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Historical duchy of western Europe and government region of France. Originally known as Upper Lorraine and later simply as Lorraine, it was formed by the division of Lorraine (Lotharingia) into two duchies in 959. Upper Lorraine, in the region of the Meuse and Moselle rivers, was ruled by one ducal family from the 11th to the 15th century. Metz, Toul, and Verdun, outside the dukes' control, were seized by France in 1552. Lorraine came permanently under the French crown in 1766 and was divided into départements in 1790. After the Franco-Prussian War, part of Lorraine was ceded to Germany as part of Alsace-Lorraine. Roughly coextensive with the historical region of Lorraine, the current administrative région of Lorraine covers 9,092 sq mi (23,547 sq km). Its capital is Metz.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Lorraine, visit Britannica.com.