Ourthe (department)

Ourthe ([uʁt], Dutch: Ourte, German: Urt) was a department of the French First Republic and French First Empire in present-day Belgium and Germany. It was named after the river Ourthe (Oûte). Its territory corresponded more or less with that of the present-day Belgian province of Liège and a small adjacent region in North Rhine-Westphalia in Germany. It was created on 1 October 1795, when the Austrian Netherlands, the Prince-Bishopric of Liège and the left bank of the Rhine were officially annexed by the French Republic.[4] Before this annexation, the territory included in the department had lain partly in the Bishopric of Liège, the Abbacy of Stavelot-Malmedy, the Duchies of Limburg and Luxembourg, and the County of Namur.

Department of Ourthe
Département de l'Ourthe (fr)
Departement Ourte (nl)
Departement der Urt (de)
1795–1814
Ourthe and other annexed departments
StatusDepartment of the French First Republic and the French First Empire
Chef-lieuLiège
50°27′N 3°57′E
Official languagesFrench
Common languagesDutch, German
Historical eraFrench Revolutionary Wars
 Creation
1 October 1795
 Treaty of Paris, disestablished
30 May 1814
Population
 1796[1]
325,278
 1800[2]
327,121
 1812[3]
352,264
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Austrian Netherlands
Prince-Bishopric of Liège
Princely Abbey of Stavelot-Malmedy
United Kingdom of the Netherlands
Today part of

The Chef-lieu of the department was Liège. The department was subdivided into the following three arrondissements and cantons:

After Napoleon was defeated in 1814, most of the department became part of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands as the province of Liège. The easternmost part (Eupen, Malmedy, Sankt Vith, Kronenburg, Schleiden) became part of the Prussian Rhine Province; part of this (Eupen, Malmedy and Sankt Vith) was taken back into Liège province after the First World War, under the Treaty of Versailles.


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