Roer (department)

Roer [ʁo.ɛʁ] was a department of the French First Republic and later First French Empire in present-day Germany and the Netherlands. It was named after the river Roer (Rur), which flows through the department. It was formed in 1798, when the Southern Netherlands and the left bank of the Rhine were occupied by the French. The department was formed from the duchies of Jülich and Cleves, the part of the Archbishopric of Cologne left of the Rhine, the Free City of Aachen, the Prussian part of the duchy of Guelders and some smaller territories. In 1805 the city of Wesel was added to the department. The capital was Aix-la-Chapelle (Aachen).

Department of Roer
Département de la Roer
Department of the French First Republic and the First French Empire
Flag of Roer
Departments of French Empire Roer 1811.svg
Roer (red) besides other departments in the North of the French Empire, 1811
Area transferred
 • 1808Wesel from Prussia
• 1809
• 1812
• Established
• Disestablished
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Duchy of Jülich
Duchy of Cleves
Electorate of Cologne
Free Imperial City of Aachen
Free Imperial City of Cologne
Prussian Guelders
Kingdom of Prussia
United Kingdom of the Netherlands
Today part ofGermany
Map of the Roer departement, circa the early 1800s.

The department was subdivided in the following arrondissements and cantons (situation in 1812):[1]

Its population in 1812 was 631,094.[1]

After Napoleon was defeated in 1814, the department was divided between the United Kingdom of the Netherlands (left bank of the Meuse and a strip along its right bank including Gennep, Tegelen and Sittard, in present-day Dutch Limburg) and the Kingdom of Prussia (Province of Jülich-Cleves-Berg, now part of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany).


  1. ^ a b Almanach Impérial an bissextil MDCCCXII, p. 458-9, accessed in Gallica 16 July 2013 (in French)

Coordinates: 51°10′N 6°30′E / 51.167°N 6.500°E / 51.167; 6.500