Départment de la Moselle
The Moselle is a department of the Lorraine region, and owes its name to the river of the same name.
It has a surface area of 6,216 km², a population of 1,024,000 inhabitants, and is divided into nine administrative districts (arrondissements in French) for a total of 51 cantons and 730 municipalities.
It borders (clockwise from the North) the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg, the German states of Rhineland-Palatinate and Saarland, as well as the French departments of the Bas-Rhin, and Meurthe-et-Moselle.
Due to the mixed French and German heritage, many municipalities in the regions have different names in French and German. The Lorraine Franconian dialect of German, a close cousin of Luxembourgish, is still widely spoken in the northern part of the Moselle department.
In ancient times, the Moselle was settled by the Mediomatrici. After Julius Caesar's conquest of the Gaul, it became part of the Roman Province of Gallia Belgica.
Conquered by Clovis in 486, the region became part of Austrasia, within the Frankish Kingdom, then Empire. After the Treaty of Verdun (843), the region became part of Eastern Francia, later known as the Holy Roman Empire. In feudal times, the Moselle belonged to the Duchy of Upper Lotharingia.
The Bishopric of Metz was annexed to France in 1552 (officially in 1648), while the Duchy of Lorraine was incorporated in 1766. In the aftermath of the Franco-Prussian, the Treaty of Frankfurt (1871) gives the Moselle and the Meurthe departments to Germany. France would only recover them through the Treaty of Versailles in 1919.