Germany that survived for three years. It was named after the mouth of the river Elbe. It was formed in 1811, when the region, originally belonging partially to Bremen-Verden (which in 1807 had been intermittently incorporated into the Kingdom of Westphalia), to Hamburg, Lübeck and Saxe-Lauenburg, was annexed by France. Its territory is part of the present-day German states of Lower Saxony, Schleswig-Holstein and Hamburg. Its capital was Hamburg.

Contemporary map (1812)

The department was subdivided into four arrondissements and the following cantons (situation in 1812, French translated names where applicable):[1]

Its population in 1812 was 375,976.[1]

After Napoleon was defeated in 1814, the department were dissolved and the area was redivided between the Kingdom of Hanover (Bremen-Verden), the Duchy of Saxe-Lauenburg, and the free cities of Hamburg and Lübeck.

External linksEdit

  Media related to Département des Bouches de l’Elbe at Wikimedia Commons


  1. ^ a b Almanach Impérial an bissextil MDCCCXII, p. 376-377, accessed in Gallica 24 July 2013 (in French)

Coordinates: 53°35′00″N 9°59′00″E / 53.5833°N 9.98333°E / 53.5833; 9.98333