Lotharingia

Lotharingia originated as the realm of Emperor Lothair I, who inherited Middle-Francia from Charlemagne. The region once stretched from the North Sea to the Alps and wielded immense cultural influence. Today, the vestiges of Lotharingia form a much smaller borderland region between the French and German-speaking worlds. Centuries of cultural exchange, border changes, and wars create a distinct identity visible in the architecture, landscape, and food.

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Ducal Bar

Ducal Bar

The Duchy of Bar straddled two different political worlds. They were functionally autonomous for centuries as a voting member of the Imperial Reichstag and a Royal Fief of the French Crown. We owe most of what we see today to the Bishops of Verdun and the prolific Dukes of Lorraine, who filled the region with castles and palaces.
Lorraine

Lorraine

Lorraine originated as the realm of Emperor Lothair I, who inherited Middle-Francia from Charlemagne. Though always part of the French cultural sphere, its independence was guaranteed by the Holy Roman Empire until finally annexed by France at the end of the 18th century. This independence characterizes much of what we see today, from its regional cooking to its elaborate baroque cityscapes.
Luxembourg

Luxembourg

Luxembourg sits at a strategic intersection of the French and German-speaking worlds. Indeed, by the 19th century, it was one of Europe’s most heavily fortified regions. At the center of European conflict for centuries, the region is a distinctive combination of German, French, and Walloon, offering a glimpse into a more multi-cultural past and the nation-state of the future.
Saarland

Saarland

Representing the small portion of ancient Lotharingia to remain in the German sphere of influence is the Saarland. The rugged Palatine Highlands isolate the region from Germany, resulting in a small territory with a significant French influence. Traveling through Saarland is a unique experience through one of the few borderlands to retain its local identity.

Return to the Historical Regions of Europe

Historical Regions

Explore Europe from the perspective of ages past, when borders were different and when regional identities were stronger.