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. 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)
|Status||Department of the French First Republic and the French First Empire|
|Common languages||Dutch, German|
|Historical era||French Revolutionary Wars|
|1 October 1795|
• Treaty of Paris, disestablished
|30 May 1814|
|Today part of|
- Liège: Dalhem, Fléron, Glons, Herve, Hollogne-aux-Pierres, Liège (4 cantons), Louveigné, Seraing and Waremme.
- Huy: Avennes, Bodegnée, Ferrières, Héron, Huy, Landen and Nandrin.
- Malmedy: Aubel, Néau, Kronenbourg, Limbourg, Malmedy, Saint Vith, Schleiden, Spa, Stavelot, Verviers and Vielsalm.
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.