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Departments of France

In the administrative divisions of France, the department (French: département, pronounced [depaʁt(ə)mɑ̃]) is one of the three levels of government below the national level ("territorial collectivities"), between the administrative regions and the commune. Ninety-six departments are in metropolitan France, and five are overseas departments, which are also classified as regions. Departments are further subdivided into 334 arrondissements, themselves divided into cantons; the last two have no autonomy, and are used for the organisation of police, fire departments, and sometimes, elections.

Each department is administered by an elected body called a departmental council (conseil départemental (sing.), conseils départementaux (plur.)). From 1800 to April 2015, these were called general councils (conseil général (sing.), conseils généraux (plur.)).[1] Each council has a president. Their main areas of responsibility include the management of a number of social and welfare allowances, of junior high school (collège) buildings and technical staff, and 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 1790 as a rational replacement of Ancien Régime provinces with a view to strengthen national unity; the title "department" is used to mean a part of a larger whole. Almost all of them were named after physical geographical features (rivers, mountains, or coasts), rather than after historical or cultural territories which could have their own loyalties. The division of France into departments was a project particularly identified with the French revolutionary leader the Abbé Sieyès, although it had already been frequently discussed and written about by many politicians and thinkers. The earliest known suggestion of it is from 1764 in the writings of d'Argenson. They have inspired similar divisions in many countries, some of them former French colonies.

Most French departments are assigned a two-digit number, the "Official Geographical Code", allocated by the Institut national de la statistique et des études économiques. Overseas departments have a three-digit number. The number is used, for example, in the postal code, and was until recently used for all vehicle registration plates. While residents commonly use the numbers to refer to their own department or a neighbouring one, more distant departments are generally referred to by their names, as few people know the numbers of all the departments. For example, inhabitants of Loiret might refer to their department as "the 45".

In 2014, President François Hollande proposed to abolish departmental councils by 2020, which would have maintained the departments as administrative divisions, and to transfer their powers to other levels of governance. This reform project has since been abandoned.



The 101 departments of France, prior to the 2018 merger of Corse-du-Sud and Haute-Corse
Geometrical proposition rejected
French provinces (color) and
departments (black borders) in 1791

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.[2]

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 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 every settlement in the country was within a day's ride of the capital of a 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,[citation needed] during which the government had lost control of many rural areas far from any centre of government.
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, had been 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 and the number of departments was reduced to 86 (three of the original departments having 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 the alphabetical order of their names.

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 re-integrated into Haut-Rhin. In 1922, it became France's 90th department. Likewise, the Lorraine departments were not changed back to their original boundaries, and a new Moselle department was created in the regained territory, with slightly different boundaries from the pre-war department of the same name.

The re-organisation of Île-de-France in 1968 and the division of Corsica in 1975 added six more departments, raising the total in Metropolitan France to 96. By 2011, when the overseas collectivity of Mayotte became a department, joining the earlier overseas departments of the Republic (all created in 1946) – French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, and Réunion – the total number of departments in the French Republic had become 101. In 2015, the Urban Community of Lyon was split from Rhône to form the Métropole de Lyon, a sui-generis entity, with the powers of both an intercommunality and those of a department on its territory, formally classified as a “territorial collectivity with particular status” (French: collectivité territoriale à statut particulier) and as such not belonging to any department. In 2018, the two departments of Corsica re-merged to form a single territorial collectivity (simultaneously region and department), reducing the number of departments to 100.

General characteristicsEdit

Population density in the departments (2007), showing the empty diagonal

The departmental seat of government is known as the prefecture (préfecture) or chef-lieu de département and is generally a town 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 on 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 may be divided into arrondissements. The capital of an arrondissement is called a subprefecture (sous-préfecture) or chef-lieu d'arrondissement.

Each department is administered by a departmental council (conseil départemental), an assembly elected for six years by universal suffrage, with the president of the council as executive of the department. Before 1982, the chief executive of the department was the prefect (préfet), who represents the French government 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. Since 1982, the prefect retains only the powers that are not delegated to the department councils. In practice, his role has been largely limited to preventing local policy from conflicting with national policy.

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 the ceremonial counties of England and the preserved counties of 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 and 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 for addresses in both departments do still start with 20. 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 in 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 Departmental Councils are elected on a two-round system, which drastically limits the chances of fringe parties, if 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.[3]

In January 2008, the Attali Commission recommended that the departmental level of government should be eliminated within ten years.[4]

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 reducing the number of regions to 15.[5] This committee advocates, on the contrary, the suppression of the cantons.[5]

Maps and tablesEdit

Current departmentsEdit

Each department has a coat of arms with which it is commonly associated, though not all are officially recognized or used.

INSEE code Arms 1 Department Prefecture Region Named after
01   Ain Bourg-en-Bresse   Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Ain (river)
02   Aisne Laon   Hauts-de-France Aisne (river)
03   Allier Moulins   Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Allier (river)
04   Alpes-de-Haute-Provence 2 Digne-les-Bains   Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur Alps mountains and Provence region
05   Hautes-Alpes Gap   Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur Alps mountains
06   Alpes-Maritimes Nice   Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur Alps mountains
07   Ardèche Privas   Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Ardèche (river)
08   Ardennes Charleville-Mézières   Grand Est Ardennes Forest
09   Ariège Foix   Occitanie Ariège (river)
10   Aube Troyes   Grand Est Aube (river)
11   Aude Carcassonne   Occitanie Aude (river)
12   Aveyron Rodez   Occitanie Aveyron (river)
13   Bouches-du-Rhône Marseille   Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur Rhône (river)
14   Calvados Caen   Normandy Calvados rocks
15   Cantal Aurillac   Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Mounts of Cantal
16   Charente Angoulême   Nouvelle-Aquitaine Charente (river)
17   Charente-Maritime 3 La Rochelle   Nouvelle-Aquitaine Charente (river)
18   Cher Bourges   Centre-Val de Loire Cher (river)
19   Corrèze Tulle   Nouvelle-Aquitaine Corrèze (river)
20   Corse 19 Ajaccio   Corsica Island of Corsica
21   Côte-d'Or Dijon   Bourgogne-Franche-Comté Côte d'Or (escarpment)
22   Côtes-d'Armor 4 Saint-Brieuc   Brittany coasts of Armorica
23   Creuse Guéret   Nouvelle-Aquitaine Creuse (river)
24   Dordogne Périgueux   Nouvelle-Aquitaine Dordogne (river)
25   Doubs Besançon   Bourgogne-Franche-Comté Doubs (river)
26   Drôme Valence   Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Drôme (river)
27   Eure Évreux   Normandy Eure (river)
28   Eure-et-Loir Chartres   Centre-Val de Loire Eure and Loir rivers
29   Finistère Quimper   Brittany Finis Terræ (end of earth)
30   Gard Nîmes   Occitanie Gardon (river)
31   Haute-Garonne Toulouse   Occitanie Garonne (river)
32   Gers Auch   Occitanie Gers (river)
33   Gironde 5 Bordeaux   Nouvelle-Aquitaine Gironde (river)
34   Hérault Montpellier   Occitanie Hérault (river)
35   Ille-et-Vilaine Rennes   Brittany Ille and Vilaine rivers
36   Indre Châteauroux   Centre-Val de Loire Indre (river)
37   Indre-et-Loire Tours   Centre-Val de Loire Indre and Loire rivers
38   Isère Grenoble   Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Isère (river)
39   Jura Lons-le-Saunier   Bourgogne-Franche-Comté Jura Mountains
40   Landes Mont-de-Marsan   Nouvelle-Aquitaine Landes forest
41   Loir-et-Cher Blois   Centre-Val de Loire Loir and Cher rivers
42   Loire Saint-Étienne   Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Loire (river)
43   Haute-Loire Le Puy-en-Velay   Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Loire (river)
44   Loire-Atlantique 6 Nantes   Pays de la Loire Loire (river)
45   Loiret Orléans   Centre-Val de Loire Loiret (river)
46   Lot Cahors   Occitanie Lot (river)
47   Lot-et-Garonne Agen   Nouvelle-Aquitaine Lot and Garonne rivers
48   Lozère Mende   Occitanie Mont Lozère
49   Maine-et-Loire 7 Angers   Pays de la Loire Maine and Loire rivers
50   Manche Saint-Lô   Normandy English Channel
51   Marne Châlons-en-Champagne   Grand Est Marne (river)
52   Haute-Marne Chaumont   Grand Est Marne (river)
53   Mayenne Laval   Pays de la Loire Mayenne (river)
54   Meurthe-et-Moselle Nancy   Grand Est Meurthe and Moselle rivers
55   Meuse Bar-le-Duc   Grand Est Meuse (river)
56   Morbihan Vannes   Brittany Gulf of Morbihan
57   Moselle Metz   Grand Est Moselle (river)
58   Nièvre Nevers   Bourgogne-Franche-Comté Nièvre (river)
59   Nord Lille   Hauts-de-France North
60   Oise Beauvais   Hauts-de-France Oise (river)
61   Orne Alençon   Normandy Orne (river)
62   Pas-de-Calais Arras   Hauts-de-France Strait of Dover
63   Puy-de-Dôme Clermont-Ferrand   Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Puy de Dôme volcano
64   Pyrénées-Atlantiques 8 Pau   Nouvelle-Aquitaine Pyrenees
65   Hautes-Pyrénées Tarbes   Occitanie Pyrenees
66   Pyrénées-Orientales Perpignan   Occitanie Pyrenees
67   Bas-Rhin Strasbourg   Grand Est Rhine (river)
68   Haut-Rhin Colmar   Grand Est Rhine (river)
69   Rhône Lyon (provisional)   Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Rhône (river)
69M   Lyon Metropolis 18 Lyon   Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes commune of Lyon
70   Haute-Saône Vesoul   Bourgogne-Franche-Comté Saône (river)
71   Saône-et-Loire Mâcon   Bourgogne-Franche-Comté Saône and Loire rivers
72   Sarthe Le Mans   Pays de la Loire Sarthe (river)
73   Savoie Chambéry   Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region of Savoy
74   Haute-Savoie Annecy   Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region of Savoy
75   Paris 9 Paris   Île-de-France commune of Paris
76   Seine-Maritime 10 Rouen   Normandy Seine (river)
77   Seine-et-Marne Melun   Île-de-France Seine and Marne rivers
78   Yvelines 11 Versailles   Île-de-France Forest of Yvelines
79   Deux-Sèvres Niort   Nouvelle-Aquitaine Sèvre Nantaise and Sèvre Niortaise rivers
80   Somme Amiens   Hauts-de-France Somme (river)
81   Tarn Albi   Occitanie Tarn (river)
82   Tarn-et-Garonne Montauban   Occitanie Tarn and Garonne rivers
83   Var Toulon   Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur Var (river)
84   Vaucluse Avignon   Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur Fontaine de Vaucluse spring
85   Vendée La Roche-sur-Yon   Pays de la Loire Vendée (river)
86   Vienne Poitiers   Nouvelle-Aquitaine Vienne (river)
87   Haute-Vienne Limoges   Nouvelle-Aquitaine Vienne (river)
88   Vosges Épinal   Grand Est Vosges Mountains
89   Yonne Auxerre   Bourgogne-Franche-Comté Yonne (river)
90   Territoire de Belfort Belfort   Bourgogne-Franche-Comté commune of Belfort
91   Essonne 12 Évry   Île-de-France Essonne (river)
92   Hauts-de-Seine 13 Nanterre   Île-de-France Seine (river)
93   Seine-Saint-Denis 14 Bobigny   Île-de-France Seine (river)
94   Val-de-Marne Créteil   Île-de-France Marne (river)
95   Val-d'Oise Pontoise 15   Île-de-France Oise (river)
971   Guadeloupe 16 Basse-Terre   Guadeloupe Island of Guadeloupe
972   Martinique 16 Fort-de-France   Martinique Island of Martinique
973   Guyane 16 Cayenne   French Guiana The Guianas
974   La Réunion 16 Saint-Denis   Réunion Island of Réunion
976   Mayotte 17 Mamoudzou   Mayotte Island of Mayotte


  • ^1 Most of the coats of arms are not official
  • ^2 This department was known as Basses-Alpes ("Lower Alps") until 1970
  • ^3 This department was known as Charente-Inférieure ("Lower Charente") until 1941
  • ^4 This department was known as Côtes-du-Nord ("Coasts of the North") until 1990
  • ^5 This department was known as Bec-d'Ambès ("Beak of 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 ("Lower Loire") until 1957
  • ^7 This department was known as Mayenne-et-Loire ("Mayenne and Loire") until 1791
  • ^8 This department was known as Basses-Pyrénées ("Lower Pyrenees") until 1969
  • ^9 Number 75 was formerly assigned to Seine
  • ^10 This department was known as Seine-Inférieure ("Lower Seine") 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)
  • ^18 Metropoles with territorial collectivity statute.
  • ^19 Divided into two departments (Golo and Liamone) from 1793 to 1811, and again into two departments (Corse-du-Sud, number 2A, and Haute-Corse, number 2B) from 1975 to 2018.

Regions and departments of metropolitan France; the numbers are those of the first column
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 departments Ain 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). Was department number 75.
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). Was department number 78.
Corsica Ajaccio 1811–1975 On 15 September 1975, Corsica was divided in two, to form Corse-du-Sud and Haute-Corse. Was department number 20.
Saint Pierre and 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. INSEE code 975.
Corse-du-Sud Ajaccio 1975–2018 Reunited with Haute-Corse into Corsica. Was INSEE code 2A.
Haute-Corse Bastia 1975–2018 Reunited with Corse-du-Sud into Corsica. Was INSEE code 2B.

Departments of Algeria (Départements d'Algérie)Edit

The three Algerian departments in 1848
Departments of French Algeria from 1957 to 1962

Unlike the rest of French-controlled Africa, Algeria was divided into overseas departments from 1848 until its independence in 1962. These departments were supposed to be "assimilated" or "integrated" to France sometime in the future.

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 Béchar (1957–1962)
9A Alger Algiers (1957–1962)
9B Batna Batna (1957–1962)
9C Bône Annaba (1955–1962)
9D Constantine Constantine (1957–1962)
9E Médéa Médéa (1957–1962)
9F Mostaganem Mostaganem (1957–1962)
9G Oran Oran (1957–1962)
9H Orléansville Chlef (1957–1962)
9J Sétif Sétif (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 Béjaïa (1958–1962)
9R Saïda Saïda (1958–1962)

Departments in former French coloniesEdit

Department Modern-day location Dates in existence
Département du Sud Hispaniola
(Haiti and the Dominican Republic)
Département de l'Inganne (Mostly in the Dominican Republic with eastern part of Haiti) 1795–1800
Département du Nord 1795–1800
Département de l'Ouest 1795–1800
Département de Samana (In the 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 Hambourg 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. ^ Ministère de l'intérieur, Les élections départementales : comprendre ce qui change (in French), retrieved 2015-07-30
  2. ^ Masson, Jean-Louis (1984). "Provinces, départements, régions: L'organisation administrative de la France d'hier à demain". Google Livres (French Google Books site). Éditions Fernand Lanore. Retrieved 2017-07-15.
  3. ^ "La fusion département-région n'est pas à l'ordre du jour". L'Express. Retrieved 2011-07-21.
  4. ^ Report of the Attali Commission "Decision 260", p. 197 (in French)
  5. ^ 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.