Duchy of Lorraine

The Duchy of Lorraine (French: Lorraine [lɔʁɛn] (listen); German: Lothringen [ˈloːtʁɪŋən] (listen)), originally Upper Lorraine, was a duchy now included in the larger present-day region of Lorraine in northeastern France. Its capital was Nancy.

Duchy of (Upper) Lorraine
Duché de (Haute-) Lorraine  (French)
Herzogtum (Ober-) Lothringen  (German)
959–23 February 1766
Flag
Coat of arms
Duchy of Lorraine (blue) within the Holy Roman Empire (c. 1400)
StatusPart of East Francia (959–962)
State of the Holy Roman Empire (962–1766)
CapitalNancy
GovernmentDuchy
Duke 
 959–978
Frederick I of Bar
 1737–1766
Stanisław Leszczyński
History 
 Lotharingia divided
959
 Joined
    Upper Rhenish Circle
1500
 French invasion and occupation of the Duchy of Lorraine
1643
 French invasion and subsequent occupation for 30 years
1670
 French invasion during War of the Spanish Succession
1702
 Annexed by France
23 February 1766
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Lotharingia
Lorraine and Barrois
Today part ofBelgium
France
Germany
Luxembourg

It was founded in 959 following the division of Lotharingia into two separate duchies: Upper and Lower Lorraine, the westernmost parts of the Holy Roman Empire. The Lower duchy was quickly dismantled, while Upper Lorraine came to be known as simply the Duchy of Lorraine. The Duchy of Lorraine was coveted and briefly occupied by the dukes of Burgundy and the kings of France.

In 1737, the duchy was given to Stanisław Leszczyński, the former king of Poland, who had lost his throne as a result of the War of the Polish Succession, with the understanding that it would fall to the French crown on his death. When Stanisław died on 23 February 1766, Lorraine was annexed by France and reorganized as a province.